As my regular readers know, I have become a serious fan of station-based learning and playlists in the last three years.  Faced with the always present issue of time and needing to review/refresh/reinforce some concepts related to informational writing and informational texts prior to our mandated quarterly benchmark assessment, I decided to put a fresh spin on station work to let students have choice and personalize the learning experience at THEIR point of need.

Initially I did have two activities that were hard copy or offline, but a spike in Covid cases made me rethink those options after I had created the learning “passport”; I ended up digitizing all activities in the interest of safety so that students were not moving or having to turn in paper copies of work (or try and upload to Canvas…..easy to do with a phone but not as easy with a Chromebook in terms of getting a clear picture of work).

Here is the digital learning hub for the stations I embedded in my Canvas course and the learning passport (which I had printed prior to changing everything to digital):

Students had the option of choosing any two activities they felt addressed skills they wanted to review and refresh.  Students could choose to do a third activity for bonus points.    Choices included:

  • Choice 1—Name That Informational Text Structure Practice: (this activity was an intermediate extension of our study of informational text structures from previous weeks)
  • Choice 2—Informational Essay Structure Task Card Walk: (I had originally planned for this to be an active learning experience, but I moved it to a virtual space with Google Forms).
  • Choice 3–Analyzing Tone and Purpose:  after reading an article assigned in Actively Learn and completing the comprehension questions, students used this graphic organizer to analyze the tone of a passage in the article.  You can purchase the templates (and modify!) here.
  • Choice 4 —Analyzing Tone and Purpose with Close Reading | A Digital Brochure Activity:  like the previous activity, students completed an assigned article and learning activities in Actively Learn; they then completed this digital brochure through the Teachers Pay Teacher platform.  This is the first time I’ve used the TPT Digital Learning platform, and I found it easy to use.
  • Choice 5—Comparing Informational Text Structures:  this was an extended and more challenging extension of our study of informational text structures from previous weeks.  I highly recommend this package from Teachers Pay Teachers.
  • Choice 6:  Practice Writing a Benchmark Essay:  using one of the templates from this package, students could use the digital activity to practice writing an essay similar to our benchmark essay.  I modified it by using a released prompt from the Georgia Milestones assessment for 8th ELA.

Choices 1 and 2 were completed through Google Forms; Choices 3, 5, and 6 were Google Classroom assignments I integrated into Canvas.  Choice 4 was completed and submitted through the Teachers Pay Teachers Digital Learning Platform.  This is a great alternative if you don’t have a district LMS or just want to give students a different learning space from the regular LMS.

How do you personalize learning with stations and playlists?

Many thanks to Write On with Miss G for providing these wonderful virtual learning station templates through Teachers Pay Teachers!