Browsing Category

Classroom Management

Free Classroom Rewards

Are you wasting your money on treasure box items for your classroom? Don’t! There are so many free classroom rewards you can hand out that are way better!

 

Let your students choose rewards that don’t cost you anything AND they don’t have a little toy to play with during class and/or lose. Plus, your other students will see them getting that reward which will make them want to have the same behavior to get it too! ūüôā

 

Here’s a list:

1. No Desk day –¬†They can sit anywhere in the classroom to do their work

2. Switch Desks/Table

3. VIP Caddy –¬†They can use any of the fun materials in the VIP caddy to do their work!

4. No Homework Pass

5. Bring a stuffed animal to school for a day

6. Wear a hat in class

7. Switch classroom jobs (Here’s a huge list of classroom jobs¬†if you need ideas!)

8. Sit by friends at lunch

9. Lunch with the teacher

10. Show and tell

11. No shoes or wear slippers in class

12. Tablet time

13. Computer time

14. Write on the whiteboard

15. Sit in the teacher’s chair to work

16. Read a book to the class (check out my favorite books lists here)

17. First choice for Friday fun time

 

There are a ton more! Anything that the kids like doing… make that a reward they can earn! ūüôā

How to Organize Classroom Jobs

How do you organize and rotate classroom jobs? I love classroom organization ideas and there are so many different ways to do every little thing so today I want to talk about ways to organize classroom jobs so that it saves you a bunch of work rather than creates it.

 

If not organized well, classroom jobs can be stressful!¬†Did I switch the job chart? Hasn’t¬†Aiden¬†already been line leader twice? How do I add in my new kid?¬†

 

There are many different ways to organize classroom jobs so you just have to find the way that works for you and your style of classroom management! I included affiliate links (it’s no extra cost to you but I get commission if you make a purchase through the link) in this post to some fun pocket charts and bulletin board sets on Amazon to help make organizing classroom jobs easier!

 

My personal favorite way is for every single student to have a job every single day.

 

Here are some different ways you can implement classroom jobs.

1. Every kid has a job. Here’s a¬†huge list of classroom jobs. You can change weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly OR train kids to do the jobs long term and switch every quarter or so. They get really good at their jobs this way and you can have kids do their specialty! You could still¬†change the line leader each day/week by just going in alphabetical or number order down your list since that’s such a coveted job. If you do that, just have the “substitute” job do whatever kid is line leader that day.

2. You pick a STAR¬†helper or VIP of the day who does everything you need. This is really easy to do. Just go in ABC or number order down your list so it’s easy to know who’s next.

3. You pick a boy helper and girl helper each day/week to help with everything. You could put all your girls’ names on cards, punch a hole in the corners, and use a binder ring to connect them. Do the same for boys. Each day/week, flip to a new girl card and a new boy card.

4. Have table captains who manage each table. They make sure their table is clean, organized, and quiet. They also get supplies for their table.

5. You can have students apply for their jobs if they’ll take awhile to do them. Have them write their top 3 choices, each with a reason why they would be good at it. You’ll get super cute “because I am strong” answers for the door holder and other cute/funny responses. You can treat it like a real job where they get paid each week for doing their job in whatever your classroom currency is and use it to buy free time, class store items, choice in their Fun Friday activity, etc. This way, you can also “fire” someone for not doing their job correctly to make it an authentic experience. I don’t recommend firing anyone if you can help it but let them know it’s a possibility. ūüôā

6. Have library pockets and each kids’ name on a jumbo colored popsicle stick. Having it be a certain color makes it quick and easy for them to find themselves each time you change it. Write the name of a job on the front of each library pocket on the wall. Simply put each kids’¬†popsicle stick in the library pocket that is their job. You can also do this with a pocket chart.

