I'm posting a file with my favorite timers for Station Rotations, as well as a mini-tutorial video on how I use them.
I love these timers for blended experiences and have relied on them for years. They transform a potentially chaotic classroom moment into a seamless transition, they empower learners to act autonomously without my direction, they keep us in flow, and they contribute to a positive, vibrant culture. If you choose the right music, they can also sprinkle 60 seconds of humor into each learning cycle — the best energy booster!
Station Rotations have been a staple of blended learning, particularly at the elementary school level, since at least 1998, when Scholastic's READ 180 program debuted. It's not too hard to implement basic Station Rotation models, and as such, they are a common entry point for schools that want to become more student centered. They're like the gateway drug for moving past the factory model.
Station Rotations offer learners the opportunity to meet in smaller, more tailored groups with their teacher rather than be locked into whole-class instruction. They can promote transfer, as teachers design stations that reinforce the learning objectives from several different angles. They include an online station, which gives learners whatever benefits the software provides, such as adaptation to individual skill level, control of pace, and the motivating benefits of gameplay.
Using music and chimes, as these timers do, is only one way to orchestrate Station Rotation transitions. What other techniques do you use? Scroll past the "Recent Posts" below and you'll find a space to leave your comments — I'd love to hear your ideas! Let's work together to pioneer ways to make school more learner-driven, engaging, and beautiful. The best methods have yet to be imagined.