Learning to Teach
Day 3: Stations
Differentiation is a very hot topic in schools and education classes across the nation. There are two differing ways of talking about differentiation, the philosophy of differentiation and differentiated instruction. The difference is that the philosophy is that your whole structure of your classroom, lesson plans, unit plans, and everything about teaching is about the fact that everyone learns in many different ways. Differentiated instruction is just modifying instruction to try and meet the different needs in the classroom. I believe to think of differentiation as a philosophy and a way to structure my classroom, not just varied assignment. That is what today was all about.
The lesson plan today was all about the activity using the stations method. The way this lesson was structured was that I had the students take a pre assessment the first day of class. What I was looking for was prior knowledge about the information that pertained to the unit we were going to start to do. I then placed the students by assigning them a color, Green for some knowledge, Red for more knowledge, and Yellow for a lot knowledge. The key to the stations is that the colors do not stay the same for each unit so no certain color is associated with a certain level. I knew for the high schoolers that the stations
Stations help in two ways. For me, my school is on block scheduling. Meaning that each period is 90 minutes long. That's a lot of time in one class. The stations help provide a little movement and mix up the time so the students are not just working on one thing the whole period, and I don't have to worry about planing several activating strategies in on period. The stations are as well and excellent way to differentiate and modify lessons without the students knowing, (this comes in handy for those students with IEP's or 504's). This way you are addressing as many students needs as possible, and also able to hit a lot of the multiple intelligences.
The only thing I might change for the future is writing more detailed directions for the station activities, because I was getting a lot of questions about what things meant. The other thing I plan to change is trying to lecture before the station actives because the stations I felt was to help reinforce the students understanding, it should not be the first thing they should be doing.