7. If you don’t have a job for every student, when students don’t have a job, you can say they’re “on vacation” – they think it’s funny and it makes them forget about any “unfair” talk about not having a job. ūüôā

8. If you have a classroom currency like tickets, tags, poms, whatever – you can have students save up their poms to pick their job for the next week on Fridays. Let’s say you do tickets. Give them out during the week for good behavior you catch, for turning work/homework, working hard in small groups, etc. During your Fun Friday, have your students count up their tickets. Whoever has the most can pick their job for the next week first. Whoever has the second most can pick 2nd… and so on. You can also have them go to Fun Friday right after they pick their job so not only do they get to pick the job they want for the next week but they also get first dibs on the activity/center they want during Fun Friday in order of how many tickets they have. HUGE motivator during the week to behave and get work done when you get so many perks at the end of the week for having a lot of tickets!

9. You could also make jobs a prize in your prize box. Don’t waste your money on treasure box items. I highly recommend that your “treasure box” be a box full of FREE classroom rewards¬†that students can buy like “switch seats” or “10 minutes of computer time.” JOBS can be a prize too! Let them buy the job of line leader for 20 tickets for example. Make sure you always have the same amount of time between prize box selection though (like once a week or every 2 weeks) so that if they buy a job, they get the same amount of time as someone else that has bought it.

10. For preschool, kindergarten, and first grade РI recommend having a picture to go along with each job title on your job chart so they know right away who has what job. There are some cute pocket charts with pictures like this Helping Hands Pocket Chart to organize classroom jobs.

This is also a really simple Class Jobs Pocket Chart:

They also make bulletin board classroom job sets you can put directly on your wall:

11. When you switch your jobs, have a quick training session where the¬†person currently holding the job trains the new person. They’re awesome little teachers! It’s great for teaching them leadership and speaking/listening skills.

12. If you don’t want to have 24 different jobs, you could make it easier to manage by having 12 jobs and having an A.M. helper and P.M. helper for each job. This is actually nice for those popular jobs so more people get turns quicker. This set pictured below is a SUPER cute bulletin board set for that if you want to have 2 kids to a job or switch between A.M./P.M.

There are 2 spots for each job so simply have the top spot person do the job in the morning and the bottom spot person do the job in the afternoon. I adhered Velcro Dots to the back of the rectangular name cards and onto the front of the job cards so that they stuck on and could be switched out easily. It’s a really cute display and the company that makes them has a ton of other classroom decor items that match¬†it like borders and posters.

 

I hope this post was helpful for you!

Don’t forget to check out this giant list of classroom jobs for ideas!

How do you organize your classroom jobs? I’d love to hear!

Classroom Jobs List

Want a giant list of classroom jobs that you can have your students do? Here is a huge list of jobs you can give your elementary students! These jobs would work best for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, or second grade but you can have a lot of these or adjust them for older elementary students as well.

 

Jobs are great because they build classroom community, give students a purpose and sense of belonging every day, AND they save you from doing a lot of busy work!

 

Jobs should always save you time, not be more work Рfor tips, check out: How to Organize Classroom Jobs

 

I personally love having a job for¬†every student that they have for several weeks at a time so they can get really good at it. When you’re getting ready to switch jobs, have a “job training” day where everyone trains their replacement to do their job so you don’t have to! If you like having a job for every student, here’s a big list for you.

 

Okay, so here goes with the job list!

1. Line Leader

Real World Name: Tour Guide, Conductor

Stands at the front of the line and leads the class wherever you go.

 

2. Secretary

Real World Name: Secretary, Receptionist, Office Manager

Answers the classroom phone.

This is one of my favorite jobs! Train them to answer the phone, “Mrs. Kee’s classroom. This is [their name] speaking. How can I help you?” It is so stressful to be in the middle of a lesson or a small groups session and have the phone ring on the other side of the classroom because you have to abruptly stop¬†what you’re doing, leave a group of students waiting, and run over to the phone¬†before the person hangs up. With a secretary, even if you end up taking the majority of the calls, it’s not stressful. You can leisurely get to the phone as the secretary is answering. You can also train them to say “Do you need to speak to Mrs. Kee or can I get your name and number to call her back?” and teach them to take the name and number of the person calling on a sticky note. I know it seems like a kindergartener or first grader can’t handle this but if you train them, they totally can. ūüôā A lot of times, you’ll get “Billy’s mom is here to pick him up.” or “Can you send Anna to the office?” type calls from the office that really didn’t need to interrupt your lesson that the secretary can field. Other times, they may take the name/number of a parent for you to call back. It’s just a great job!

