Okay, so it's midyear and your students are slowly but surely losing grip on their station expectations. You, as their teacher, are losing your mind because you “know you've taught them better than that”.
So, what do you do? It's easy… re-establish your station expectations. I know that midyear you have a lot of pressure on you to teach your standards and increase reading levels. But I also know that re-establishing routines and procedures is just as important midyear as it is at the beginning of the year.
Today I'm going to share with you a few key things to cover to help you re-establish your expectations for your literacy stations:
- How to Work Collaboratively
- What to Do If You Need Help
- What to Do if You Finish Early
How to Work Collaboratively
This our school's way of saying that students are able to work together, have discussions and share while in a classroom setting.
I usually cover this on our first day back from the break. We draw a very quick anchor chart. I simply write the title and have students brainstorm ideas and we create the anchor chart together.
Want a little more buy in? Tell students this is their stations contract and let each student sign the bottom with a smelly marker! Then you can always go back and say “remember, you made a promise to work well with others during your station time”.
What If I Need Help?
One of the biggest reasons students interrupt my guided reading group is because they need help with something. I like to remind my students that the reason they are completing stations independently is to allow me to work with a small group of students. So, I need them to be able to try and solve their problems own their own first.
Like many teachers, I use the “Ask 3 Before Me” rule. Students must ask three people, and they still have not solved their problem then they have permission to interrupt. I've also seen teachers do really cool things with the touch lights where students cannot interrupt when the light is on.
One thing you also need to remind students of: What Do I Do if Need to Go to the Bathroom? I have two bathroom passes (one for boys and one for girls). Students place the pass on their desk and when I look up and try to find them, I can look on their desk and I automatically know where they are.
What If I'm Done?
You know that one kid…. that one kid that zooms through everything and emphatically yells “I'm done”. Well, that kid seems to multiply as the year goes on. It's as infectious as glitter. So, I like to provide my students with SEVERAL options at every station.
For example, beside my pocket chart station is a stack of word solving puzzles for them to complete if they finish early. Anytime I have a game, I let students pair up and do it again together.
Another easy idea is to have a bucket of books at that station that students can look through if they finish their station activity early.
Want to Know More?
Check out this free resource where I explain my four secrets to a successful Literacy classroom!