One of the things that co-teachers learn is the different models for teaching with two teachers in the same room. One of those models is station teaching. In station teaching both teachers divide the instructional content, and each takes responsibility for planning and teaching part of it. The classroom is divided into various teaching centers, such as the five stations listed above. Each teacher is at particular stations; the other stations are run independently.
Some advantages of this approach are:
* Each teacher has a clear teaching responsibility.
* Students have the benefit of working in small groups.
* Teachers can cover more material in a shorter period of time.
* Fewer discipline problems occur because students are engaged in active, hands-on learning.
* It is possible to separate students who need to work away from each other.
Some disadvantages of this approach are:
* To work effectively, this approach requires a lot of preplanning.
* All materials must be prepared and organized in advance.
* The noise level will be at a maximum.
* All stations must be paced so teaching ends at the same time.
* One or more groups must work independently of the teacher.
With the year coming to a close it's a good time for co-teachers to try a little something different. I watched as co-teachers Elizabeth Conte and Randi Timmons experimented with station teaching this week during the independent reading time of their Readers' Workshop. Each small group worked on reading - some independently and some adult directed. These rotations will continue for the rest of the week. Below are the five centers that they used.
1. Partner Reading. Students are familiar with the "knee-to-knee, shoulder-to-shoulder, book in between" of partner reading.
2. Small Group - In Elizabeth Conte's small group students cleaned out their book bins and changed out their leveled books for the last time to make sure that they have new books to read for the last few days of school.
3. Genre Baskets. Students are expected to choose books from any of the genre baskets to read.
4. Reading Detectives. At this station students are given black and white copies of simple readers. They are to read each page and then go back and underline sight words that are listed at the front of the classroom.
5. Guided Reading. Randi Timmons leads her guided reading group.
What a wonderful way to end the year - trying a little something different!