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Ready to get your do-it-yourself project hat on and save some money? Let’s do this! First, I have to ask: how do you set up your stations for differentiation?

One of my favorite ways is to set up the stations by color. I love differentiating stations by color because it is fluid. Meaning, you can change the colors every two weeks, every week, every month, however many times you need to and… most of the kids have no clue what *exactly* you did, except that they are a different color. When you change things up, the remedial group isn’t always yellow or red but can be purple or pink. And the next week, the advance group isn’t always green but can also be pink. I’ve differentiated assignments by color that only I know about and can change when it is necessary. #TeacherWin Changing color groups is an easy change, without having to spend a lot of money.

(**Note:Thank you to ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers for partnering with me on this blog post. I received payment, trade, and or products from ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers in exchange for promoting. However, all opinions stated are my own and I only promote brands and products that I use and love. This post also contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links.)

differentiating stations by color with astrobrights

The only thing is, color bins don’t always come in the color I need or the size I need. Cue Astrobrights. Using colored, durable paper is a quick and easy way to differentiate grab and go stations.

differentiating stations by color with astrobrights

The key is to make 3-5 “base” toolkits (or enough for as many groups or individual stations that you need). These toolkits consist of the trays and the recycled cans/boxes. This will allow you to change the colors quickly. Tired of pink? No problem!  For just pennies you can switch out the colors.

Here’s how to make the Grab and Go Stations…

Materials:

soup cans

taller cans

goldfish boxes

(or 3-5 other recyclable boxes)

Astrobrights in the colors you would like to use for your groups (I am using Cosmic Orange found HERE, Fireball Fushia found HERE, Lunar Blue found HERE, Lift Off Lemon found HERE and Vulcan Green found HERE)

Velcro patches

Trays (either plastic ones from a teacher supply store or cookie sheets like ones from The Dollar Tree)

teacher DIY

teacher DIY

Steps:

  1. Gather soup cans, taller cans, and goldfish box. Make sure they are clean and dry.
  2. Position boxes and cans on desired area of tray.
  3. Grab your desired colors of Astrobrights’ Paper and simply wrap the boxes. Secure with tape. Astrobrights are the perfect size for soup cans and goldfish big boxes. It only takes one 8.5×11 sheet to cover cans and only 2 sheets to cover the boxes I use. A little trick is to make one cut at the corner of the box to easily fold over the top edge of the box.

teacher DIY

teacher DIY

Add velcro to the bottom of the cans and to the desired spot on the tray.  Adhesive velcro is best but I used glue dots and it worked just fine. I do this to keep the boxes and cans from falling off easily. Just secures it a bit more.

teacher DIY differentiating stations by color with astrobrights

Print out directions for each station on the colored paper (or better yet, keep the directions basically the same week to week, laminate, and just change up the specific activity). Place directions to the side of the cans and boxes.

Add the needed supplies for the station and voila! For very little cost and supplies, you can have customized, differentiated stations.

One quick note: you might be thinking how exactly are these differentiated. Here is a quick example:

Let’s say you are working on measurement. You are studying length. Well, you might need 3 different “levels” of differentiated stations. The printables or activities might be just a tad bit different from one another. You can use 3 different colors to quickly identify what activity goes where and which student is in what group.

teacher diy

teacher DIY

And there you have it: inexpensive, differentiated, grab and go stations!  Using color and Astrobrights makes the organization and management of these stations easy!

For more inspiration of how you can use color in your classroom, head over to…

Again, thank you to ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers for partnering with me on this blog post. I received payment, trade, and or products from ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers in exchange for promoting. However, all opinions stated are my own and I only promote brands and products that I use and love. This post also contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links.

Have a great school year! ~April