I know this picture is a little blurry, but you can see I had 9 stations running in this classroom. Students names were written on index cards and moved up and down each time we did stations. The pictures on the cards coordinated with the pictures on the sign at the station location. This made it easy for kids to identify where they needed to be.
This management chart is actually in my TPT Store. It is called Literacy Station Signs. I cut the cards out, attached them to cardstock, and laminated them. Then I hooked them together using ribbons. Each student had a clothespin with their name on it. I would attach the clothespin to the station they were assigned to. Again, I could just move them down each day to send them to the next station.
This is my current management chart. I teach second grade now so I do not necessarily need visual pictures. It is simple, but that makes it easy to use. On each blue card, I have the station name. I write the partnerships on the index cards with magnets. Then, each day I move them down to their next station. The students at the bottom not at a station are pulled by either myself or the Learning Support Teacher for small group time.
My biggest recommendation is to introduce stations slowly. I have seen teachers introduce all 6-9 stations in one day and then chaos ensues. Often then teachers throw up their hands and give up. Gradually releasing the responsibility is something Debbie Diller discusses a lot in her book about literacy stations.
I take about 3-4 weeks to get all of my stations fully up and running. I know this seems like a long time, but if you do it right it will work. Things will run smoothly and you’ll be able to pull small groups while you’re students are being self-sufficient at their station.
I introduce the stations one at a time whole group. I always start with reading station (more info on this on Sunday) because it’s the easiest. I then allow partnerships a few minutes to practice. Then, the next day I introduce a second station.
Another huge suggestion is to model. Model, model, model. The more you model what you expect of kids at a particular station, the better off you will be. In addition to modeling myself, I also will have students model the expectations.