The start of the school year is the perfect time to introduce stations to your class. The beginning of the year is filled with tons of new procedures and rules, so why not incorporate teaching procedures for running stations at the same time.
Stations can be a little involved. If you think about it, you are managing time, movement, student discussion and an assignment at the same time. If stations feel really forced, students are not going to enjoy them very much. By introducing stations with a fun, non-content related activity, students will pay more attention to the task at hand than the procedure they are learning. This is a good thing! They will be more likely to follow directions and hear where they are supposed to move next, because they will want to get there.
The first two times or so stations are used in your classroom, the activity should be something really engaging, even if that means it doesn’t relate to your content. After that, go ahead and try a set of content related stations. You can give them directions that are along the lines of, “Remember that time we did such and such? We are going to use the exact same set up today, except instead of completing a puzzle (or game, or coloring page, etc.) we are going to practice …” Your students will remember how they worked in groups and moved around the room. You can more quickly jump into content practice without having to take the time to go over the procedures in detail.
I have a great first day (or second day) of school activity for you that covers multiple grade levels and isapplicable to any content area!
This activity involves 6 different stations. Student work through the stations to complete either an “About Me” poster/coloring page or an “About Me” puzzle that gets put together at the end. The exact same resources are used for either option, which is great!
For the coloring page option, students are given a blank coloring page. They work through the stations with their small group to figure out what they are supposed to draw/write/color in each of the six sections. It doesn’t matter which station they start at because the order does not matter.
For the puzzle option, that same coloring page is cut into pieces. A little prep, but SO easy to do with a paper cutter. Students rotate through the stations, but instead of taking their coloring page around, they pick up and complete a puzzle piece from each station. When they are finished, they can assemble their puzzle on a blank sheet of paper.
Regardless of the method used, each student will end up with a unique to them About Me Page that displays some of their favorite things and some facts about them. It would be a cool product to display on the wall for the start of the year. You can purchase it by CLICKING HERE.