Tips to Tame 'Em: Week 8: Classroom Jobs and Why You Need Them

I'm playing catch up! I almost made it through my first series with posting on time.. almost. 

 Anywho, today I'm sharing about classroom jobs and more importantly- why you need them!!
I myself am still trying to find the best system for classroom jobs. All I know is that I need them. There are so many little things throughout the day to worry about that I like to pass some of that responsibility onto my students. I preach teach about how our classroom is a community. They create the rules (with my guidance), they help one another learn through partnerships and group work, so naturally, they help our classroom to run smoothly.

Enter classroom jobs!

Here is how I've displayed my jobs the last two years.

You'll notice some things have changed from one year to the next and some things to think about:

1) Different placement: I moved the job board to the back of the room. The front of the room has valuable real estate and although these jobs are important, they aren't necessary to be posted in the front of the room.

Decide where in your room is a space that is easy for you to access to change jobs, but isn't front and center stealing valuable space.

2) More jobs: I went from 14 job pockets to enough for my entire class. The reality, I've always had it where all kids had a job; I just doubled up in the pockets. For example: I had two sticks in paper passer because I have 2 of them. Why did I change? Well that leads me to my next idea...

Decide on a rotation. How will you decide when to change jobs? How often will you change? Will you even bother changing it?

I'm still trying to manage this one. The first year was a nightmare trying to move kids around to jobs that they hadn't yet completed. I just didn't have a very good system that was quick. So I thought if I literally had a pocket for each student, it would make it easier. I would simply just move the popsicle sticks over one pocket and be done. I strategically placed the repeating jobs so that students didn't do the same job back to back. It worked. Until I had students who weren't doing their jobs and it was ruining the flow. How did I solve this?

Decide if students will have a say in the job process.
I found myself mid year having the same students not do their jobs... no matter what job it was. It started to drive me nuts because our room was having more 'hiccups.' Mid year, I moved to an application model. They had to apply for a job. They ranked their top 3 choices and gave a short statement as to why they would be good at that job. Some of them got very creative and you could tell those who really tune into what I look for.

  • I will bring the garbage cans in when I enter the classroom without you having to remind me.
  • I will pass the papers out quickly by passing them out to people in groups. 

You get the picture.

I then just sat down and had each kid's name on a sheet of paper. I marked their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices. Their responses came in handy when a lot of kids wanted the same job. I then went off of their statement and their "track record." Those that often needed reminders did not get jobs that were really crucial. I then wrote their job titles on the line and passed it back to them for them to see their new job title. The jobs stayed that way for the rest of the year. They got really good at them and my need for reminders dropped. I plan on doing this again this year, but having them switch each trimester.

Snag this resource to create your own application for your jobs in your classroom. I've included mine as well so you can see how I laid mine out.

This is my version with a list of my jobs.
If you want to make your own, simply right click this image and select Save Image As (give it a name you'll remember and save it to your desktop for easy finding). Then, either drag and drop it onto a slide in Powerpoint or copy and paste it. Add a text box in the middle and away you go!
Last tip

I have to go back to my one of my first tips in this series:
Model the crap out of your jobs. 
Make sure you show your students how you want the jobs done and allow them ample time to practice. To help my students even more, I created Smartboard slides for each job that we reviewed before they ranked their choices so that they were aware of the expectations . Here are a few samples... nothing pretty but they get the job done.

I would suggest laying these out around your room and have students walk around, read the descriptions and then do their ranking. I would then have them quietly reflect and write their statements before turning their application in. I don't think I'll do the application right away. I plan on using the month of September to allow kids to explore the jobs to see which ones they enjoy doing the most before they apply. But that's just an idea... I haven't ever started the year with an application so we'll see how it goes!

Now it's your turn!

You have 2 options

1) Respond to the question in the comments section
2) Grab the buttons and link up with a longer post!

No need to link up on Tuesday! You can do it any day of the week until the next Tips to Tame 'Em comes out! (I think I set a very good example of that rule with this late post).

Here's this week's question:

 Next week is the last week of my series! And I'll be ending it with a giveaway to get you started on a great year so stay tuned!


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