Saturday, October 27, 2012

Learning Stations

My Kinders have been doing such a great job working in our Learning Stations!  I really think that the time spent "building stamina" was worth it!  This wonderful practice of giving students time to practice proper behavior came from The Daily Five.  We (my teaching partners & I) don't really do a full-fledged version of The Daily Five, but more of a mix.. Our Learning Stations combine a weekly four and one math station.  (Yep, we sneak a little math into our Literacy Block - there is, after all, literacy included in all content areas.)  The four skills we focus on are: Listen to reading (Listening Station - usually not pictured), Writing (we often include some sort of fine motor activity such as cutting or tracing at the beginning of the year), Word Work/Literacy Skills, Reading Skills (including working on skills that lead to becoming a good reader), and finally Math Literacy.  Mrs. S. usually heads up the Reading Station, and I do the Math Station.  I am fortunate to have volunteers on most days - an eighth grader comes in on Tuesday & Thursday, an some moms come in on Wednesday and Friday.  These volunteers help out as needed in the remaining three stations.

Here are some recent Learning Stations:

Sort picture cards by the first sound.  Draw pictures on the record sheet that begin with the letter sounds. 
Sorting Sandwiches.  Sort out "sandwiches" onto letter or number "napkins.  I have found that color-coding materials by simply drawing a line around the cards helps Kinders to keep materials organized.  Each student in this station had his/her own sack lunch to sort out.  Each bag had color-coded pieces, which happily ended up put away in the correct bag.  A modified worksheet from Teacher's Helper (not pictured) was used for a record sheet.

 Playdough letters.  I didn't have time to laminate the cards - so I popped them (two - back to back) into page protectors. 
Shape ID & graphing.  The blue tub is a mushroom container.  We eat lots of mushrooms at my house, and I save the containers.  They make perfect tubs for handing out manipulatives and little pieces for craft projects.  I also give them to my kids when cutting out pieces that need to be glued onto a page (such as the one below).  They can place the pieces into their tubs as they cut.  This really helps to prevent pieces from becoming lost or mixed up with a neighbor's pieces!
After sorting and graphing the shapes, students sorted and glued shapes.  This page from Teacher's Helper also gave them the opportunity to read and spell the names of the shapes.
Word Sort.  The sight words were sorted by the number of letters, and then written onto the record sheet.
Two part station: Cut out and sort pictures by initial sound, and then trace and write letters and words.
Write the room.  Oh my, how the Kinders love to do this!  There is nothing cooler than wearing groovy star glasses (I popped the tinted lenses out) and writing with a sparkly pencil.  In this installment, the kiddos searched for words beginning with P & S. 
Read, Spell, Write!  I wrote sight words and -ap & -am word family words onto laminated fall leaves (use a Sharpie - wipe off with rubbing alcohol).  The kids read, spelled, and wrote the words.

Making 10.  In this Math Station, the Kinders used two colored counters to give the ladybugs various combinations of ten spots.  They then practiced writing number sentences.

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