Have you been wondering whether or not you should give math stations a try in your classroom? Some teachers love them, some teachers are scared of them and some teachers are just not quite sure. Math stations are not for every teacher and every classroom – that’s for sure. I’m going to share a few reasons why math stations may not really be for you.
If your students LOVE worksheets, then math stations probably aren’t for you. Sure, they may look like a worksheet but they provide so much more. Worksheets take so much away from students. They take away the opportunity for collaboration, creativity, movement and more. Math stations give all of those things back to your students. I’ll guarantee your students have never gotten excited over you saying “Ok, I’m going to give you a practice worksheet now.” Womp, womp, womp.
If you love spending the weekend on your couch buried under worksheet after worksheet, math stations probably aren’t for you. Math stations provide the opportunity to review a variety of topics with just a few questions. All of my stations come with one page answer sheets (two pages MAX) so students are able to work through anywhere from 4-6 skills and have their answers on one single page. Their work is all done separately on scrap paper so grading is super simple and quick. Plus, answer keys are always included with my math stations – so if you are someone who loves making answer keys, math stations aren’t for you either.
If you believe the only beneficial kind of practice is independent practice, and prefer a classroom full of silent students working individually at their desks, math stations are not for you. Math stations provide students with the most beneficial form of learning – collaborative learning. When students work together to solve a task or find the answer to problems, they are expanding their learning far beyond what a traditional worksheet and independent practice can offer. Plus, they have each other to ask questions to before they come to you. Students will retain more information when they help teach others than if they just learn from lectures and notes.
Obviously – math stations really enhance skill practice and instruction in the secondary math classroom. They do not have to take up a lot of time and can be very easily implemented. I always kept permanent station signs up around my classroom because we did them so often. After the first time, students get it. Secondary students are so much easier to manage in stations than elementary students (elementary teachers, you are my idols) because they can handle moving around the room a little better.
Stations give your students the opportunity to work together, get up and move (get the wiggles out) and get away from doing the same old thing over and over again. Think you don’t have the ability to create stations? Think again! Of course, if you don’t want to create your own stations – you can just grab a set or a bundle from me. I have stations created for over 35 different skills.
To read some more about stations – check out these two posts.