I am one of the worst when it comes to putting something down and then not being able to find it again. In my music classroom, it was usually the CD remote. It would be right under my nose and I wouldn’t see it, but excited students would. They’d run up en masse to be the first one to grab it and hand it to me. Of course, that would start arguments. I also used a Whole Brain Teaching scoreboard to help with classroom management. There were generally kids who wanted to put the tally marks up as well. AND, those who wanted to clean the room even though it was my rule that students were responsible for their own messes…… So….
At the start of the second semester, after the holiday break, I decided to establish student jobs. Because I wanted to make sure each student had at least one chance to do a job, I established 3-4, depending on the activity. I started with Student Conductor, who would be the basic eyes for the class, help direct singing, or run errands. The remote issues were given to the Seeker Finder, the tally marks to the tally marker, and the room to the Room Inspector (who would get the kids who left the messes to get out of the line and finish what they were supposed to do).
I noticed something (and yes, there was still the occasional argument): students, by and large, started taking pride in their jobs. They were told from the beginning, just as in real life, that if they didn’t do their job properly, they would be relieved of their duties. And for most of my classes, I found I could spend more time teaching and less time worrying about my remote, disciplining about messes, worrying about technology problems, or getting sure that all students got help with the recorder.
I made a chart and initially used clothespins with the students’ class numbers on them to clip next to each job so students would know who had them without worrying about making 400 names. However, not all classes used class numbers. I ended up putting the jobs on a chart and writing names next to them, keeping track in my iDoceo app.
|This young lady was a Posture Spy one day.|
Of course, student jobs will probably look different in your class. How do you determine what jobs to assign and how?
- Determine the general dynamics of your classes. If your kids are easily distracted, you might do better assigning just a couple of jobs.
- How often do you see your students?
- What are your “help” needs? If you operate your player from your Apple Watch, you might not need a Seeker Finder, unless there’s something else you carry around. You might need a Mallet Master instead of a Tooter Tutor.
- If you don’t have much room to put up a chart, display it on your Interactive Board or keep track in your grade book program.
There are benefits for the students as well as taking a little bit off your plate. Classroom jobs:
- Builds character and teaches students how to approach others.
- Builds self-esteem
- Helps students find a niche.
- Gives students who “don’t like music” a sense of the community.
- Teaches students there are consequences for not taking a job seriously.
Blogs on Classroom Jobs:
- It’s Time to Give Classroom Jobs Another Try.
- Ideas for Classroom Jobs
- Benefits of Jobs in the Classroom
- Classroom Jobs for Distance Learning
If you have classroom jobs and would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.
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I put together a simple job chart in PowerPoint that you can edit, or print as is, or project. Included are numbered circles that you can laminate, print, and add little velcro spots on. Laminate the jobs chart and add Velcro to the Student side. Keep the numbers handy in an envelope and viola! Easy switching. You can also use a dry erase marker to write names on the lamination.
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