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Setting Up Job Charts in the Elementary Classroom

written by: Margo Dill • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 1/7/2012

At the beginning of the school year, you may want to give your elementary students classroom jobs. These range from watering plants to filing papers to being the line leader. Set up job charts so every student knows what he or she is responsible for.

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    Keeping Things Simple

    elementary class by striatic www.flickr.com 

    At the beginning of the school year, some teachers decide they want each student to have a classroom job every week. So, they create 25 plus classroom jobs, depending on how many students are in their class. If they get a new student, they create a new job. This may be important for lower elementary grades such as kindergarten and first grade, but it is difficult to keep up with and may cause more problems in classroom organization than needed. Some of the jobs on the student classroom jobs chart may overlap if you have too many and students may forget their jobs.

    Before the first day of school, ask yourself what are the classroom jobs you really need help with each day to keep your class running smoothly. You also want to pick jobs that will teach your elementary students responsibility, maybe challenge them a little, but not be too difficult that you have to take classroom time to monitor the jobs. You also need to pick jobs that you think every one of your students could handle, regardless of their ability. Some students with special needs will notice if they are never the paper filer, especially if they are looking forward to that job. Assess your students, their grade, and their ability when you are deciding on jobs for the classroom jobs chart.

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    Setting Up the Student Job Board

    If you go throughout your school building at the beginning of the school year, you will see a classroom jobs chart in almost every room. Here are a few of the easiest ways to set up and maintain your classroom jobs:

    • Use a pocket chart. With sentence strips of one color, write the classroom jobs, and line them up on the left-hand side. Use another color of sentence strips to write all your students' names. Place a student name next to each classroom job that you have posted on the pocket chart. On Mondays, rotate the names by moving every name down one slot and taking a new name from the unused pile for the first job. Laminate your classroom job strips and student names, so they will last the whole year.
    • On a piece of poster board, glue library card pockets. On each library card pocket, write the name of a classroom job. Laminate the poster board and library cards so they are sturdy. You can use a blade to cut a slit in the lamination for each library card pocket. Next write your students' names on craft sticks. Stick one craft stick in each of the library card pockets. On Mondays, move each stick to the right, and grab a new stick from the unused pile to rotate a new student through the classroom jobs.

    These are two easy ways to set up a classroom jobs chart before the first day of school.