The Station Approach: How to Teach With Limited Resourcesby: Denise Jaques Jones

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The Station Approach is a method of instruction in which small groups of students move through a series of learning centers, or stations, allowing teachers with limited resources to differentiate instruction by incorporating students’ needs, interests, and learning styles. The Station Approach supports teaching abstract concepts as well as concepts that need a great deal of repetition. Stations can cover a single topic such as density, or several independent topics such as reviewing the scientific instruments. Most importantly, using stations can increase students’ interest, keep them motivated, and eliminate many behavior problems while teaching all those lessons that you know will help students learn and be successful.

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Reviews (5)
  • on Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:03 AM

I love doing stations. This article validated my thinking as to how kids benefit from stations. I did learn that grouping students by needs, to rotate through stations, is another approach. The suggestion for scoring stations is also something that I will consider in the future.

Myetta A  (Homewood, IL)
Myetta A (Homewood, IL)

  • on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:34 PM

This always a great topic to read and recommend to fellow science teachers who may be just starting out. The information takes some of the mystery of how to 'do' science with students within the confines of having access to limited resources. The information is timeless.

Yolanda Smith-Evans  (Houston, TX)
Yolanda Smith-Evans (Houston, TX)

  • on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:05 PM

I needed help better understanding group roles and how to differentiate my instruction. The figures on here were really helpful and now will be posted in my classroom!

Kelly  (Brewster, NY)
Kelly (Brewster, NY)

  • on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:36 PM

The article is a great way for future teachers and teachers alike to understand how using the technique of stations will help students to gain science inquiry with limited resources. The station approach introduced in the article explains how setting up different multiple intelligence based stations around the room can effectively teach students, review material, as well as keep students on task therefore lessening misbehaviors. The article walked you through some examples of stations using visual, auditory, linguistic, and kinesthetic activities to show that stations can be a great asset in the classroom to differentiate instruction for students. As a future teacher I think this article is a great benefit because it introduces the reader to specific strategies for success such as having only one station requiring teacher involvement, emphasizing the importance of sponge activities, as well as emphasizing the importance for clarifying directions and student responsibilities prior to beginning the lesson. Having the tools for success laid out simply for teachers to implement makes the idea of having many different activities going on at once very attainable.

danyelle hanes
danyelle hanes

  • on Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:25 AM

The Station Approach is a form of learning centers used by many elementary teachers who use reading groups. In this case it is used to extend limited resources to more students by allowing them to work in groups and rotate around the different stations. As the authors point out it also allows for application of one concept in many different ways while also allowing for differentiated instruction which is much needed in middle school settings. The article explains how to set up stations for small and large classes. The author provides information about designing stations, rules for student’s engagement, teacher activities and assessment of knowledge by providing an example of each in a unit called ‘Matter In Motion’. This is a practical approach to teaching and more middle school teacher should embrace this technique.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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