By Rose Kleiner
Do you have any students who have been stuck on the same course forever and don’t feel like they’re making any progress? Do your students ever complain about finding the curriculum boring? Do you wish you had more tools for reaching out to disengaged students?
One classroom strategy that can help is project stations. We’ve been using these at 1800 Oakdale and it’s been successful so far!
What are project stations?
Project stations are short mini-units (I usually aim for 0.25 units) set up everyday at the same location in the classroom, .
I include a sign so students immediately know what’s going on at the project station that day. When students enter the classroom, I encourage them to check out the project station table to see if it aligns with their interests and credit needs.
What are some examples of work students do at a project station?
Project stations can cover any academic topic you can imagine. I try to incorporate some of the broad categories below:
How does it work logistically?
Pick a few subjects to develop project station assignments for. I vary them day by day with a posted calendar to let students know what to expect.
Project station assignments should be Common Core aligned (you can read the standards here). Students will need the relevant content area added to their schedule in OASIS with a signed addendum and appropriate TABE scores. Check with your principal for specifics on how they’d like to run project station assignments at your site.
The feedback from students has been really positive -- once you convince them to try one, they’re usually eager to try another (or even suggest future topics!).
It’s more interesting for the teacher, too. I know we’ve all had days where we can’t bear the thought of grading another Econ packet. Project stations let you be creative and invite more conversation and collaboration between you and your students. Plus, it’s a chance to share your passions, whatever they may be.
If you’re interested in collaborating on project station ideas, join our Google group! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll sign you up.