After seeing my story highlight about my “Exploration Stations”, Michaela from Especially Education asked me to write a guest blog post on her blog about how I set up this independent work system and how it works.
Click on the picture below to read more about it…
Q & A about this system:
Q: Would this work in my classroom if I am trying to implement student choice?
A: Definitely depends on how much choice you want to give them. My students still have complete choice over their activity BUT they are choosing from the drawer I assigned them to (6-10 activities in each). If you want to give them even more choice their name/picture can be on two drawers and they can choose between the two. My students still need a lot of structure, so putting their picture on a drawer and having them choose from there draw really worked for us.
Q: How many activities are in each drawer for them to choose from?
A: Depending on the size of the containers they are in, 6-10 activities.
Q: How often do you switch which drawer they are choosing from?
A: Every Friday afternoon I switch their drawer for the next week. They stay in the same drawer for one week. We also rotate the activities in the drawers daily, because some of my sneaky little friends always choose the same activity. So when I say rotate I mean we put the activities in the front of the drawer in the back and vice versa.
Q: How many activities do the students do a day?
A: This depends on a lot of things; ability level, the activity, and the day itself. If we are able to do these activities for the full time allotted, my students can complete 2-4 activities. Some activities take longer than others.
Q: How do you differentiate?
A: Having a lot of drawers is key. I am even able to give students their own drawer that is designed with activities specific to them. Some drawers have activities with just 6 pieces in them, where others have 10+. There is a lot of opportunity for differentiation.
Q: How do you keep track of who goes to what drawer?
A: I write it all down on a chart. (see image below)