Implementing Classroom Jobs in Upper Elementary and Middle School

what jobs to use and assign in upper elementary and middle school to promote responsibility

Back to school season is a time for teachers to set up rules and procedures for the upcoming school year. Teachers want to work smarter, not harder. In order to do that, why not continue to give your students classroom jobs?

Primary and elementary teachers give out classroom jobs to their students. Not only does this help to them run an efficient and productive classroom, but it also allows students to build on their personal skills of responsibility and dependability.

It is possible to continue to have classroom jobs even with students changing classes. You can decide if you only want your homeroom to take care of the classroom or have jobs each class period. Think about the structure of your day and what would work best for you.

Choosing the best student for the job can be done randomly, as it often is in elementary school or you could have students fill out a short application form. This would tie in real life skills as when students want to apply for a job that they want later on in life, they will need this skill. Applications do not need to long or lengthy by any means. Students can fill out basic personal information and then give a reason why they think they are fit to complete the job. Always keep in mind that these jobs are meant to make your life easier!

Some classroom jobs that are perfect for upper elementary and middle schoolers are:

  •         Supply table supervisor make sure all supplies are in order and ready to go
  •         Technology assistant this is a big one. I always have students that neglect to plug in their Chromebook and then it leaves it dead for the next student. Assigning a student(s) to take care of this task leaves you to worry about more important things, like if the technology actually working. 😊
  •         Agenda administrator writes down the date, class and homework assignments on the board
  •         Paper personal assistant collect and distribute worksheets and assignments
  •         Receptionist Answers the classroom phone. This will also teach students proper manners when answering and taking a phone message.
  •         Veterinarian feeds and cares for a classroom pet
  •         Waste manager cleans up all the trash at the end of a lesson or activity
  •         Sanitation supervisor cleans the tables or desks with disinfecting wipes
Ways to still give students classroom jobs in grades 5, 6, 7

Do you use classroom jobs in the upper grades? I would love to hear how you implement them in your classroom. Tell me in the comments below!

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    Building Personal Relationships with Your Students on the First Day of School

    Every back to school season, I rack my brain of different ideas to get to know my students. In the past, I have done activities like The Best Part of Me and Three Things I Want My Teacher to Know. However, midyear I unexpectedly came up with a truly unique method to easily get to know my students in a fun way.

          While reading the novel, War with Grandpa, as a pre-reading activity, I had my students describe, explain, and draw a map of their bedroom. I wanted to know whether they shared their room with anyone, what their room was made up of, what they liked, and disliked about it. This activity was engaging and simple which is perfect for the first days of school. Class time was given to complete it and students were provided the template worksheet, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. 
    Easy ways to get to know your students on the first day of school

    The benefit of using this lesson to get to know your students at the beginning of the year is because the information held in their drawings and their writing allowed me to gauge their levels of independence, living conditions, and provided an insight into their home life. I now knew who still slept with their parents, who was living in a one-bedroom apartment as a family of five, or who had all the amenities that any 10-year-old kid could want. This allowed me to become more empathetic to the needs of my students allowing me to do my job as a teacher a little bit better. 

    Using art and writing to quickly get to know your students personally at back to school season

    Click through to find more Back-to-School activities and freebies to help build

    relationships from the first day of school!

    Get to Know Your Students with the 4 C's of Engineering // Kerry Tracy

    5 back to school activities to build relationships with your students

    Download my bedroom template NOW!

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      Five Classroom Supplies Every Science Teacher Needs

      Affiliate links may be included. 

      The first days of school are a whirlwind. There is so much preparation that needs to take place from thinking about lesson planning, classroom management strategies to classroom décor. Below is a list of my must haves as a science teacher. Read below to make sure you are prepared for the back to school season.

      Clorox Wipes

      Labs and hands on activities can get messy. Using Clorox Wipes or some other kind of disinfecting wipe will prove to be helpful in your classroom. At the end of each week, I also use them to wipe down communal spots like doorknobs, computer keyboards, classroom phones, etc. to keep away germs and other bacteria.

      Ziploc Bags

      I use these all year long. I prefer the gallon size bags. They are perfect to store science materials in. I try to group my materials by unit. They can hold electricity supplies, task cards, or tubs of playdoh depending on our needs for the day. They also can be used for the students if an activity takes longer than a class period. Simply put their names on the bag and they are ready to be used the following day.

      Every science teacher needs to add ziploc bags to their back to school list for hands on activities and classroom storage.

      Lab Safety Materials

      These banners are perfect to hang around your room to remind students of lab safety rules and concepts as well as the scientific method all year long. They are bright and vivid to catch students’ attention and keep them on track.

