One of the benefits of the Station Rotation Model is how easy it is to design activities at different levels to meet the diverse needs of a group of students. I spend a lot of time tailoring activities to support students who need additional scaffolds, but it’s important to challenge the strong students in our classrooms as well.
One strategy I use to capitalize on my students’ strengths is to have them design and lead stations. I have some students who are extremely strong readers or gifted writers and other students who are incredibly tech savvy. These students are valuable resources in the class community, so I will ask them to design and run a station to share their expertise with their peers. I try not to overburden my strong students, but I do want to challenge them to think about how they can present concepts and engage their peers to help support the class in developing particular skills.
Even though some of my students have strong skills, they do not necessarily know how to design a dynamic lesson or activity, so I’ve created the template above to support them as they think about how to construct their lessons.
Students have a week to lesson plan and during that time, we collaborate on their Station Rotation Lesson Design document. This gives me a chance to provide them with support and feedback as well as connect them with resources that will help them to improve their lessons.
Letting strong students lead the learning and challenging them to design lessons that are interesting, engaging, and effective is a fantastic way to empower them. I’m consistently impressed by the creativity and commitment my students put into these lessons. They know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a poorly designed lesson, and they want their lessons to be fun for their peers!
They do need support during the design process, which is why having a template is helpful. The lesson design document can then be shared with the students moving through the station and serve as a resource during the station. This creates a clear path for the learning.