Monday, November 23, 2015

Learning Art Through Stations

What are these gems for? Let me tell you!

I started running a choice-ish classroom this year.  Due to the schedule I have this year, I'm running K's, 1st and 2nd grade using stations.  They come into the class and have a mini lesson on the concept of the day.  As you can see from the above and below images, I set up stations according to color of tables.  Most of the time I show video's of the station options of the day. The stations relate to one of the concepts learned in each grade.  I try for two stations on each concept.   As you can see... I have simplified the stations (comparing the 1st and 2nd photo of stations).  Above I was showing all of the supplies and examples. It was getting a little too cluttered so I simplified it as you see below. 

That tells them what the stations are going to be but I have to set them up.  For the first several weeks of this, I would take my lunch and set up the stations.  It was a lot... I asked myself why am I doing this, I should train the kids to do this.  My goal is for my class to be able to run with, or without me there. So I set up a cart as you see below. 

Each tray has the supplies for each station.  These trays coordinate with the table colors. Now I check the cart once a day to see if it has the correct supplies.  One place to check, one place to clean up.  It's working out nicely.  I store it in my kiln room... pull it out before my first choice class and wall'la! That's all I have to do...  Not bad at all.

So now to get the tables set up.  I have taught the kids how to prepare a station.  How to get it presented and set up.  Set all the materials out and make it look inviting. I hand out these gems from the gem jar.  You guessed it they coordinate with a color table and therefore the holder of the gem, sets up that station. Kids are so excited to get a gem.  They put the gem back in the gem jar when finished and join the group in play and discovery.

Everyone helps with clean up, but the gem holders are asked to return to their stations to make sure it's ready to go back onto the cart. This system has taken several weeks to get smooth and I expect to see more growth in this process as the weeks continue.  


  1. Love the gem idea!
    Watched your youtube videos. What have you found to be the best way to make your video?

  2. Did your stations stay the same for the rest of the year, or for several weeks? Also, were they the same for all grades (I feel like it says something above about it but can't figure it out)?
    - a former AOE student of yours.

    1. Thanks for asking Kirsten... I would have these up for a digital week and it was on a cart so it was only for some grades. The older grader were learning different. I have change my practice a bit now. When I do a station, it's sometimes for a couple of weeks. It's choice based, but not TAB... So students don't always have the same choices. I think that's what TAB does well... a student can visit the same station every week to improve on it. I feel I have the kids so little that I want them to explore as much as they can, so I change things up often. I hope this helps. Email me if you have more questions.