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Stations- They Aren’t Just for PreSchool

I modified the curriculum for my information ethics classes this semester. The board game has still been useful, but I found that it didn’t need to take up a whole class session and there were other things that I wanted the students to learn about. So, I decided have the students rotate through stations one of which was the information ethics board game. For this particular class, I’m told that I need to cover “information ethics,” so pretty much, I can do whatever I want as long as it falls into that category. I decided to focus on: Plagiarism, Paraphrasing, Patchwriting & Ethical Scenarios.

I created a Prezi that I used as a starting off point before releasing them to their stations. First we did a paraphrasing activity, which I will talk about in a later blog. Then I explained the them about patchwriting, which is a huge problem in student writing these days. After a bit of direction, they went off into groups and rotated through 3 stations.

Here’s the patchwriting example that I showed them (it’s clearer in the Prezi, sorry!):

Patchwriting1        Patchwriting2

Station One: They played the Information Ethics/Scenario-Based Game

Station Two: Was an activity about plagiarism to see how much students know. They took the Plagiarism Attitude Survey, which I stole from Purdue OWL (thanks, guys!), and they also defined and discussed the differences between paraphrasing, quoting and patchwriting using POST-ITS and MARKERS. Don’t post-its and markers make everyone happy, or is it just the former middle school teacher in me?

Station Three: Was a patchwriting activity. Students were given a couple of writing examples and they had to identify the sections that appeared to be patchwritten.

I placed a folder at all of the tables that contained the answers to the activity, allowing for formative assessment and reflection with the group.

So how did it go, you ask? I think that it went pretty well! A lot of the students didn’t know about patchwriting, though many of them said that they had unintentionally done it and would be more aware of it in the future.

About using stations: As with most of my teaching ideas, this is nothing new. My son’s preschool class uses “centers” every day. The cool thing about doing it with this particular class is that

1. This is their 2nd library instruction session of the semester, and the first one is mostly lecture, so, something different.

2. The instruction isn’t assignment-based, which as you’ve probably guessed we lean against doing usually but see the purpose for this class since it is an info lit class. Having the activities makes it more “fun” for the students, or at least, less boring?

3. The students were able to talk, collaborate and learn from each other. Something that most of these social creatures love to do.

4. They got to move! While this isn’t preschool, moving around helps sometimes with motivation.

Everything that I did with them could have easily been done together as a class. We could have done each activity with me guiding them one right after another. But I think that having the stations allowed them to be more engaged and to learn from their peers as well as me.

Assessment: So, as they went through the stations, I had them complete an activity sheet. Most of them got the concepts. There were one or two who didn’t appear to try at all. I’m going to use some of the assessment that I gathered for a future project, so that is nice 🙂

Motivation:I let them give themselves badges for various things and at the end of class the people in each group with the most badges got a prize. So some were motivated to do well because of that competitive aspect.

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