Of course, the love of learning can be time consuming. While many of my friends are at the beach or visiting relatives, I am often found at a conference about literacy or participating in a Twitter chat session. These opportunities, although often met with laughter, joking, and even disdain by some of my peers, have opened many doors for me professionally and helped me hone my craft. As I approach each new learning opportunity, I always strive to leave with at least two new tools to add to my teaching kit. Thus, I found myself at the Share Fair 2016 "Literacy for All" on April 2 the weekend of spring break. Fortunately, like most of my other learning opportunities, #Literacy did not disappoint.
Tiffany Dunn and Ricky Smith, Louisville Writing Project participants, rejuvenated my interest in learning stations in the language arts classroom. Of course, with the implementation of PGES, teachers are more and more interested in strategies to engage students. After listening to the thirty minute presentation about student-centered learning, I eagerly began tweaking my plans for the following week. In essence, the notion behind student-centered learning is simple: engage the kids. Below are a few pointers in creating student-centered learning stations. Thanks to Tiffany and Ricky for the outstanding presentation.
1. Use research-based strategies such as Reciprocal Teaching or Read,Retell,Summarize.
2. Be wise in text selection.
3. Create general station rubrics.
4. Play music behind the scenes with 60 bpm.
5. Form students in groups of 3 not 4.
I will keep you posted on how this process goes in my 8th grade reading class. To be honest, I have only introduced this process in one class, so bear with me as I research the ins and outs of it in my room. As of today, though, we love it!
I would love to hear from you. How do you implement student-centered learning in your classroom? What do learning stations look like in your district?