 

3. Library Helper

Real World Name: Librarian

Helps keep the classroom library organized.

The library helper makes sure all of the books are put back into the correct bins and that they look nice. The library helper can also help carry the bucket of library books with a friend they choose to the library if you carry them all together.

 

4. Door Holder

Real World Name: Doorman, Entry Asssistant

Holds the door open for the class to enter/exit rooms. I recommend that once they are done holding the door for the last person in line, they power walk to the front to join the line as the 2nd person in line so they are always ready to open the next door and don’t have to run to the front of the line when you get somewhere new.

 

5. Pencil Sharpener

Real World Name: Equipment Maintenance Supervisor

This is a sacred job. Letting all the kids sharpen their own pencils can be a disaster so I highly recommend having it be an individual student’s job. Have 2 containers: a dull pencils container and a sharp pencils container. Any time the pencil sharpener is done with his/her work, they can come sharpen all the pencils in the dull container to put in the sharp container. You could also only do it during certain times. It’s the best job because then you don’t have to do it! Plus, you know the student is being careful and doing it correctly because you’ve trained them how.

 

6. Lights

Real World Name: Energy Conservationist, Electrician

Turns off the lights whenever you leave the classroom and turns them back on when the class returns

 

7. Paper Passer

Real World Name: Supplies Distribution Coordinator, Supplies Distributor

Passes out any papers you need passed out for classwork or to take home

 

8. Office Runner / Messenger

Real World Name: Mail Carrier

If you need to send anything to the office, they take it for you. If you need anything picked up, they go get it.

 

9. Caboose

For some reason, no one likes to be at the back of the line OR it’s Mr. I’m-Going-to-Walk-in-Spirals-and-Poke-People who wants to be in the back so it’s always good to have an assigned caboose.

 

10. Line Monitor

If you have issues with keeping a straight and/or quiet line, you can have it be a student job to walk alongside the line and keep the line straight and quiet.

 

11. Hand Sanitizer

Real World Name: Sanitation Manager

Gives each kid a squirt of sanitizer before lunch and snack. Get a big pump bottle and, while students are lined up, teach them to hold out their hands to receive a small squirt of sanitizer before eating.

 

12. Flipper

Changes all the charts in your classroom at the end of the day for the next day. For example, if you have a behavior chart where all of the clips or cards need to go back to green for the next day, they do that. If you have to do lunch choices, they put all those clips/cards back. If you have an attendance chart, they move them all back. Basically, any charts that need to start over the next day, they do. There is no reason why you should ever waste time doing that yourself at the end of each day. ūüôā

 

13. Computer Assistant 

Real World Name: Computer Assistant, Computer Technician

Turns on the computers in the morning and logs them in. Turns off the computers at the end of the day. If students have individual log ins, they help students who need assistance logging in or getting to the correct website.

 

14. Tablet Assistant

If your classroom has tablets of any kind, have a student who is in charge of making sure they are all properly stored and plugged in every morning, before lunch, and before dismissal. This job can also be in charge of helping people get to the correct app or website or with any questions they have during tablet work.

 

15. Substitute

This person does the job of anyone who is absent. If no one is absent, they do any little task you may ask them to so they don’t feel left out of a classroom job. You want this person to be responsible so they can take on any job without training but most kids are willing and excited to jump into different jobs.

 

16. Calendar Leader

I personally think the calendar leader should change every day or every week so if you don’t switch out your jobs for weeks, I don’t recommend this one. This person leads calendar, asks the calendar questions, and calls on students to answer them. You could also split this job into several jobs like the math helper (to do number of the day, counting to 100, or whatever math related things you have), song leader (to lead the class in songs), weather helper (to do weather), etc.

