At the end of each day, I quickly move all of the station cards down a row, with the very bottom row moving up to the top (I do not move the students' photos). I have magnets on the back of all my station cards so it is easy to just slide them down on the magnetic board. I do not use Debbie Diller's station pocket chart because it doesn't have room for more than two stations a day. This year I'm using a cheap oil drip pan I bought at a local auto store and spray painted white for my workboard (because there was no extra room for stations on my magnetic white board at the front of the classroom). I love how the pan is magnetic-and you can't really tell it was an oil drip pan because it is covered in stations cards. I just wish it was a little bigger-you can see one of my student's photo cards is practically hanging off the bottom since I ran out of space.
My students are all partnered up for station time-and really 2 students at each station is perfect-although when I have an odd number of students I end up having one group of 3. I have found that if more than 2-3 students work together they tend to get into mischief! When I pull reading or math groups, I do not worry if I split up a partnership (and one partner comes to my table and one partner stays at their station)-the kids know that if their partner is pulled to work with me then they will just have to work at their station alone. I am NOT a station-I like to pull kids for as much or as little time as I like and not have to wait for the stations to rotate (I rotate them about every 15 minutes).
I don't worry too much about partnering my students up with a partner of similar ability (although if I have any extremely high kids I tend to put them together so they don't do the station for their partner and also so I can sometimes give them more challenging activities). I really tend to partner my kids together more by personality-and I try to put kids together who will get along but not so well that they will be chatting all the way through station time! Partnering boys with girls has worked very well for my class this year.
I train students in the beginning of the year how to use our workboard-and they catch on surprisingly quickly. I absolutely start using the workboard the first week of school. We all sit in front of the board and I help each pair of students find their photos on the board and which station they are assigned to. Then after the first station is over, I ring my bell and we all come back over to the board and we find what station each pair of students is assigned to next. After 2-3 weeks of school, all of my students are able to figure out independently what stations they are supposed to go to and we don't have to meet back at the board between each station to go over it.
I have a small filing cabinet in my room that I devote to storage of math station activities. However, that filing cabinet is starting to get pretty full with all of the awesome math station activities I have been downloading from other bloggers. So, my new plan is to keep more generic math stations in my file cabinet (like the games for learning shapes and telling time) and then if a math station has a seasonal theme (like apple patterns or counting pumpkins) I will store it with the rest of my teaching stuff for that particular month (I have big sterilite tubs in my classroom closet labeled for each month that I keep my seasonal teaching materials and theme stuff in).
I'd love to hear how you all stay organized and manage your work stations and centers!