Station rotation is an instructional model that can be used in classrooms K-12 and any subject area. You can use stations at any point in a unit, from introducing a new concept to learning the “meat” of a topic to wrapping up a unit. Using station rotation in your classroom can give students the opportunity to dig into different aspects of a topic, helping them gain a deeper understanding of the content, and can increase collaboration between students in small group formats. The versatility of the station rotation model allows you to be able to incorporate it in ways that make sense for you and your students.
Jacob Cullen and Tristen Henry, two outstanding teachers at Blendon Middle School, have been experimenting with ways to incorporate stations into their 8th grade Social Studies classrooms. Recently, Jacob used the station rotation model to help students learn about the Battle of Yorktown. Two of the stations included activities using digital materials, while the other two stations included activities that did not require the use of a device. Watch this video to hear Jacob’s reflections about station rotation with 8th graders:
While Jacob's students were working on the Battle of Yorktown, Tristen’s students, in the classroom next to Jacob, were rotating through 12-minute stations focused on reviewing a unit on the causes of the American Revolution. Tristen designed three stations for her students to rotate through, one of which included students working with her to review concepts through playing a Kahoot! game. Another station included a collaborative activity for students to complete, while the third station included a list of options for students to choose from to make sure they had a solid understanding of the topics in the unit. Adding choice into the station activities allowed students to work on activities at their ability levels, supporting them in their learning while also keeping them actively involved in their learning. The way that Tristen structured her stations allowed her to work more intensely with one group while also ensuring that students at the other stations were on task and engaged.
Jacob and Tristen have approached the use of stations in their rooms thoughtfully and in full consideration of what their students need in terms of interests, ability levels, and time management, which allows them to implement well-designed station activities that fully support their students in their learning. Interested in learning how you can incorporate stations into your classroom? Contact your Ed Tech Coach!