My stations look a little different than Mary's do, but I guess the most important thing about starting something like this in your classroom, is to make it work for you and your kids.
Because I spent the first 3 weeks of school practicing routines for Daily 5, the students were able to come up with excellent ideas for an anchor chart that describes what our math stations should look like. Many of their ideas were the same or similar to those of Daily 5. If you do not do the Daily 5...well, you need to...and check out Mary's site to get a complete description of how to teach your students the rules and routines of Guided Math Stations.
Don't get me wrong...Just because we know the Daily 5 routines, doesn't mean we didn't practice how to make the stations work in our classroom...but it just didn't take as long.
Here is the rotation chart that I am using in my class. I only have 3 rotations. There are a couple of reasons for only 3 groups. One reason is because of the amount of time that I have and the other is because I have a small math class...20 kids! (Hallelujah!)
This is how my math class is now running.
- Kids come in and practice Rocket Math with a partner (2 minutes or so)
- Switch who is practicing Rocket Math (2 minutes or so)
- Take the Rocket Math 1 minute timed test, check answers, and turn in folders
- Introduce the lesson for the day and write assignments
- Break into groups
Here are the rotations for my stations:
We run these rotations in about 50-60 minutes. I start the 1st rotation with my kids who don't catch on quite as quickly and who need a little more attention. I wrap up the rotations with my top kids and basically check in with them and the work they completed. I also use some of the enrichment activities that I have never seem to have time to do!
I have really enjoyed the math stations...so far. The kids have really enjoyed them as well. I think that what is even better is that I feel like I am getting quality teaching time with ALL of my students. I am able to identify problems as they come up and not after a child has practiced a skill over and over...and gets the answers wrong!
I hope you take the time to check out Guided Math Stations for your classroom. It took a little time to get the games ready to go and figure out the rotation schedule...but after I got that figured out...we were good to go!
Remember to check out this Guided Math blog ...You won't be sorry! It really ROCKS!