Monday, February 7, 2011

What's Inside the Writing Work Station?

Here are some of the items that I have in the Writing Work Station.

Stencils, Word Tiles, Pictionary, Sentence Starters

I also keep lined paper handy, as well as blank cards, stapled blank books, paper for writing lists, word walls, and a Writer's Helper binder. The binder has different pages to help the children when they are writing including: word walls, words to start sentences with, and other helpful pages. I will have to share that idea also later.

I had a request for copies of the papers I have hanging on my writing station. So here they are:

Million Dollar Words (I found this on the web. It is not my creation.)
Winter Word Wall (I created word walls for the different seasons and holidays.)

Writing Work Station Container

This is the Writing Work Station. I like to use Rubbermaid containers that I purchased at Lowe's. They had the best prices.  I laminate my station signs and hang them with 3M hooks.  

Writing Work Station Picture

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Organization and Storage

You will see numbers on every work station goal sheet. I just number them as I make them. I use the numbers on a chart so i can check off which goal sheets the students have completed. This is just how I chose to organize my goal sheets.  

All of the materials for each work station are kept in large Rubbermaid containers.  I will take pictures when I have a chance.  At the beginning of the school year, the containers just had a few things. By the end of the year, there will be tons of activities at each station. I use 3M hooks to hang  work station signs off of each container. I also hang other activities that the children can do at that station when the goal has been completed.

All of my work station signs and papers in each station are laminated.  They will last for years. I bought my laminator for about $25 at WalMart 3 years ago and it works great! I get my laminating pouches at Sam's Club. They cost $20 for 200 pouches. This is much cheaper than buying small packages of pouches. 

Valentine's Day Work Station Goal Sheet

My coworkers and I dug through our Valentine's Day files and choose some activities that I put together for us to use at our work stations. I was making 2-sided stapled packets for my students. My co-worker had a great idea to copy the pages onto 11x17 paper, then fold the paper in half.  Sometimes we have an insert for some of the activities that we staple inside.  I like to use the 11x17 paper the best. The following activities were gathered from old worksheets, online, and created by me.  For the art project work station, the children are to make a valentine for someone special.  I like to use the seasonal mini book reproducibles for the classroom library work station.  They are easy for the children to put together and read. 

Work Stations

Currently I have 9 work stations that my class uses daily.  They are: Big Book, Poetry, Overhead, Math, Writing, Classroom Library, ABC/Word Work, Puzzle & Game, and Art Project Work Station. 

During our half hour of RTII (Response to Instruction and Intervention) time, some of the children get small group intensive practice on reading/math skills, while others are working on their work station goals. I have created a variety of themed work station goal sheets to keep the students accountable for the work they are doing at the different work stations.

I want the children to be enriched while reinforcing skills previously learned. I have found the work stations to be a great addition to my daily schedule.  Before I would have to give the children many worksheets and workbook pages to complete while I worked with individual students or small groups.  By the time I would explain all of the directions to the children and start to work with a small group, the children, who were at their desks, already forgot all of the directions and would be coming up to me. I would get nothing done and would have what seemed like thousands of papers to check in the evening.

The work station goal sheets are simple and quick to check.  They children do not even realize that they are doing "real" work. They enjoy using clipboards and working at different work stations spread out around the room.

Some of the activities on the goal sheets were created by me, found online, or borrowed from others. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Work Stations

For the past three years I have been trying to implement centers/stations so my students can do more meaningful independent activities while I am working with students who need extra help.  I do not have an aide to help me, so I have to figure out a solution on my own.  This has been a difficult task that I have been working on diligently. After reading Debbie Diller's book Literacy Work Stations, I was able to create work stations that have been a success in my classroom.   

Just starting...

My 7 year old son told me that I should start a blog.  I like to create and share things for my class, so I guess I will giving blogging a try. We shall see how this goes.  Enjoy!