March 26, 2020

How To Manage Learning Stations In Social Studies

Social Studies curriculum often does not engage students in a way that maximizes learning. However, Social Studies can actually be a great subject for learning stations and students love stations!

The key to fitting stations into a busy schedule is to spread them out over the course of 5 days. Students can complete one station per day for 4 days. The fifth day can be set aside for students to finish any incomplete station and finalize any work to be turned in. If all stations are complete, students can work on a packet which is explained below.

I hope you find the following steps useful in planning your learning stations!

1. Brainstorm ideas about the unit.

Make a list of possible activities that you would like for your class. Resources could come from Pinterest, Google, your own files, and any useful materials from your curriculum. Activities that work well in stations include scavenger hunts, matching, sorting, craftivities, and games.

2. From your list, choose 4 different types of activities for the unit.

For example, you might select one sorting activity, one game, one crafty activity, and one teacher-directed activity where students would meet with you.

3. Make a packet of worksheets related to your unit. 

These worksheets can include vocabulary work, research, passages, etc. The packet will be kept in students' station folders to be used in the event they finish a station early. That way, students always have something to do! This packet is also used on the fifth day which is a catch-up day.

4. On paper, divide your students into 4 groups that can work well together. 

Write the students' names on different color index cards under Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4.

5. Gather pocket folders to use as station folders.


6. Plan a little extra time on the first day of stations.

List the stations on the board and use a magnet to place the index cards with students' names under each station. Explain your rules and expectations for students. Distribute folders and packets. Explain that they will go to one station per day, but will eventually go to every station. Explain that the packet is to be used in the event they finish a station early. Finally, have students record the stations on the tracking sheets if you are using the planning resource below.

7. Ready set go!

Let students try the first station. After the first station, give students time to reflect. Ask how the station went and if they have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Clean up and collect the folders.

Chances are when students walk in the next day, at least one student will ask, "Are we doing stations today?'"

8. Continue rotating the stations for 3 more days. 

On the fifth day, allow students to finish any station they may have missed. Collect the folders and use them for assessment as you see fit.

Are you the type of teacher who just loves to organize with printables? This resource includes printables to help you plan your learning stations. It includes a teacher brainstorming page, a schedule to keep track of the stations, a chart to list student groups, and a station tracker for students.
learning-stations

Do you have any learning station ideas to share? Feel free to share in the comments below!









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