I LOVE workstations and can hardly wait to start. I have been teaching enough years and have played with a few different 'gradual release' models and have found one that really works!
We start by building stamina.
Iuse these number cards to help build my students’ stamina for independentwork. Building their stamina forindependent work is what allows me to introduce workstations so early in theyear. I have found that if I build my students’ stamina up, workstations aremore successful all throughout the year.I place the cards in orderon a shelf – anywhere visible to all students. We talk about what it means to build stamina and why we are buildingstamina. I explain that our goal is tobe able to work independently for 10 minutes. We then discuss what it means to work independently. It has even been effective for me to modelwhat IS independent and what IS NOT. Thekiddos like to get some sort of reward when they make it to ten minutes – thispast year, they wanted popsicles.
I explain how we will start with one minute and if they can work independentlyfor one minute, we will take down the “1” and will work towards the “2” thenext day. I also explain that if wecannot achieve the “2” after two attempts, we will bring the “1” back up andtry it again.
Thisis the same if we are on the “8” – if we cannot achieve independent work foreight minutes in two attempts, we bring back the “7” card and work towardsthat. We are continually discussing whatstamina is and what it means to work independently. I ask the kiddos to share the goal with meeach day before we work to earn the next card.
Oh man, if you read all of that you deserve a copy of these cards! FREE!
I made two sets - a colored set and a black and white set. I like to use bright paper, but I made the colored set just for you!
We are working towards 6 minutes tomorrow. Wish us luck! I cannot wait to start workstations - stay tuned!