Definition: "Students are rotated between three or more stations, also known as centers, which are either manned by a teacher or assistant or are independent stations. Teachers repeat instruction to each group that comes through the station, though content or delivery can vary based on differentiated needs" (Collaborative Teaching in Elementary Schools by Wendy W. Murawski).
- Check out my example of math rotations here
- Check out how to organize stations for older kids right here
- Students working in a small group throughout the classroom
- Three or more stations around the room
- Two or more teachers in charge of a small group
This video shows how to differentiate within station teaching. This is especially important to think about for stations that are to be done without an adult.
When should I use it?
- When teachers want students to focus on one concept or topic at a time
- Small group instruction
- To teach students how to work independently for a short period of time
- To teach social skills, interactions, and discussions
- In order to provide regular movement breaks from one station to another
- This is used regularly during guided reading/ reading instruction time
How to prepare for this during co-planning:
- Use a co-planning template (here, here, or here on page 15)
- Discuss how students should be grouped
- Plan assessments
- Each co-teacher will grade the work from students in their rotation and then debrief with co-teacher
- Discuss what each activity will look like and how this will be taught to students
- Discuss where each group will be in the classroom, how to prepare students for transitions, timing, and going over expectations and routines
- Make sure that both teachers are aware of ways to modify instruction, challenge all learners, and meet the needs of all students
- This approach requires students to follow a station model routine. Make sure to spend time teaching routines around this model.