Differentiated Instruction in your Spanish classes, Using STATIONS / CENTERS

One way to add Differentiated Instruction to your Spanish lessons is to set up “Stations” for a particular topic or unit and allow students to work through the activities at their own pace.

They’re also a versatile way to flip the script and let students be in charge of their learning. They’re also great for days when you’re feeling like you need a break from being in front of the classroom, or when you need a substitute. Students are given a checklist of activities that they are required to do and move from station to station to complete each task.  Why does this work so well?  Because students can take charge of their own learning!

In an effort to add student options and help them take responsibility for their own learning, I’ve created several units that can be used as Differentiated Instruction Stations. Scroll down to see them all!

How do Stations / Centers work?

Stations are physical learning locations set up in your classroom.  Each location focuses on a specific area (or modality) of learning. The beauty of Stations / Centers is that YOU choose what works best for you and your classes. You can have as many or as few stations as you want. Stations can last for just 1 day, or for a big unit, stations could last for several days.

Classroom Set up:

· Choose locations around the classroom to place each learning station. 
· Choose 1 teaching table.  This is where you will sit, students will know they can approach you for individual instruction (any questions they might have) when you’re at this table.  Students can also approach you here to check off their work so they can move on to the next task.
· If you prefer, you can circulate in the classroom and students can find you to ask questions.
· Group leftover desks in clusters around the classroom.  Students will be able to go to any cluster to do their work.
Explain to students your expectations. If you’re planning to only do Stations for 1 day, you can ask that students move from Station to Station on a timed schedule, or you can ask that students complete a certain amount of tasks by the end of the class period. If you plan to do Stations for several days, I would suggest giving students a checklist of the tasks you want them to have completed by the end of the designated Stations days. To allow for various speeds of your students moving through the activities, you could require that students complete 2/3 of the tasks in each Station, and if they finish the required tasks they can go back and complete 3/3 of the tasks for bonus points or a higher score (for example).

Station / Center Ideas:

Choose as many stations as will work best for your classes and for how many days you want to do stations.

Vocabulary Station

    • Choose activities that help students learn or practice vocabulary.
    •  puzzles, word searches, flashcards
    •  copy the new vocabulary into their notebooks
    •  students draw visual vocabulary (CHECK OUT THIS VISUAL VOCABULARY FREEBIE IN MY TPT SHOP!)
    •  students create a word search for another student to complete (CHECK OUT THIS WORD SEARCH CREATION FREEBIE IN MY TPT SHOP!)
    •  Find YouTube videos with the vocabulary for students to watch and complete a small task.
    • play hangman, matamoscas or Octopus On Guard in small groups.
    •  relevant worksheets from your textbook (if you use a textbook)
    •  any app you currently use in class for practicing vocabulary or competitive vocabulary games

Partner Speaking / Communicative Station

    •  Choose activities that will help students practice speaking. This could be simply practicing pronunciation, or practicing asking and answering questions.
    •  partner interviews
    •  “find someone who,” questionaires, “firma por favor” type activities
    •  Cootie Catcher / Fortune Teller / Comecocos activities – students use guided questions in a fun and hands on way
    •  conversation starter task cards on the topic of study

Media / Listening Station

    • Choose activities that will help students practice their listening skills.
    • a relevant song plus an activity
    •  a relevant YouTube video plus an activity
    •  a recording of a native speaker talking about the subject
    •  a task in which a student records him/herself to submit to you for grading / correction / points
    •  students record a partner interview or conversation to submit to the teacher

Reading Station

    • Choose activities that will help students practice their reading comprehension.
    • relevant realia plus an activity
    •  online news articles in the target language plus activity to check for comprehension
    •  a website in the TL plus activity to check for comprehension
    •  a Comprehensible Input reading on the topic
    •  an excerpt from your textbook (if you use a textbook)

Writing Station

    • Choose activities that will help students practice their writing skills.
    • students can write a paragraph in the TL about what they have learned
    •  a timed write
    •  any relevant writing worksheets from your textbook (if you use a textbook)
    •  writing prompts on the topic


To wrap up the unit, you may want your students to show what they know with a project. Once students have worked their way through the required stations activities, you could have several final project options for students to choose from.

Want to get your feet wet without having to worry about gathering all of the activities for your Stations? Some of my Differentiated Instruction Units might help you out! Each Unit is set up for Stations, and many teachers have been happy with how easy they are to use!

Please click on the thumbnails below to visit my current Differentiated Instruction Units.

Differentiated Instruction Unit La Casa

Here’s what another teachers have had to say about these units:

“Very high quality visuals – I love the station strategy for differentiating. I am just starting to use this – and as far as I can tell now – this bundle will be one that I return to each quarter. Thank you! ”

And just one more.  😉

Here’s what one teacher had to say about the “Around Town Differentiated Instruction Packet:

“So many great activities to choose from! I love the flexibility of using these for stations, classwork, homework, etc. Nicely done! ”

Have you applied Differentiated Instruction lessons in your classes yet?  Differentiated Instruction is a great solution to teach the multiple levels of understanding that take place within each mix of students you have throughout the day.

Looking for some ready made Differentiated Instruction Units for your Spanish classes? Please swing by my TpT shop and check out the different units I currently have available. 🙂 Make sure to check out the free preview and take a look at everything included in this Stations packets.


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