Wow!!! I can’t even believe all the great comments and emails I received from my last post. You guys are amazing! And . . . because you ask such great questions, I could easily see I need to do a quick (nothing fancy but to the point) follow up post just to answer questions and get you all that template I’ve had so many of you request.
Firstly many of you wanted this template and so I needed to clean it up a little. You know I often tier by colors so I wrote that in my planning template. I wanted it to be more generally for all of you so that it just said tier 1, 2 and so on. Also, I needed to make it so you could edit it. So the math one now looks like this.
It’s a powerpoint document so you can just pull it up and add text boxes to insert your data or if you prefer, print it off and fill it in by hand. It’s not very cutesy but I wanted to make it more functional for you than anything.
Many of you also asked for a ‘literacy station’ one as well. I am moving to Daily Five so I will be implementing a Word Work Station, Listening, Writing, Read To Self, Read to Someone Else and (my own sixth station) Work with Teacher. Because of that, I won’t have a traditional ‘literacy station’ planning sheet but I will have this Word Work Station which is probably close to what you all are looking for.
In case you missed it, I did a similar post, much like the one for math stations using this very planning sheet. You can see it by clicking on the planning sheet below. It will show you all the materials and activities I used.
Click on either of the blank planning pages above to download you template.
Ok so on to some questions, these are from emails I received or comments from my facebook page or on blogger:
How to you introduce your stations? Do you start the first day? What do you say before you let them have at it?
I know it seems a little daunting thinking about letting them just ‘go’ at math stations, but in a way . . . that’s exactly what I do. I start from day one and we begin. The first stations are very much exploratory, low-maintenance and if independent. I do however explain expectations and instructions for each before hand and I only have six going at a time. I model model model how to do the activity right on the floor with everyone on the floor (which I had a document projector or smart board but I don’t so I do it the old fashion way). I usually demonstrate all the things that they shouldn’t do and we talk about the problems there might be if we don’t use the materials correctly. I even demonstrate how to put the items back (I do it wrong the first time and have them tell what I did wrong, make an anchor chart etc.)
So my first six stations would be the easiest to manage. pokey pins, geoboards, playdough, sorting, linking numbers and write the room. Your students are gonna do alot of exploring the first time you give the materials that are new or different to them. Don’t be surprise. Sometimes you just make things exploratory. Geoboards could be without the number cards and just having them getting used to the materials, same with playdough. Don’t get upset if they need to play a bit with new materials. Sometimes, even later in the year when new materials or manipulatives are introduced and depending on the make up of the class, I will often tell them I’m gonna set the timer to ‘play’ and when it goes off it’s time to start working. Kinders are still little. They need to experiment with new materials and that’s ok. They’ll be ready to work if you give them some of this time
If you want to see an EXCELLENT explanation of this, visit Krissy at Mrs. Miner’s Monkey’s by clicking the picture below. She will walk you through how to let your kinders just explore that first bit.
You’ll her post and you’ll grab some freebies while you’re there too.
What do you do with early finishers? You are probably not going to believe this but I really don’t have this problem. Because I tier my stations, things are never too easy, there is always room for exploration and I always have another tier of activities I can give a student if they have mastered the tier that was a bit less challenging. If anything, especially with write the room and I-spy activities, I have students if they can just do it again.
How many students do you have at each station? Are they all the same readiness level? How many stations do they go to each day? How many days a week? And how long do they last?
Based on my last year’s schedule, this is what I did, I have four students at each station (remember, only 6 out of 9 stations are being used at any given time). Of those four students, they may or may not be the same readiness level. Because the materials in the drawers are leveled it doesn’t really matter. If a student’s name is written on yellow that week, they use whatever is in the folder/bag/container that has that color on it. They may be a different color depending on their readiness. More than one student can work on the materials.
I ran math stations three times a week last year, students went to two 15-20 minute stations each day we had stations. That means they visited each station 2 times. This has never been a problem for me. There are always enough activities and materials to keep them busy.
Will you be placing new pictures and explanations up for your new centers as you change them out?
I hadn’t really thought about it until a reader asked me, but I’m sure I can if it’s helpful to you all. Remember, I don’t start school until September 4 th so some of you are a bit ahead. But I’ll try and have a new set of stations out in the next two weeks that you can kind of look at.
In the meantime, remember to use these first weeks to assess your students and their readiness levels so that when you do start tiering, everyone is where they need to be. Assessment and instruction go hand in hand in differentiated instruction . . .
Anymore questions? You know where to find me!
Beki Moore says
Thanks so much! You are the greatest! 🙂
Thanks! This is very helpful.
I’m so much more motivated to do math this year! In the past it has not been my favorite but I’m going to do math stations this year and your posts have been very helpful! Thanks for sharing!!
Adventures of iPads in Kindergarten
Heather Shelton says
This was very helpful! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see more.
Mrs. Shelton’s Kindergarten
Lisa R. says
Thanks for the templates!! This will help me a lot in differentiating my centers! 🙂
Learning Is Something to Treasure
Thanks so much! You have made my week. This has been a personal goal for several years, but I just wasn’t sure how to run it.
Enjoy your last weeks of break.
Same here… you’ve helped me get motivated (instead of scared!) about Math this year! Thank you!
Kathy D. says
I love the way you plan for differentiation, it makes it seem so simple and do-able! :0) Are all the activities that you use ones you make (so they are all essentially the same just different levels) or are they from different sources to meet your need for different levels? I’m wondering about how to give directions for many different activities and levels once the skills get harder.
A Teacher Without a Class says
Thanks. You give me a lot to think about! Thanks for being so dedicated to teaching to many different levels.
Beverly Kerr says
I’m normally not big on writing comments but I felt like I owe you one. I want to thank you for the work you put into this blog and your TpT items. I am a mom of a little boy with Down syndrome. He just started Kindergarten this year and I have been looking for some fun things we can do at home to reinforce what he is doing at school. He is in a general ed classroom for now and I want to do all I can to set him up to succeed. I wish I could afford to get more of you TpT items but I’m thankful for the couple I have gotten for now along with some of your freebies and just your general ideas from you blog. Keep up the GREAT work.
Marsha M. Moffit McGuire says
I have to say, your words have made my day. I’m so glad I can make a difference in your little guys learning. Thanks for going beyond your norm, and reaching out to me.
Beverly Kerr says
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Inzitari says
I have been struggling to do exactly what you write about on this blog! My center organization has been really hard for me. I found your site by chance, and I have to say — it’s been better and easier for me to follow than the many, many books I’ve bought recently! I love all of your helpful ideas! Thanks so much for all that you do!
Fiona Leslie says
I love your wonderful ideas for differentiating your literacy and maths groups and even though we don’t use Daily 5 here in Australia i am going to set up stations and use many of your ideas. I was wondering what you do when you have the guided reading group meet with you if all the members of that group are at different levels?