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Archive for the ‘Introducing stations’ Category

In this classroom (filled with big kids and big desks), half the students work with pairs in buddy reading. They read fiction books and talk about characters and character traits. They work together using a graphic organizer to think about characters and their traits (which the teacher modeled in whole group prior to students using this independently).

The other half of the class goes to literacy stations with partners, including poetry, vocabulary, writing, computer, and classroom library.

Half the class does buddy reading using different books.

They use a graphic organizer to discuss and record character traits.

The other half of the class goes to stations with partners. This management board directs them to their station for the day. (Note that this teacher sees 3 classes each day. Each class has cards in a different color. Names from students in the teacher's first class of the day are on green cards, the second class's names are on pink, and the third are on blue.)

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This week I’m working in Lafayette, IN, home of Purdue University and thoughtful, caring teachers. As part of our training, we looked carefully at the drama work station, a station that often strikes fear in the hearts of many educators! I showed a video clilp on how to introduce the drama station in a 1st grade classroom from Launching Literacy Stations. At this station, two children work together to read or retell a familiar book. In the video, we use the book, Hobbledy Clop by Pat Brisson. It’s a cumulative tale with lots of opportunity for children to join in with the repetitive line, hobbledy clop, as well as to participate in making sounds, such as meow and ssssss along with the animal characters in the book.

After viewing the video, teachers worked in table groups to come up with ideas for what makes a book good for retelling at a drama station. See the chart below for our ideas. We also brainstormed ideas for some other good books for retelling, such as the following:

  •  The Napping House
  • Silly Sally
  • There Was an Old Lady (many versions available)
  • Great Big Enormous Turnip (choose a version with the fewest characters)
  • Mean Jean, the Recess Queen
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (and other books in this series)
  • Too Much Noise
  • Click, Clack, Moo
  • Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Little Red Hen (and other folk tales)
  • Aesop fables (for grades 2 and up)
  • nursery rhymes (for PreK and K)

A great resource for books to retell, complete with retelling pieces ready to use is www.kizclub.com. Click on the Stories and Props. Below each book pictured, click on color for a colored version of related props for that book. Click on B & W for a black and white version of the same retelling pieces. Note that some of the stories there have more pieces than you’ll want to use for retelling. Choose wisely.

For more ideas on using a Drama Station in your classroom, see the following chapters in my books: In Literacy Work Stations (for K-2), read chapter 6, Drama Work Station. In Practice with Purpose (for grades 3-6), read chapter 9, Drama Work Station.

If you try the drama station, please send us pictures of your kids at work and your favorite ideas for this station. Send them to d.diller@live.com and we’ll share them with others. Enjoy this fun station with your students!

Teachers brainstorm ideas for drama work stations

Teachers brainstorm ideas for drama work stations

Some more great brainstorming among teachers

Some more great brainstorming among teachers

Our chart on "What Makes a Good Book for Retelling"

Our chart on "What Makes a Good Book for Retelling"

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It is so good to be back in classrooms again! All summer I worked around the U.S. with teachers, but the kids were off for the summer. Last week our schools were open, so I got to go to a few of my favorite rooms to work with the students (and their teachers). I visited a few math classes and introduced our first math station in one classroom. We taught a game to the whole class (very throroughly), had two students show the rest of the class how to play, and then had all kids play with partners as their first math station. More to follow in the next few weeks.

The secret is to introduce each station well, one at a time, to be sure students understand the routine and can work independently. Take something you’ve taught well, and then have students do it with a partner. The teacher isn’t working with small groups. She is walking around the room, checking in and observing students at work.

Two students model how to play the game, Close to 100, for the rest of the class

Two students model how to play the game, Close to 100, for the rest of the class

 

Directions written with the class on how to play this game

Directions written with the class on how to play this game

All students play in pairs around the room

All students play in pairs around the room

Jamila checks in with partners as they work at their first math station

Jamila checks in with partners as they work at their first math station

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