Blended Learning: The Two Station Rotation Model for Collaboration and Independent Practice

At the 5th Annual COP3 Summit this summer I had an opportunity to see former YPICS employee Jonathan Tiongco present on blended learning. After leaving YPICS Jonathan headed up Alliance Charter Schools’ Blended Learning for Alliance School Transformation (BLAST) program. During his presentation Jonathan shared with the group the Alliance “Pick 6” Station Rotation Models for blended learning. Today I wanted to spend some time taking a deep look at one of the models and share some ways that you can use the model in your classroom.

Blended Learning: The Two Station Rotation Model for Collaboration and Independent Practice

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Explanation of the model:

In this two station rotation model the students work independently on an assignment while another group of students work collaboratively on an assignment.

Timeline for using this model:

Blended Learning_ The Two Station Rotation Model for Collaboration and Independent Practice Timeline


  • Start your class with a whole class do now.
  • Review your objectives for the day. When using this model you will want to have an objective for the collaborative station and independent work station. You can also use this time to review your data goal for the day.
  • Have the students start the independent activity.
  • For the first five to seven minutes walk around and check in with students to make sure that they understand the collaborative activity. If necessary stop the group and clarify any common misconceptions.
  • Each rotation should last for 15-30 minute depending on your number of instructional minutes. For 100 minute blocks you can extend this time frame to meet the needs of your students.
  • After the second rotation have the students come back together for an exit ticket and closing activity.

Pros of this model:

  • Requires the teacher to release instruction to the students and become a facilitator.
  • Allows for differentiation based on student groupings.
  • Gives the students time to work on our online programs during class time.
  • Allows for smaller chunks of collaboration.
  • Helps students learn how to focus and work independently.

Cons of this model:

  • Classroom management at first can be difficult. Once the students learn how to work independently classroom management gets better. If you would like some tips for managing technology in your class check out this article.

How to use this model at YPICS:

Blended Learning Tools Available at YPICS

  • Math – A majority of your class working on ALEKS while another group works on a collaborative project or the Team Mastery portion of SFA Math.
  • ELA – A majority of your class working onĀ Achieve 3000 while another group works on a collaborative project or assignment.
  • All other classes – A majority of your class working on an independent assignment while another group works on a collaborative project or assignment.. You could assign a webquest, Illuminate Quiz, presentation creation, etc to the students. The goal is for the students to be able to complete the independent practice without much support from the teacher.

Implementation tips:

  • Create a digital agenda that explains what students need to be doing in each station. Your agenda should include your objectives, links to important activities, and any other information that the students will need to meet their objectives.
  • Use Google Classroom/Website to share materials with students prior to starting the independent activity. The students should be able to access and start the assignments without much support. This will take a little time at first because the students need to learn the routines.
  • To help keep the students focused during the independent station, set a goal with the students for number of topics completed in Aleks, number of articles completed at 75% or better in Achieve3000, etc. This is a great time to use positive incentives with the students. If the students meet their goals you could hand out scholar dollars, class points, or use any other incentive that you have in your classroom.
  • If you have a classroom tutor you can have the tutor support the students working on the independent activity.

If you have any questions about how to use this two station rotation model in your class please let me know.

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