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Solo stations with IPads

As Solo taxonomy is such an integral part of my teaching now I wanted to see how it could be combined with our recent purchase of iPads here at Rossett School. All our staff have had iPads for a few weeks now and we also have extra ones that can be booked out to for the students to use.

I was inspired by the fantastic post from Tait Coles aka @totallywired77 on solo stations. This involves using each of the solo stages from prestructural to extended abstract to set up a differentiated learning experience for the students. As the name suggests solo stations means you have stations placed around the room which allows the students to plan out their own learning journey. This week I tried it with my A2 PE exercise physiology group and also incorporated into it the use of iPads. The topic was the role of ATP and how the ATP-PC energy system works. First I made a short video using the app Explain everything. As this app allows you to upload it to your YouTube channel I tweeted the students the link for them to watch before the lesson. I wanted to try the flipped classroom approach with them to see if this type of homework task wold engage them more. It certainly did!

The lesson itself started with a short Socrative app quiz on simple uni and multistructural questions on ATP & the ATP-PC energy system. As the student were doing this on the IPads I set up the solo stations around the room. We didn’t use prestructural as this was revision. At each station there was an A3 laminated solo sheet with some success criteria on linked to the stage of solo. I also included highlighted copies of the referred part of the syllabus and a QR code picture of a link to my Explain everything clip and one of our class blog on Realsmart. Here is the multi structural one below:

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Once they had finished the Socrative starter we then reviewed the results as I simply just emailed myself the report and showed it on the whiteboard. I then asked the students to decide where they were in their learning and choose their solo station starting point. I told them it was not a race and they were to move only when they felt they understood the success criteria.
The students then used the Evernote app on their iPads to move around the room, taking notes, pictures and learning from each other and responding to questions from me to check their learning. The Evernote app allowed them to then access their notes later on their phones or computers at home. By the end of the lesson, most, but not all had progressed the the extended abstract station which you can see below:

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This was a great demonstration of progress as at the start of the lesson this and the relational station before it were empty!

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We closed the lesson by the students tweeting on their iPads about how they thought solo stations had helped their learning
and progress.
The most poignant quote was that:

“The solo stations really helped me as it allowed me to be independent and learn at my own pace.”

Solo stations is certainly a great tool to move forward learning!!!

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5 thoughts on “Solo stations with IPads

  1. This is great Paul. Love it. What you can also do too is, get the students to link their Evernote Notebooks to you, then, as you’re using Twitter – get students to Tweet you when they’ve updated their notebooks and you can see their work anywhere / anytime. Fab.

  2. geogteacher on said:

    Love it. I am a bit behind you on this, but have been using SOLO in my GCSE lessons a small amount. See here http://bit.ly/M6HXjJ and here http://bit.ly/JH0hms I am getting 2 iPads for dept next year. How many did you have to make this lesson work for the pupils. Also did you have to think about e-safety with them tweeting about the lesson? If you want to catch up on twitter i am @dukkhaboy and thanks again.

  3. Sarah Dawson on said:

    This sounds like such a good lesson. So many of the good/outstanding elements that OFSTED are looking for. But more to the point, a valuable learning experience for the students that worked! Thanks for sharing. Just starting out on the SOLO journey and blogs like yours really help. Thanks again.

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