 

17. Absent Work Manager

Real World: Production Manager

This is one of my favorite jobs. This person notes how many kids are absent that day (or you tell them first thing in the morning) and they get an EXTRA worksheet for that person or persons for every single activity you do that day and put it into a pile on your counter. If there are 3 people absent, they make 3 separate piles they add to throughout the day. Train them to write the person’s name on a sticky note and put it on the first paper then put each worksheet you do during the day at the bottom of the stack each time they get a new one as the day progresses. If the absent person comes in late, they know to go to the counter or wherever the pile(s) are kept to grab whatever they missed. You can also train students to grab their pile from the counter the next day if they were absent –¬†to take home as homework or to put in their folder to complete. This is the best for when you get the “Emma’s brother is going to come get the work she missed” call at the end of the day and have to scramble to grab a copy of everything you did that day. It’s just wonderful to make this a student job.

 

18. Teacher’s Assistant

This is just a catch all job to do any little thing you may need during the day that doesn’t fall under another job like if you’re in the middle of a lesson in front of the class but you need them to grab something. They also can be the “Ask Me” person if someone has a question during small group time or another time when you’re busy.

 

19. Trash Monitor

Real World Name: Custodian

This person makes sure there is no trash on the floor and picks it up if they see it. They can also dump the trash cans or place them by the door if those are things your school does.

 

20. Recycling Monitor

Real World Name: Environmental Conservationist

This can be combined with trash monitor or be separate. They make sure things that can be recycled are not put into the trash and vice versa.

 

21. Work Monitor

Real World Name: Work Manager

Uses a class list on a clipboard to check off students who have finished their work. This is an¬†awesome job if you have a kind, responsible student (who typically finishes their work early) who can¬†do this. Use a class list in one of those grid ways with check boxes in columns and have this person put a checkmark next to the name of kids who finish a particular assignment. It’s also great to have a job like this for collecting things like who turned in their field trip permission slips or whatever things you keep track of. This person can also be in charge of putting assignments turned into you in ABC order or number order, however you input grades. It’ll save you a lot of time!

 

22. Pet Helper

Real World Name: Zookeeper, Zoologist

If you have a classroom pet, this person could be in charge of feeding them and making sure their habitat looks healthy.

 

23. Plant Helper

Real World Name: Botanist, Plant Scientist

If you have plants in your classroom, they water them and help take care of them.

 

24. Escort

Real World Name: Bodyguard

If your school requires you to send a buddy with kids to go to the bathroom, nurse, office, etc. so they don’t walk alone or if you have a friend who needs escorting, this person goes with them.

 

25. Mediator

Real World Name: Conflict Resolution Specialist

When there is a “tattle” type issue where 2 kids are not getting along for some reason, they can call on the mediator to help them figure it out. The mediator is trained to ask them each what the issue is and help them use problem solving language and steps to solve it. This takes a little bit of training but can be great! The mediator can have them talk about how they feel¬†and¬†how they can compromise to work out a solution that they’re both happy with. Yes, even preschoolers¬†can do this and it is adorable.

 

26. Chair Stacker

You may have all of your kids stack the chairs at the end of the day or you can have 1 or 2 students have this job.

 

27. Morning Meeting Leader

If you do a class meeting in the morning, this person can run it.

 

28. Clean Up Crew

Real World Name: Custodian

They inspect the other desks and tables. You could even give them stickers to give to super clean desks after a clean up. They can also be in charge of cleaning up any spills or keeping common areas tidy. They can also be the one to pass out wipes during classroom cleaning.

 

28. Breakfast Helper

If you do breakfast in the classroom, they help hand it out, open things for people who need it, assist with clean up, etc.

 

30. Lunch Helper

Real World Name: Food Coordinator

If there is any work related to lunch that is done daily, they do it. For example, they may do the lunch count and take it to the office or cafeteria. They may carry the lunch tub of home lunches to the cafeteria if you do that.

