I've been using Workstations since I started teaching. It's a great way to: get children actively engaged in learning since the activities are all hands on; have students learn to cooperate with their peers; work at their own level and pace; explore and be creative; have students work on Standard's Based activites while playing. The first book I bought on Workstations is still one of my favorites:
Another Favorite Book:
Workstation Boards and Pocket Chart
My Current "Workstation Board" has cards that I made using pictures of centers that we have in our classroom and instead of writing out students' names I had them draw their clothes on boy and girl shapes from Oriental Trading. Later, we added their school picture and placed them inside the plastic boy or girl shape (they're magnetic).
These are workstation Boards/Pocket charts I have used (I still use the one on the right)
Our Kindergarten Workstations
Ask your child which Worksation he/she visited today, or which is his/her favorite.
Writing Workstation, An All Time Favorite
We have markers, pencils, colored pencils, Flip Books from Lakeshore, paper- colored, blank, lined, construction paper, flashcards, Alphabet Cards, color word cards, pointers, scissors, pinking sheers, stencils, notepads, seasonal pictures, seasonal word cards... Students can create books, birthday cards, thank you cards, flashcards, etc.
Write Around the Room
Students get a clipboard and their choice of a pencil, pen, marker, or colored pencil to write environmental print (words) in our classroom. In the past students have: made lists, diagrams, made calendars, written the days of the week and/or months of the year, and have conducted surveys. Students can get very creative!
Names: Students practice writing their Classroom Family Members' names; they can write a sentence about their friend; compare their names which is shorter longer, which letters do they both have in their names, etc.
White Boards : Probably one of my students favorite Workstation. They are also allowed to use white board to write and draw when they have finished all the activities at their regular Language Arts and Math Centers.
Chalk Boards: At the beginning of the year I found really nice chalk boards at our local Dollar Tree. Each Chalk Board came with a small box of chalks and an sponge eraser.
Lakeshore Ready Made Lunch Box Centers: Grab and Write titles include "Names" (above), "Simple Words," "Sight Words," and "Colors and Numbers." Inside each box students can find a flip book, markers, and write and whipe cards. Students are also welcome to use regular paper if they want to make something to take home.
ABC Pocket Chart: students sing their ABC's while pointing to the letters on the pockets, students then choose a letter they would like to work with place it on the pocket chart together with pictures of things that begin with that letter, the last thing students can do at this center is write the letter in their "Book" and draw pictures of the things that begin with that letter. Some students also choose to write the words which are written on the back.
ABC Listening Center from Lakeshore: Ready made center that includes audio tapes for each letter of the Alphabet and a set of 8 Workmats (per letter) to complete the activities on the audio tape. Alpahbet books, magnetic letters, cookie sheets, Alphabet Flashcards, and our Alphamat are also included to be used after listening to the tape.
Other ABC Workstations Include: Puzzles; Take it to Your Seat and File Folder Games; Letters: Magnetic, Foam, Sponge, Plastic Tiles, Paper Tiles for students to- sort, put in ABC order, etc.; Posters, Alphamats
Letter of the Week Pocket Chart: Has Lakeshore and Hampton Brown Picture/Word Cards. Students use the cards throughout the day to make lists and complete little books.
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics: studens can work with a partner they sing the ABC's and then choose one letter at a time to review the letter name and sound.
Manipulatives Available for students to use: pattern blocks, farm animals, Teddy Bear Counters, Fish, Rainbow Tiles, bats, linker cubes, Colorful Caps, Vehicles, Colorful Chips...
Students are encouraged to use the manipulatives to: sort, pattern, make designs, count, graph, measure, weigh, etc.
Math Their Way- Junk Boxes, Work Jobs, Number Writing, Number Lines, Pattern Cards, Geoboard Cards
Pattern Block Cards, blocks an stickers so students can create their own Pattern Block Designs. This activity is quickly becoming a favorite!
Lakeshore Ready Made Math Centers for patterning, sorting, graphing, counting, shapes, etc. (1 of 8 pictured here)
Classroom Library: Students can cuddle up with one of our bears or other stuffed friends or invite Q-Bear to listen to them read. Many books are available for students to read at the Classroom Library. I also have BIG books here for students to use as well as books at the reading level of students (decodable books). Students can wear glasses or use a whisper phone when reading.
Read Around the Room: students choose a pair of reading glasses and their favorite pointer, they walk around the room reading any of the Environmental Print in our room.
Big Books: Students are more than welcome to choose to read a BIG book when it's their turn to go to the Classroom Library.
Poetry and Nursery Rhymes: Poetry and Nursery Rhymes are stored on a pocket chart stand, they hang from skirt hangers. Students choose their favorite Poem or Rhyme and sing it /read it with their partner. They can draw a picture copy the poem/rhyme, look for STAR words...
We LOVE Making Lists:
Kindergarten Students LOVE making lists, In class we have several workstations that aide in making lists. Each Workstation has a book with a list of the items next to the item's picture and another book with pages where they can write their wish list, restaurant order, etc... Here are a few of the Workstations in our class where we can make lists...