Sunday, January 1, 2012

Struggling with Stations is Over/Now Accountability

I had struggled with implementing stations for my first graders,  because of my learning curve. Coming from 4th fourth to first was a huge learning curve. I implemented Daily 5 before winter break, and my students loved, loved, loved working in stations.  However, my admin was concerned with accountability. So, I am currently creating some strategy sheets for each rotation. Which I'll post soon. If you have any suggestions please let me know.


  1. Good for you, getting those lit centers up and going! My suggestions for accountability:

    -Keep the written component simple. You don't want the written portion to become so burdensome for the little ones that they shy away from the actual activity, which is usually where the bulk of the learning is!

    -Be sure it doesn't turn into "just another worksheet". Literacy centers (stations) honor the research that shows that young children learn best through hands-on activities.

    - Help your students learn to organize their work. You might want to give each child a folder to keep their center responses in: one side for complete, the other for works-in-progress.

    -Many teachers give their students a rubric/grid to help them keep track of what they have done and what they still need to do. It holds them accountable while still giving them choice. Try looking on for some of these... if I'm not mistaken, Yvonne Dixon has products that include some rubrics at first grade level. You can do a search for her products there.

    - Do you have other teachers at your level that might have some center accountability ideas to share? If not, try to share the value of centers with them - sharing will lighten the burden for all of you, and give all of your students more opportunities for learning and fun!!

    - Simple response ideas to begin with:
    Listening Center: Have them complete a sheet that includes the title of the book and a sentence & picture (favorite part, most exciting part, favorite character,etc.)
    Working with Words: List 10 words you made today and underline the vowels in each word.

    I'm sure you already have many other great ideas!
    Have a happy new year!
    Linda Nelson

  2. Hi, Linda, Happy New Year to you. I am so thankful for finding teacher blogs, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you about not creating another worksheet. It has taken me a few months to get the swing of first grade, and I believe this blog will help me to implement activities to help my first graders leave on or above grade level. Unfortunately, my partner is new to first grade too, and just returned late Oct from maternity leave, so she too is trying to get the swing of this. I have the low class, mostly beginner readers, so my goal is to help them to become great readers by reaching out to other educators and trying and sharing ideas. Thanks, so much.

  3. I'm getting ready to jump into the Daily 5. as it is now, I do a modified versiion but I want to get more onboard. I wish you luck!

    I think that once your principal sees it in action, you'll feel less pressure. I use a lot of read/write the rooms so while they are roaming, they do have the words written down in a booklet. Yes, a worksheet but involves moving about as well. Sometimes, you need the hard proof of what they've done. I use poetry binders and author booklets a lot too. (Some of the author booklet pages are simple like Today I retold Piggie and Elephant to _____. Just so there's a record of them retelling, reading aloud, etc. So, work is compiled and then sent home. When they read with partners (like the binders) I have them fill out a SIMPLE sheet like "Today I read to ___during reading. I read ___________ to my partner. Easy but yet effective record keeping. Good luck!

  4. Lisa, I love the author booklets, and just simple recording sheets. I agree that once she sees them recording she'll feel more comfortable. When she comes in, which is regularly she always asked them (students) What are you learning and Why are you learning it. So to help with that I am going to add add I can statements to all of my recording sheets. Thanks for sharing :)