I love to use stations in class. They work really well, because they give students the opportunity to pick and choose what they want to practice.
I like to use “pick three” activities before tests as a way to review and cap off the chapter. I tell my students to think about the topics they struggle with and go to those stations, not the ones they are experts at.
Here’s how I do stations:
1. “Pick Three” sheet: I hand out a sheet to each student that lists the stations that are around the room. Most students will star the ones that they want to visit before they move around the room. Here’s a basic template: tic tac toe–stations template
2. Put stations around the room: I pick stations by topic and/or skill. Sometimes the stations are chosen based on the topics we have gone over, while other times I focus on skills, like listening, reading, and speaking. This past lesson I focused on topics.
3. Stamps: Every time a student finishes a station, they check their answers with a key near my desk, then come see me for a stamp. Before I stamp their paper, I have a short conversation with them to see how that station went. I might ask, “How did you do?” or “What was hardest/easiest for you?” This way I can get an idea of how everyone is doing and how each student is doing.
4. Above and beyond: Sometimes as an incentive for getting at least three stations completed, I will give them extra credit when they complete more stations. If getting three stations completed is worth 15 points, then I might give them an extra point in completing 7 or 8 stations.
I’m always amazed at how great my eighth graders work independently during this activity. It’s amazing!
The best part about stations is that it works with any topic.