I have been trying something new for my Daily 5 station rotations this year, so I thought I'd share how it has been going.
Side Note: I have had to ignore the entire foundation of the Daily 5 set up and jump right in because I have to administer the DRA2. So...my students basically got a 1-2 day introduction to each station rather than one week. But we're making it work as best we can.
We have a 90 minute reading block, 60 minutes of which is for small group so my students do three rotations of stations during that time as long as nothing else is going on. When we have assessments, it usually gets cut. Last year, I let my students choose their stations. This had worked find for me in the past with just one class. But, last year I had two classes and it was sort of a mess.
I set it up like above and the kids placed little magnetic tags with their names on them in the boxes of their choice. But 44 students, three tags each, was just a mess.
I still wanted to give my kids some sort of choice this year though and I didn't want to assign them all to a "group" that they stay with. I read this post about bookmarks from 3rd Grade Thoughts and this one from Rulin' the Roost and created these:
I created 25 different bookmarks. (They are cut across and I store them in a little bucket.) One of the blogs recommended numbering the back so that if they go missing, it is easy to know which to replace, so I did that too with a sticker. If you'd like to use the bookmarks, you can download them here.
Since I have to reuse the bookmarks with both my morning and afternoon classes and we only have time for three choices, I just made them with three rotations. I carefully made sure that there were only 4-5 bookmarks with the listen to reading, word work, and work on writing at any given time. I also made sure that every bookmark had read to someone or read to self on it at least once.
This way, I feel like the kids are getting a little bit of choice since they see the options on the bookmark they take, but are still getting a variety. I have my kids leave the bookmark on their desk so they don't get lost. It also helps me make sure that they are in the right place.
The bookmarks match the signs labeling the stations around the room so they know where to go. If you'd like the sigs, you can download them here.
My morning class has handled using the bookmarks beautifully. BUT my afternoon class is another story...they have a lot of problems listening and following directions...they literally kept going to the stations they wanted rather than what the bookmark said. One day we even had issues with "stealing" bookmarks that had the choice they wanted (listen to reading)...so now this group is on a rotation schedule that they follow from my Promethean Board. I have them in groups and change which station they are to go to. Hopefully I don't have to keep it like that all year, but I think I will for the next two weeks while I do DRA.
Have you tried the bookmarks? For those of you with multiple classes, what works for you?