The next time you’re looking for a quick and easy way to introduce a new topic or subject, consider using the Chat Stations teaching strategy! Chat stations require very little effort on your part to set up, with the added bonus of getting your students up and moving as they learn.
What is a “chat station”?
When would I use chat stations?
|What kinds of information do different maps give us?|
I generally use chat stations on the first day of a new topic or theme. In the example to the right, for example, I am introducing maps to my Grade 5 students. I want them to consider that there are a wide variety of maps, each type highlighting different information.
What materials do I need to use Chat Stations?
|How can citizens voice their concerns?|
How large should my groups be?
How long should groups stay at each chat station?
What topics work well with Chat Stations?
|How might grocers use math?|
Art: Posters/prints of different types of art, or different artwork from one artist.
Language: Before beginning a new novel or read-aloud, put a different quotation from the book at each station.
Math: Place a photograph at each station, and ask students to discuss how math might be involved in that image. For example, pictures of the fruit in a grocery store, a restaurant menu, or a bridge all have rich potential to help students consider how math is used in the world around them.
Science: At the beginning of a unit on space, place a true/false sentence at each station and have groups come to a consensus about their answer.
- Social Studies: Before starting a government unit, place pictures of important people, buildings, and symbols at stations, and ask students to identify the image AND reflect on its importance to the smooth running of the country (or state/province/municipality).
|What math can you see in this photograph?|
What happens after students finish rotating through all of the centres?
Can I assess this activity?
Where can I get images to use with Chat Stations?
I find images everywhere: newspapers, flyers, the internet, on packaging…there are endless possibilities!
How can I get started?
If you’d like to try some “ready-to-go” mapping and government Chat Stations, check out the stations in my TPT store: