So who has ever stood staring off into space in their classrooms wondering how on this Earth you were going to get rotations to run more smoothly???
Well, I was in that very position about 4 years ago when rotations JUST WERE NOT WORKING!!! It can be so frustrating!!!! You PLAN, PLAN, and PLAN some more to make sure you have EVERY inch covered so you don't have a line of kids going, "I don't where I go next." Then, there's your line of kids AGAIN!! What happened?? I planned for what felt like a year, and it still isn't working!!!
some buckets of tears, I shook it off and set out on finding a way to make it work! As all teachers do, we keep trying! I wanted a setup that would be self-sufficient and allow the kids to take charge! In the 4 years I've been using it, I have tweaked it according to our schedules, teaching partners (if I have one), and students. So I wanted to share what literally RUNS my room during rotations!! It has made my rotations ROCK and move so seamlessly along with keeping gray hairs off of my head!! :)
If you are interested in using the materials with this rotation setup, check out the UPDATED Rotations Board set in my store!! :)
Now, I'm going to try to explain this as well as I can without writing a dissertation!! You may want to get a snack. ;)
Let's get started!!!
The Rotations BoardThe Rotations Board is the CONTROL BOARD! It is where everything my students need to get through rotations is located. It takes modeling and practicing, but I had my 2nd graders using this within the first month of school!! Now that I looped to 3rd this year, my kids were ready to go right away!! I will get into more detail below, but this setup is for 2 rotations. One rotation is with me, and the other is independent. When they are at the independent rotation, they follow the Rotations Board. I have done this with 3 rotations too when I had a teaching partner. You can read more about this way HERE. It can work in whatever way you'd like it to!! These are just examples to give you some ideas! Let's take a quick look at how the post-its are set up before we get into the nitty gritty (is that how you spell it??).
During Literature Circles, I have another teacher who is in there who takes two groups as well. Each literature circle is 20 minutes long. If the kids do NOT have a literature circle first, they do 1 of the Daily 5s. I will have to blog about that to share how I use that setup in my room. My literature circle groups are on the Rotations Board so they can see which teacher they are with as well as which group 1 or 2.Reading Rotations, I do not have anyone in the room with me so I have 2 groups. One group is with me, and the other group follows the independent rotation on the Rotations Board.
Description of Each Reading Rotation I Use
Comprehension Tubs: There is an explanation of these below, but they are where I have my students practice reading passages at their Lexile levels while highlighting text evidence to support their answers to the response questions.
Computer: Our district uses a program called Successmaker that levels the students as they work. The kids love it!
Vocabulary: Students write their 5 new words for the week 2 times each using a Boogie Board or keyboard to practice typing. They also record the words on a half sheet of paper. Then they doing a making words activity. The second activity has varied throughout the year. Right now, my kids need to work more on manipulating words to aid in their reading and writing.
Reading iPad Apps: This is where they pick a reading app to practice. I have folders for each Comprehension Tub so that the apps are even differentiated. I also have a folder with Reading Games that they can chose from. Read all about the apps and how I organize them on my iPads HERE!!
Now, let's move to the math rotations. These are set up the same way as my reading rotations minus the numbers on the post-its.
This rotation board set will work with any schedule. It all depends on how you want to set it up! The GREATEST PART is that it's soooooooooooo SIMPLE to move kids around. Using the small post-its with their names on them saves so much time when I need to adjust groups. It's also right there in front of you! It makes it easier to stay on top of things for myself.
Description of Each Math Rotation I Use
Computer: Since we have 1:1s, the first 10 minutes of the independent time is for EVERYONE to go to Xtra Math to practice their facts. It's a free site that's awesome for fact practice!!! Then, if their actual rotation for that day is computer, they stay on it and go to Successmaker Math just as they do for reading.
Fact Practice: In this tub, I like to put my Solve It! games as well as other games that focus on the facts!
Math Tub: In this tub, I normally put activities that go with the skill we're practicing that week. I've also been using the 3rd Grade Math Spiral Task Cards from Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher. They are AWESOME!!!
Math iPad Apps: As with reading, this is where they pick a math app to practice. I have folders for Everyday Math apps (our program) as well as other math games. Read all about the apps and how I organize them on my iPads HERE!!
Now that you have a grasp (hopefully somewhat :) of how I set up my rotations, here are some ideas on how to organize everything!!
In the tub in the photo, I'm using one of the amazing Differentiated Reading Comprehension Passages by Meet Miss Parker. These have been AWESOME in making it a breeze to differentiate for each Comprehension Tub. All of the work they finish during rotations is turned into a try in the meeting area.
PHEW!! Are you still with me??Wow!! I can go on and on and on about this system!! I've UPDATED my Rotations Board set in my TPT store which includes EDITABLE pages to customize it the way you see fit for your room!!! Click on the picture below or HERE to check it out! :)
You all ROCK!!!