This Week in the Classroom: Setting Up the Classroom in Stations

Success in the classroom begins before the students even set foot in the workshop.  Yesterday saw the re-opening of school after a long Spring Break.  My “classroom” looked like this:

Let’s take a closer look.  First, a young man has been building and designing a bookshelf over the past quarter.  He’s just getting started sizing stock.  Here’s his station.

His saw is close by, the wood’s chucked in the vise.  I don’t have any other tools near him.  The simplicity of the set-up lowers my student’s distractability, boosts productivity and allows me to watch and correct his technique. 

Another version of the same situation, yet with a more complicated task (building drawer sides for a jewelry box).

That pink polka-dotted box holds the box-making project supplies.  Anything you need: wood, measuring tools, specialized instructions, etc.  The just just grabs the “box project box” and the miter saw.

One more time: simplified supply, “station” work to promote independant producation and problem-solving, and a project box.

By using the project boxes, seperating the classroom into “work stations” and simplifing the evironment and tools to the absolute minimum, I was able to guide three students through three different projects. I’ve done similar things in larger sized classes and would like to hear what works for teachers in different subjects and teaching environments.

Make it safe, keep the rubber side down.

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