My classes just finished day 3 of working on the Absolute Value Equation stations. Tomorrow will be the last day. Here are a few tidbits for you:
Let them decide how to use their time (with limits):
On day 1 I saw a 'reliable' student doing work for another class. I didn't say anything, I wanted to see if she was going to work double the next day. Ummm, no. She came into class and started doing work again for another class. I pulled her aside and explained that I was getting worried, I wanted to know her plan to completing the work. Today (day 3) I received three of the assignments from her.
Another student completed one of the assignments and then got her crocheting out (I love crocheting). Again I let this go, but to my surprise, she came in the next day and kept working. She is doing well with this arrangement and seems to be relish in the freedom.
Don't Forget to Give Score Feedback:
As the students are turning in their work, I am grading it. At first I wasn't going to put their scores in the grade book because some parents don't understand when I put 'unfinished' grades in. But when I saw some student relaxing, I felt it was time. You can see their running totals below for one my of classes. These scores are out of 50 points and there is only 1 day left. I'm holding on to hope that some students have finished papers that they are waiting to turn in. Hopefully, maybe, please!!
Students are Trying to Cheat (Gasp!):
Yes, one day left and some students have zeros. With the desperation of getting good grades, they are copying (or attempting to copy) from their friends. Can I prevent all copying? No, of course not. But copying the assignments on color paper was a huge help. When I see one student with two papers the same color, I can easily see that they are copying.
Overall things are going well. Most students are using the time wisely. Most are doing their own work or working together with other students. I think that once students get use to the stations things will go smoother. I guess that means I have to create more stations.