I never wanted to be a high school English teacher. In fact, I fought kicking and screaming throughout the teaching credential program. The last thing I wanted to do was discuss symbolism of To Kill a Mockingbird with a bunch of teenagers.
I had always wanted to teach at the college level. A doctorate would take time, and I needed to make money. Needless to say, I reluctantly entered the teaching profession and started teaching ninth graders as soon as I cleared my credential.
I was lucky to find a school that encouraged teachers to be innovative and creative. I quickly learned that teaching English does not have to be a teacher standing in the front of the room preaching about the importance of theme in literature.
I was soon introduced to things like Blended Learning, Station Rotation, and Readers Workshop. Because of these models, my teaching has been transformed.
In order to cater to 35 different learning styles in my classroom, I developed a station rotation model that works for the 48 minute class period. This style of teaching not only allows students to read a variety of different books, but it encourages creativity and discussion to thrive in my classroom. It is organized chaos that works for me and my students.
- Students have the option of what assignment they will complete for that class period. Students walk into the classroom and look at the assignments listed on the board.
- Assignments that are difficult and best completed in class have a star next to them. Students are encouraged to complete those assignments in class. The other assignments can be completed at home.
- Students are required to visit Station 1 sometime throughout the week.
- Students are required to sit next to new people every day.
Station 1– Direct one on one instruction with teacher. This station is set up as a long conference table and the teacher is always sitting up in the front. The teacher sets up the assignment, the students complete a short assignment together on the interactive whiteboard, and then they complete the graded assignment on their own.
Station 2– Individual or Partner work. This station is geared towards getting the students to work together as a group. They usually have to do things like a Google presentation, a podcast, or a film clip.
Station 3– Socratic Seminar Station. This station is geared towards getting the students to talk to each other about a certain idea or concept. They usually have a news article to read and discussion board prompt to respond to. When they are done, the teacher comes to this table and briefly discusses what they learned.
Station 4–Technology Station. This station is geared towards getting the students to learn using various technology and apps. Assignments can include getting onto Twitter, Pinterest, DIIGO, Screen–castify, Instagram, Spreed, etc.
Station 5– Independent Work. This allows the student to work on whatever they need to in that unit. Students work ahead and even begin looking at the unit projects.
Station 6– Teach each other a skill or concept. This station allows students to teach another person a skill or an idea that they need to master.
Station 7– Test taking station. Here, students study for or complete the unit exam.
Station 8– Silent reading and Movie Watching. This is for students who are confident in their abilities to do the assignments and would like to spend the time reading the book or watching an approved movie version of the book.
I have taught with stations ever since I began my teaching career. It works for any reading that is required in any level English class.
Shelby Scoffield teaches at a high school in Mountain House, California. She loves reading, writing, and playing with her nieces and nephews. Connect with Shelby on Twitter at sscoffield1.