 

31. Snack Helper

Hands out snack. Helps other kids open things if they need it.

 

32. Shoes and Clothing Specialist

Ties the shoes of kids who need help,¬†helps other kids zip/unzip jackets, and takes care of¬†any other shoe or clothing related needed. They also make sure jackets are neatly put away in the winter. They can also be a “uniform specialist” if your school has uniforms where they make sure everyone’s shirts are tucked in throughout the day.

 

33. Coupon/Ticket Helper

If you have a classroom currency where students get a ticket or something at the end of the day for being on a certain color on the behavior chart or anything like that, this person can be responsible for passing them out. I love these monthly behavior clip charts that are so fun to switch out every month and each one comes with a new award certificate they get for getting to the top. This job can hand that out along with a little prize maybe like a sparkly pencil or fun eraser.

 

34. Transitions Specialist

If you ring wind chimes or play songs to transition, this person does it for you when you signal them. You can also train them to set timers at certain points in the day if that’s something you do.

 

35. Recess Helper

Real World Name: Playground Equipment Manager

If you carry balls or equipment outside for recess, this person carries it. If it’s a 2 person job, they can pick a friend to help them. They are in charge of making sure all of the equipment gets put back into the bucket and carry it back as well.

 

36. Greeter / Ambassador of Happy / Salutations Specialist

In the morning they stand in the doorway to greet everyone coming in the door. Teach them to say, “Good morning” with a smile or “Hi Ben!” type greetings. When kids line up to come inside in the morning, they get to go to the front of the line behind the line leader and door holder so they’re ready for their job when kids are coming in. You can also have them stand in the doorway as everyone is leaving to wish them a great rest of their day or say things like, “Great job today!”

 

37. Whiteboard Manager

Erases the whiteboard at the end of the day. If you change the date or anything like that on the whiteboard, they can do that. They can also be in charge of anything you need done with an interactive whiteboard if you have one as well.

 

38. Directions Assistant

If someone comes in the classroom¬†in the middle of a lesson or activity, this person pulls them aside to explain what’s going on and help them immerse into whatever you’re doing without having to interrupt your lesson. This is great for students who come into lessons late because they’re pulled for speech, testing, whatever it may be. This person knows to pop up and help them get started.

 

39. Classroom Ambassador

If you get a new student, this person is in charge of showing them around. They show them how to do all your classroom procedures and routines, help them make friends at recess, and basically are their guide until they settle into the classroom community. If another student is in your class from another class for some reason, they also help guide them in how your class does things. You can also have this person be the go-to person for when you have a substitute.

 

40. Bathroom Monitors – one boy, one girl

If you go the bathroom as an entire class during the day, these people are in charge of monitoring the bathroom. They get to go to the bathroom first and then once they come out, they call students from your line to fill the stalls. I recommend having students who need to use the restroom stand and those who don’t or have already gone sit. As soon as a stall empties, they call another person who’s standing until everyone has used the restroom and is sitting. They also monitor the stalls to make sure no one is playing around in the bathroom.

 

I hope this list gave you some ideas for classroom jobs! Do you use any of these jobs in your classroom?

Don’t forget to check out this post on How to Organize Classroom Jobs!

If you have any other jobs I didn’t list here, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Feel free to pin this image on pinterest to save this list to read again later!

Classroom Jobs List

8 Reasons Why Kids Need Recess

Kids need recess. Period.¬†Recess is one of the things in education that seems to be¬†continuously cut in favor of more content teaching and testing. A lot of the fun of learning has been slowly squeezed out of schools and now, when students need the break more than ever, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for recess.

 

Kindergarten Today Kids Need Recess Poem

 

Kids need recess because…

1. Kids work really hard and¬†need breaks¬†–¬†plural!

School is really hard work these days.¬†Students, even in preschool and kindergarten, are expected to learn so much content so much faster. There is a lot of pressure put on today’s children¬†with testing. School is a lot more academic right away than it used to be. Kids¬†NEED that break – that moment to go outside and be a kid and be carefree. Kids aren’t¬†meant to work¬†for hours and hours at a time.¬†They will be so much more refreshed and able to concentrate¬†when they come back inside if they get adequate breaks.

