10 Ready-to-use Stations (with 1 bonus, customizable station). I use these for the first TWO days, and it gives me plenty to do.
- syllabus scavenger and team discussion
- reverse pictionary
- room tour
- writing sample
- choices worksheet
- word chains group builder
- success discussion
- toothpick challenge
- growth mindset station
- skills check
- classroom preparation station
- bonus questions
I love starting the year with stations because it frees me up to interact with students, observe individuals, and smoothly incorporate procedure training, content, and get-to-know-you activities WITHOUT rambling on and on. The first day is long and tedious enough for students. It takes some up-front preparation, but you will go home much less exhausted at the end of the day or two.
SAMPLE STATION TIMING
--Pick 6 stations to use with 10 minutes each:
Day 1: 10-minute teacher intro, the first 3 stations, and a few minutes to debrief
Day 2: 10 minute rules and expectations talk, the last 3 stations (which means NO new set-up the second day), then a few minutes to debrief.
This is very flexible. Pick however many you want and refer to the Setup Chart. Take advantage of the multiple transitions to practice procedures:
- How do you signal that it’s time to be quiet?
- How much freedom do students have to move around the room?
- When is it the right and wrong time to talk with classmates?
- What is a proper group work noise level?
- Who can’t handle working together? (helpful for creating a successful quarter one seating chart)
- How well do students listen to each other and how do they treat each other? (use opportunities to intervene and positively redirect students)