Making Rotations work in Middle School

This is a question I should put to the MTBoS. Has anyone had success with this in middle school?  I like the idea, but I have trouble with the execution. When my students are not in the teacher-led group, they struggle to stay on task. When I’m working in a small group, I have trouble getting my students to understand within the time I have for the rotation. Hm. I’m reflecting and realize I have had rotations work before, but I guess I’m remembering the times it hasn’t more prominently (there have probably been more times of it not working).

Brainstorm of ways to make these work better:

  • have a video station for students to watch an explanation and take notes before meeting with me, for students who are going to need to hear it more than once –  maybe this should come after the teacher meeting
  •  the content to be taught should be very narrow – so it’s not more than can be explained multiple ways in 10 minutes.
  • have more hands-on
  • don’t give any new activities for the independent stations (I won’t have time to explain a new game or task-style)

I think I’ll make rotations a goal for this next concept. I want students to use proportional thinking to solve percent of problems.

Station Ideas:

  • Ratio Tables
  • Double Number lines
  • Comparing tables and # lines to tape diagrams
  • Tape diagrams with teacher
  • Video examples
  • Math In Context book has error ratio tables for analysis
  • Task Cards – answers available to check
  • Khan Academy practice

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