Workstation time can be a hectic part of the day. It can be impossible to keep all students engaged and on task while you are trying to work with small groups. Through lots of trial and error, I finally found a way to make stations fun and to keep students learning.
I've been using jar activities in my classroom for several years. Activities in a jar seemed like a great way to focus on certain skills, make stations portable, and keep students engaged. I get most of my jars at the Dollar Tree. They are the perfect size, and they're only $1.00!
I keep the jars that students are using at the time for ELA workstations on a shelf in the room that is easily accessible.
I store jar activities that aren't in use in plastic storage containers. This makes them easily accessible throughout the school year since I rotate jars about twice a month.
I started with my Voice Jar. This is still a favorite of all my students.
This jar activity can be used across grade levels to work on fluency through expression. Students can use this jar with any genre. They simply choose a voice card out of the jar and read their passage in that voice. When I taught first grade, I would use this jar during shared reading time. We would use our different voices to read poetry and other short passages.
I have made 62 jar activities for students to use throughout the school day. Many of the jars are ELA topics, but I also use them for math workstations, early finisher acitivities, and community building. One of my favorite jars is my End of the Day Jar. The end of the day is one of the most hectic times in my classroom! This jar encourages students to pack up quickly, so they can have an opportunity to pull a question from the jar. It has been a life saver! If you would like to try this jar for free, you can download it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!
Check out my blog for other jar activities!