Stations Learning / Carousel Workshop / Free Learning Arrangements
- Set up a team of teachers that collaborate in the design of the workshop!
- Think of a packaging strategy and solve your local storage problems!
- Ask the management to fund the materials!
- Inform other faculty members about the materials – don’t just create them for yourself!
- If possible, let some students join the planning team!
- Inform your students about the requirements for your workshop – is there anything they need to bring?
- First of all, think of the context in which the materials should be used: in regular classes or in special learning labs?
- Choose a topic which has a clear connection to current activities in class!
- Make sure that the activities you have planned are suitable for what you want to achieve!
- The language level should be just right – neither too easy nor too challinging.
- The same applies to content. Avoid content that is completely new, extremely complex or abstract!
- Find materials your students find interesting and appealing!
Typical activities include…
- Jig-saw puzzles
- Listening activities and gap-filling
- Memory / Pairs
- Board games
- Flash cards with questions or vocabulary
- Role play
- Computer-based activities
- All the tasks ought to be suitable for the topic you have chosen.
- The workshop should cover a wide range of different activities: reading, writing, grammar, cultural studies, speaking, listening …!
- Include diverse cooperative learning forms such as group work and tandems!
- Your workshop should be appeal to different learner types – include audios, visuals, and interactive designs!
- Offer tasks with various levels of difficulty!
- Your workshop should contain tasks that require different strategies.
- Make sure the number of activities does not exceed your time limit!
- Working time should be allocated in a balanced way – students should not invest too much time on a singular task.
- Especially your weaker students should be able to complete at least some of the tasks.
- Gifted students may want to do extra exercises.
- Students should have access to solutions for all the exercises.
- The explanations you provide should be fairly easy to understand.
- You should create a floor plan for all the activities to provide your students with an overview of all activities at hand.
- Before booking a room, make sure it is large enough. You might need several rooms if your group is too big or if the activities need more space.
- Depending on the activities you have chosen, there should be enough desks and chairs for everybody. One station should be able to host at least two groups.
- All the stations should be labelled clearly and consistently, they should be easily reachable and well arranged!
- Make sure that students with walking impairments can access all the activites!
Route cards should contain
- student’s name
- stations’ numbers
- type of activity: group work, tandem …
- Task completed: yes / no
- Evaluation: Was the station attractive enough?
- Some space for students to personalize their route card
- The instructions poster should contain the basic rules of good conduct!
- Explain how everything works – but keep it short and simple!
- Make sure everyone can read the instructions from a distance!
Typical rules include:
- Get active and work independently!
- If you want to work with a partner, kindly ask if he or she would like to work with you!
- Don't disturb the others while they are at work!
- Don't make any noise, try to whisper!
- Wait patiently when the material is being used by others! If a station is occupied, find something else to work with!
- Complete each job as well as you can!
- Wait your turn when your teacher explains something to someone else!
- Take self-control seriously!
- Help others whenever you have the time or when you are asked for help!
- Put all the materials back in their place!
- To keep all students active, there should be enough stations for everybody!
- Make sure the materials are complete. Remind your students to put them back after completing the activity.
- If students should bring additional materials, they should know about it in advance.
- At each station, there should be enough materials for at least two groups.
- Check again whether all activities can be completed rather quickly.
- There should be a wide range of different activities.
- Task descriptions should be kept short, clear and simple.
- Label all the stations!
- If there is a fixed route that your students have to follow, you might want to add road signs. If they can choose freely, tell them!
- The solutions should be easy to find and clearly labelled.
- Make sure the materials can be used again.
- Inform your students about the learning objectives!
- Explain to your students how the workshop is organized!
- Make suggestions for good management!
- Give short introductions to all stations available!
- If new skills are required, explain them well. Provide examples!
- Explain the code of conduct!
- Announce the final meeting!
While students are working
- You might need an acoustic signal if it gets too noisy!
- Be ready to help whenever problems occur – take notes!
- Use evaluation cards to grade your students’ performance:
- Social conduct
- Working strategies
- Working speed
- Individual Problems
- Collect discussion topics!
- Were the stations attractive enough? Which was the best?
- Were there any stations your students found too difficult?
- What kind of other problems did your students have?
- Then, students should present their own results!
- Finally, collect suggestions for the next workshop!
Time management and organization
- 30 days prior to the workshop: Set up a team to create materials!
- 1 week ahead of time: Meet up with the team to discuss the arrangement!
- Last lesson before the workshop takes place: Inform your students about the requirements!
- 3 days ahead: Book a room!
- Fifteen minutes earlier: Set up the stations! As a student to help!
- 00:00-00:15: opening session
- 00:15 – 01:45: working time
- 01:45 – 02:10: final meeting
- 10 minutes: Collect your materials! Ask two students to rearrange the desks and tidy up the room!
- 5 minutes: Put the materials in a box and store it safely in the lab or wherever you keep learning materials!
- Within a week: Evaluate the workshop with your team!
Resources (in German)
- Angioni, Milena: Stationenlernen Englisch. Kerpen: Kohl-Verlag, 2017 (diverse Themen)
- Bartl, Almuth: Spielend Englisch lernen: Spielerische Übungen, Lernen an Stationen, Freiarbeit. München: Oldenbourg-Schulbuchverl., 2001 (Prögel-Kopiervorlagen;79)
- Bojes, Manfred: Stationenlernen Englisch: Vergangenheitsformen verwenden - Bedingungssätze bilden - Modalverben und ihre Ersatzformen nutzen: 7. Klasse. Hamburg: Persen Verlag, 2018
- Dransmann, Ricarda; Sölter, Svenja: Englisch-Grundwortschatz - Übungen für die Freiarbeit: Kopiervorlagen mit Lösungen zu 8 Themenbereichen der Grundschule [geeignet für die Klassen 3 - 4]. Mülheim an der Ruhr: Verl. an der Ruhr, 2014
- Klein-Landeck, Michael: Fundgrube für die Freiarbeit Englisch: Praxismaterialien zum selbsttätigen Lernen nach Montessori. Donauwörth: Auer, 2008
- Klein-Landeck, Michael: Mit Freiarbeit zu neuer Lernkultur. Berlin: Cornelsen, 2016
- Oldham, Peter: Englisch an Stationen: Spezial: Textarbeit 7 – 8. Donauwörth: Auer, 2012
- Uhlemann-Warzel, Nadine: Lernen an Stationen im Englischunterricht - Around the year. Kempen: BVK, 2018