BLC Update

November 8, 2013

Jaye’s Top 10 List Effective Station Rotation and Cooperative Learning Tips

Number 10-Practice makes perfect!

Practice station rotation routines. If something doesn’t work, change it. But don’t give up!

Number 9-Give clear directions for rotations.

Make sure each student knows how the rotations work, before moving to the stations. Post the directions for rotations somewhere: on the SmartBoard, on paper, on a poster, etc... So that even if a student wasn’t paying attention (Gasp!) or forgets (Moan!), there is somewhere he or she can look for the directions.

Number 8-Begin with very structured and short activities.

Build up to longer and/or less structured activities. This prevents chaos! You don’t want your classroom to look like Wal-Mart at midnight on Black Friday!

Number 7-Set clear time limits and expectations for work.

Use a digital stopwatch on your whiteboard, a kitchen timer, etc. Let students know how long they have to complete each task. Let them know if you expect it to be completed at the end of the time period.

Make each activity take about the same amount of time. Your rotations will run much more smoothly if each rotation lasts the same amount of time.

Number 6-Have contingency plans.

What to do if the internet is down or SSLLOOOOWW.

Who to ask if they have questions.

What to do if their computer needs recharged

Extensions for fast finishers.

Keep a laminated folder for each activity with these items.

You’ll never know what to do in an emergency if you don’t plan!

Number 5-Provide space for your groups and plan for it before the students arrive.

It can be as simple as moving 4-6 desks together or, if your room is crowded, move the activities or stations to the students. We demonstrated this at the last ERPD; groups stay in one place and the activities move around the groups.

Number 4-Give explicit, written directions and clear academic outcomes for each activity.

Go over the directions orally before beginning rotations AND have written directions at each station/activity. Make sure the students know what to do.


Number 3-Every student has a role in a cooperative group activity.

Each student has a specific role that provides everyone an opportunity to learn. Define each role so that each student contributes, not just 1 or 2 motivated learners.

Number 2-Use station rotations/cooperative learning for practice, to reinforce concepts, or as a review.

Don’t introduce new material that hasn’t been covered yet. It can be confusing and lead to more interruptions when working with a small group.

Number 1-Spend time to “debrief” with your students.

This is valuable info to use when planning your next activities.

Ask them what worked and what didn’t and if they have suggestions.

This can be written or oral, but it doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Plus/Delta anyone?

Reep's Website's-Blended Learning Resources (Collection of free presentations in powerpoint format) (Search already made jeopardy games in any subject imaginable or actually make your own) (Has over 2000 high quality lessons by top teachers all aligned to common core state standards- Language Arts and Math only) (Webquests on all subjects in grades 3-7) **Sometimes the links on this page work and sometimes they don't.*** (7th grade social studies webquests

Five Learning Questions

Let me know if you have any questions.