Strategy

Co-Teaching Stations

Learning Centers, Teaching Centers

UDL 3.3 UDL 5.3

Co-Teaching Stations is a model where two teachers simultaneously conduct different lessons or activities related to the same content at stations or learning centers. Teachers work together to pre-plan teacher-led stations where new content can be introduced to groups, as well as independent stations where students can engage in reinforcement activities. To enable smooth transitions during rotations, all stations are paced so that teaching ends at the same time and independent work is rigorous and sustainable. Co-Teaching Stations should not be used for intervention or re-teaching to small groups. Instead, both teachers are actively introducing and delivering new content to each group. Co-Teaching Stations are an efficient use of time that allows students to experience repeated exposure to content and enables teachers to deliver targeted, small group instruction.

Implementation Tips

Planning Stations
Pick a content area or skill to focus on during Co-Teaching Stations and decide if students will be arranged in cooperative groups or based on ability level. Teachers can then determine how many stations to implement (e.g., 3-5) by considering the overall time available and how much time groups need at each station, including transitions. Since student stamina grows with experience, consider choosing stations with a shorter duration when planning for younger students.
Ensuring Easy Rotations
Create an [[http://www.ourclassweb.com/images/pictures/centers/centers_math_center.jpg|interactive chart]] listing station names, locations and groups (e.g., individual student names, group color, shape, etc.). Use this chart to introduce where groups will be starting and the order of rotations. Refer to the chart during transitions to remind students where to go next and to provide visual support for students. Rotations should follow a logical order that minimizes movement in order to prevent confusion and create a “flow” to the transition.
Pre-Teaching Transitions
Allow time for students to practice transitioning from one station area to the next before implementing Co-Teaching Stations. In their assigned groups, students can practice the rotation sequence while maintaining proper behavior (e.g., using inside voices, keeping safe bodies, staying focused). Teachers can use this transition practice to introduce additional cues and signals that can be used to help students anticipate station rotations (e.g., bell, light switch, clapping, timer).
Teacher-Led Stations
Assign a teacher to lead the station(s) that will require the most support (e.g., teaching a new concept, completing challenging tasks or multi-step processes). Having a teacher manage this station helps to prevent student confusion and discipline problems, ensuring a meaningful learning experience.
Independent Stations/Task Cards
Choose content and activities that reinforce concepts students have already learned and can be completed by students independently. Teachers can create task cards to describe guidelines and expectations for work at independent stations (i.e., stations without a teacher leader). With students actively engaged and self-monitoring in independent stations, teachers can focus on small group instruction and conferencing uninterrupted.
Transition Warning
Offer a warning prior to having students change stations. Providing a 1-2 minute warning can alleviate stress for students who have difficulty with transitions by giving them time to prepare. This also gives students a time frame for finishing tasks and reorganizing the station for the incoming group.
Station Materials
Provide the materials needed for completing activities at each station’s location. For example, if students will need crayons when they get to Station 2, instead of asking students to bring crayons from their desk, provide a large container of crayons at the Station 2 table. Minimizing the materials that students have to carry with them between stations ensures smooth transitions and productive work time.

Examples

Introducing New Content
As an alternative to presenting a lecture-based lesson, kindergarten teachers can implement the following word study stations: 1. Speed Sorts, 2. Sightless Sorts, 3. Sentence Building, and 4. New Concept. One teacher can lead the station focused on teaching the new word study concept (e.g., r-influenced vowel patterns), while the other manages the Speed Sort Station since students may need support using of timers.
Improving Skills
To provide increased opportunities for students to practice a new skill during a science class, teachers can plan stations where students form hypotheses based on prior knowledge and observations. Groups can examine an object at each station to determine if it is buoyant, magnetic, and/or conducts electricity. The teachers can work with students at different stations to provide additional support and ask guiding questions to help students make more thoughtful observations and hypotheses.
Collaborative Research
To deepen students’ understanding of the American Revolution teachers can create five stations with different resources (e.g., nonfiction text, artifacts, statistics, images, diary entry). At the beginning of class, students complete the “K” section of a KWL chart (i.e., What do you already know about the Revolution?). At each station, students can discuss the resources provided and add information to their chart while the teachers can provide support at the stations that have most challenging resources to interpret. After all rotations have been completed, students can share any new information that stood out to them and remaining questions they have.

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