From time to time, I use Station Rotation in my Peace and Justice class.
What is Station Rotation?
In this learning model, groups of students rotate among “learning centers”—self-contained sections of a classroom where they can engage in various collaborative, directed, and/or independent learning activities (EdSurge 2017).
I love using this learning model because Station Rotation:
- Engages more students more closely. Because students are working in small groups with a focused required task, it’s more difficult for them to check out mentally or physically.
- Opens up shared leadership in the classroom. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how each station has brought out genuine excitement and leadership skills in different students. One girl who hardly says anything in class showed genuine engagement when she understood the rules of the station; she eagerly explained them to the group. Additionally, different students stepped up to lead at different stations.
- Engages several learning styles. One station is focused on art creation, one is more geared toward visual learners by analyzing diagrams, and one is kinesthetic where students have to physically categorize terms and concepts by arranging small pieces of paper into bigger categories.
- Provides a fantastic way to review old concepts. I try to make most stations a review. This brings up to speed anyone who was absent; students can teach each other. Plus, students can be quite confident that they know how to participate in a station when they’ve already learned and read about the information at most stations.
What kinds of questions do I consider when building out the stations?
- What is the objective of each station? Will students produce something?
- How much time do students need in each station? How long will they have to transition between stations?
- What materials do they need in each station? How many devices are needed for the online learning stations? Do they need any special programs, apps, or software?
- What will be the cue for them to transition to the next station?
- Will directions be front-loaded, provided in written form at each station, or presented via mini-video tutorial at each station?
Source: Create Small Learning Communities with the Station Rotation Model by Catlin Tucker (2015).
As we are nearing the end of a unit, it’s time to start pulling together various concepts into larger structures of meaning for application on the final assessment of the unit. In groups of 3-7, students spend about 20 minutes at each of the 4 stations described below (click here for the student handout version):
- Students will be able to name and describe social systems
- Students will be able to categorize social systems by how they meet human needs
- Students will be able to compare and contrast the terms equity and equality
- Students will be able to give examples equity and equality within various social systems
C. Bible station: Race to gather Bible passages related to justice. Choose the best one for the theological reflection component of your Anawim Final Analysis.
- Students will be able to define and identify Biblical prophets
- Students will be able to apply Biblical passages in theological reflection to their service-learning work
- Students will be able to distinguish between works of charity and works of justice
- Students will be able to create their own works of charity and works of justice
The boundaries of Station Rotations don’t end here. Have short class periods? Class sizes that are to large? Or want to change up your role in the activities?