      Remind students of lab safety and the scientific method using classroom decor in the science room.

      Masking Tape

      I use this for many different units. Metric measurement is the first that comes to mind. Finding a good brand that will actually tear off nicely and stick can be a problem. I like this brand because it is easy to use and nice on the budget.

      Desk calendar

      I need this to organize myself. This year I am trying out the Happy Planner desk calendar. While I am not a planner person, I do rely on my desk calendar to keep track of assemblies, meetings, and school trips. I like having the month set out in front of me so that I know what is going on ahead of time. Being organized can be difficult, especially for the science teacher, but is really important to keep your classroom running smoothly.

      Start the back to school season with these five classroom supplies every science teacher should have in their classroom. From organization to storage to classroom decor, these are five items that are essential to have a successful school year.

      I hope this list helps you prepare for the back to school season. What other items would you add to this list? Tell me below. 

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        Six Classroom Management Ideas for the Science Classroom

        How to maintain control in the science laboratory and classroom

              Implementing powerful strategies and rules to maintain conduct and control of the classroom is a necessary step at the beginning of the school year for every teacher. For the science teacher, it is even more important because safety truly becomes a factor in managing behaviors and discipline in the laboratory. Below are six easy to implement strategies that you can use to have a structured, fun year with your students.

        Tip #1: Create a Respectful Environment

        I believe that creating a respectful environment is the most effective way to manage your classroom. When students feel respected, they will elicit respect in return. Simple ways to initiate a respectful environment at the beginning of the year are to:

        -       Treat students with respect from day one. Forget about the rumors or what you’ve heard about the student in the past. Each day is an opportunity for a clean slate. Demonstrate this by respecting each and every student in your classroom. Simple conversations like saying, “I missed you,” when students are absent can go a long way with kids.
        -       Stop gossip in the classroom. Be a leader by not gossiping yourself and ending any conversations that you hear.
        -       Rules are for everyone. You can’t allow one student to wear a hat, but not another. Be fair and consistent with all students.
        -       Send positive emails to parents. 

        back to school create a space to welcome students into your classroom

        Tip #2: Have clear expectations.

        Sometimes it sounds easier than you think. Creating a syllabus to start off the year, giving directions auditorily and visually, and having classroom conversations to build relationships, increase student comfort levels, and assess understanding are all ways to ensure your expectations are clear so that students will remain on task. 

        classroom syllabus for management of science class

        Tip #3: Consistent classroom procedures.

        The procedures you set on the first days of school are essential to maintain in January, March, and May. You must adhere to your own procedures, that also comply with school rules, and repeat them consistently throughout the year. Some procedures you may want to think about how to best implement are:
        -       Organization (where and how they will keep their work)
        -       Where to find necessary laboratory items
        -       Aim and Do Now
        -       Passes
        -       Lateness / Absences

        Being organized and consistent gives students structure to maintain expectations

        Tip #4: Engagement.

        I truly feel that an engaged, respectful classroom environment will manage itself. In doing so, I try to make science as hands-on as possible. Students want to be part of the hands on experiments, so their behavior will fall into place. If budgeting is an issue, ask students to bring in supplies. Often, their families can help by providing some necessary items. Other ways to engage are
        -       Including technology into the classroom through a digital curriculum or blended learning lessons that allow students to tap into their strengths and interests. 

        Increase student engagement to decrease negative behaviors in the classroom

        Tip #5: Collaborate!

        Vary your teaching style to liven up the classroom. This will also help to increase engagement. Students get bored of always listening to the teacher in front of the classroom. Studies show that often they learn best from one another. Try out letting students work in small groups, make sure to set up rules first, but see how the students respond to the different teaching method.
        -       Allow students to make up their own small groups or randomize groupings based on ability or behavior.
        -       Use rubrics to grade students on the assignment.

        Tip #6: Consequences

        No matter how respectful and kind you are, there will be times you need to establish consequences for your students. I feel it is best to have predetermined consequences that adhere to your individual school policy. Before the school year starts, determine what would warrant a consequence. You should establish this with your students on day one, it could be worthwhile to put this in your syllabus. To maintain credibility, be sure to follow through with your consequences, but do not put yourself in a struggle in front of the class. Keep a respectful tone by talking to the students after class or in the hallway. Also, think of positive rewards that students can earn. Sometimes it is helpful to focus on the positive instead of the negative.

        Classroom management ideas and strategies to use in science on he first days of school through the end of the school year

                 I hope these classroom management techniques help you out in your science room. If you have any questions or comments, let me know below. 

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