 

2. Recess teaches valuable social skills.

Learning how to share and be a good friend is just as important as any math skill, in my opinion. There are SO many social and life skills that playing at recess teaches.

 

By the way, here’s a great list of books BY social skill to read aloud to help teach them to kids: Fun Books to Read Aloud Sorted by Behavior

 

3. Recess gives kids a safe place to run and play.

Recess might be the only time that day that kid gets to play outside, breathe fresh air, run on their little legs, and be around children their own age.

Some kids don’t have a safe place to play at home. Especially in rougher neighborhoods, kids may not have a place they can play outside. They may live in an apartment or similar dwelling with no yard. Unless their parents take them to a park, they don’t get grass and fresh air and playground¬†equipment¬†to develop their motor skills with. I doubt many parents can take their child to the park every day…¬†and if their parents¬†can and do, what are the chances they’ll have the same social opportunities with other kids that are at their level? School is such a great opportunity for children to interact with their peers.

 

4. Exercise is healthy.

Children¬†are frighteningly sedentary these days.¬†With the explosion of technology, so many kids are not playing outside anymore… at all. Many¬†are inside playing on their tablets, computers, or watching TV. When I was little, we got out of school and immediately ran to a¬†friends’ house and played in their yard, climbed trees, rode bikes, went rollerblading, and made up our own games. These things are building gross motor skills and helping little developing bodies build strength and important skills.

 

5. They need UNSTRUCTURED play.

Play should be unstructured. Even if every lesson in school is engaging and fun, they still need PLAY that is unstructured. Not planned by an adult. Not on a lesson plan with a specific skill to learn as a result.¬†At recess when I was in school,¬†we used our imaginations to create our own games and activities. It seemed¬†like play but it was real learning, not to mention learning how to collaborate with others and grow our social skills.¬†Yes,¬†they might be playing learning apps on their tablet or “playing” to learn a specific skill, but nothing can replace those meaningful, real world experiences from unstructured play that foster creativity where kids can explore and expand¬†their thinking on a higher level.

 

6. Adequate recess helps prevent misbehavior.

I personally believe that a lot of misbehavior stems from kids just needing to get their energy out. If they could just get all their energy out in a fun, positive way, they’d¬†be much happier. Happy kids make happy students. Happy students¬†will most likely behave better and thus learn more. Seems pretty simple. ūüôā

 

Flexible seating IN the classroom is also really important for helping kids get the movement they need during the day.

 

7. Kids should enjoy coming to school.

I want all students to be lifelong learners and¬†excited to learn. If they’re not excited to come to school, they’re probably not that excited to learn either and it’s just a negative experience all around. I want all kids to see school as a happy, fun place where they can learn and grow. What kid doesn’t love recess? The more positive experiences a child has in school, the more favorably they’ll view school and actually want to come each day.

 

8. They need recess so their teachers can have a break too.

Students will probably get a much higher quality education if their teacher has adequate time to plan fun, engaging lessons and isn’t feeling frazzled all the time. “Planning time” is too often filled with meetings that most teachers are happy if they can manage to make copies, pee, and eat their lunch all in one day. Teachers work so hard and they need a break too.

 

What it all comes down to, I think, is that kids should get to be kids. I mean, they’re kids!

 

If you’re a teacher,¬†do you feel like your students get enough recess? If you’re a parent, do you feel like your child gets enough recess? Do you have anything to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

I make a ton of lists! Check these out:

Classroom Must Haves

Reading Must Haves

Math Must Haves

Best Back to School Read Alouds

Best Books by Behavior (great for teaching specific behaviors like tattling, sharing, etc.!)

Huge List of Classroom Jobs

How to Organize Classroom Jobs