Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Introducing stations in my classroom

     I begin the year with introducing parts of my classroom to the students.  These may be baskets of items they may have never seen before, a STEM type/maker type skill they may need, or a building kit of some sort.  Right now, I have my math science kids rotating through three stations since a good many go to another classroom for math/science.

One group is building with marble runs (I didn't get a picture of them).

Another group is working on knot tying because I will be introducing lashing and other knots for our second novel set and I want some of the kids already familiar with the idea.

      I took a pack of paracord from W*lmart and cut it into 1 yard sections.  I burned the ends so they would melt and not fray and put them in a basket with a deck of knot tying cards I bought at a boat/marine store years ago.  You could also pair it with a knot tying book, but the cards are good so multiple students can mess around with them when needed.  If you have a lot of computers I would also recommend as a good resource. The boy above, D.,  has never really tied knots before but was very excited to be able to spend time waiting for the bus and tying knots. 

     The last group is working with a Discovery Toys set that I bought last year before the holidays.  I didn't have many students who used them last year so I pulled them out to see what this year's kiddos would do. Two girls decided to make a model of a course from the tv show "Wipeout." Below is J. explaining their course.  

They were quite proud of themselves, and brought me to the idea that I could use this as a tool for building models.

     Last week's stations were a 500 piece puzzle on the back counter, an Electronic Snap Circuits kit (thank you PTO) which is so popular I may need more of this sort of thing, and another Discovery toys set with sticks and connectors to make 3-D forts.  Soon these stations will be on a 5-day rotation and also include math/science review.  Right now though, I'm noticing that as I monitor bus duty in my classroom there are a lot of activities being shared with other students (including those that come in from another class).

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