Making Math Stations Easy By Using Folders!

In Geometry, we have been working on even/odd proofs. Some students were picking it up extremely quickly, but others were struggling (mostly over thinking everything)! I wanted to create an activity where students were able to work at their own pace to practice even/odd proofs. I decided that I would try out creating stations. I created 9 even/odd proofs ranging in levels of difficulty. I allowed my students to work with a partner and use their notes from our class before.

I started class by handing everyone proof #1 and a list of algebraic properties and explained the rules of the day.

  1. Work through proof #1with your partner. If you get stuck look at the examples in your notes. If you still don’t understand call me over for help.
  2. When you finish find the folder with the same color as your proof labeled “#1” Open the folder and check your answers. If it doesn’t match up where did your proof go wrong?
  3. Once proof #1 is perfected find the folder labeled #2. Paper clipped to this folder is your sheet for Proof #2. Go back to your seat to complete it.
  4. Repeat until finished Proof #9.
  5. When finished turn your proofs into a “proof book”
  6. ALL proofs must be completed before class tomorrow.

This activity was GREAT. It took a lot of prep, but students were able to check their proofs right away and work at their own place. Some students finished all of the proofs in class while others still had a few left. The ones who finished in class walked around and helped students who were struggling. For the students who did not finish had to complete the proofs for homework. I posted the answers to the proofs online, so my students could check their answers. Each proof was written in a different color, so it was easy to decipher which proof students were struggling with. It also made for a colorful booklet 🙂

These stations were great! They weren’t the typical stations where students rotated from table to table to switch problems, but I think they really enjoyed getting up to check their answers and grab the next problem. I liked having  them work with a partner because they wouldn’t move on to the next proof until both of them understood it.  Although this required a lot of prep, I had to do very little in class. Students were extremely very self-directed and only called me over to ask specific questions. These were questions that they were not able to figure out from their notes the day before. Once students started finishing up and started helping their peers this also decreased my involvement with my students.  By having the answers in the folders the question of “is this right?!” was completed eliminated. This gave me time to walk around and answer essential questions and figure out which students were struggling.

I LOVED using folders for stations. I’ve had students in Algebra 1 make their own stations with folders and worked beautifully. Having a problem on the front of the folder and the answers and work on the inside eliminate the teachers work of having to discuss every single problem. I also liked the folders for stations because it gave students instant feedback and a created a place to keep the papers for each problem.  If you do math stations of any kind I highly recommend using folders! The classroom felt so alive, students could work at their own pace, receive instant feedback, and ask questions!

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