Making Over Third Grade!: Making Over Student Jobs
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Making Over Student Jobs

This year as I have changed the way the classroom works and how the kids participate in the classroom. I took my old jobs: librarian, janitor, calendar, phone, substitute, pencils, windows/doors, and technology and changed them up. I renamed the jobs so that they sounded like things you would need a college degree to have. I created a job application and required the kids to fill them out in order to get a job and I didn't give a job to anyone for the first three weeks of school. Instead, I talked about the jobs quite a bit and made them sound very desirable.

Tell me what you think of them:
Available jobs & Descriptions:
Climate Controller (1): Opens/closes blinds & monitors the thermostat
Tech Support (2): Assists others with tech issues, turns off/on TV, makes sure all apples are moved by others
Jack of All Trades (1): Substitute for all other class jobs
Benefits Specialist (1): Passes out stickers and stamps in record books for good work and complete assignments (Since they don't have papers to receive stickers/stamps as they are doing all of their work on their iPads they decided they could add these things to their password book.)
Book Curator (2): Cleans and maintains the class library
Environmental Specialist (1): Maintains the class cleanliness (janitor)
Chronologist (1): Maintains calendar and dates on boards

Communications (1): Answers and makes phone calls as needed

The job application (access it here) had a photo similar to the one above, a list of the jobs and the job descriptions, as well as directions for how to complete the application.  I required students to select the four jobs they wanted between Sept. and Dec. (we will do a second application in Dec. for the 2nd 1/2 of the year), to write a paragraph about why they would be good at the job(s) they selected, and finally for them to get two recommendations from either parents, older siblings, or former teachers.

I sent the application to each student via Google Classroom and gave the students a week to complete them. I then told them that the students who completed and returned them first would get their first selection for their jobs. Twelve students out 20 turned it in on time, of those 12, nine actually followed all of the steps. I then required them to complete the assignment before they could go to morning recess. While I do not usually take recess time to complete assignments, I wanted this class to know that they would be held accountable for their work and that they have to complete all assignments even if they are late.

I then created a spreadsheet with all of the job titles on the top row and the first column with the students' names. I indicated which jobs they wanted in the order they wanted them and then marked off the jobs each student got. I also made the choice to not fill in any job with a name if no one applied for it. I explained to the class that if no one wanted a job it would remain blank. I further explained that if a job was some one"s third or fourth choice I didn't select it if their first or second job selection was available.

As a class we decided that all jobs would rotate every two weeks so that every student has one job a month.  Then I taught each student who had a job what his/her job was and when they would be expected to do the job.  The classroom is now running like a well-oiled machine that needs little assistance from me, which is exactly what I wanted it to be!

In addition to the jobs listed above, I have a student of the week, which I call the Turtle of the Week, this student is my "toad-ally terrific kid" (I have a turtle and frog theme in my room).  The Turtle's job is to run errands, be the line leader, and ensure that all students are ready in line whenever we enter or exit the classroom.

Finally, we have a school wide incentive system called Eagle Cards. I hate giving out Eagle Cards because I always forget to hand them out. Last year I gave this job to a student and this year I decided that passing them out could be the Turtle's job. They love this! Sometimes I say, "Wow! That was great! I you an Eagle Card!" But most of the time they have figured out when they should hand these cards out to their peers. We are headed into our fifth week of school with our third Turtle of the Week, it is AMAZING to see how this class has come together, taken on the responsibilities of our classroom, and flourished in their new learning environment. I AM LOVING THIS YEAR! (I just can't say that enough about this class! *smile*)