Teacher Tips: Sharing Classroom Jobs
Assigning chores to children in your classroom is fun - and it teaches responsibility.
- Grades: Early Childhood, Infant, PreK–K, 1–2
1. Job Talk. Talk about the importance of taking responsibilities seriously and effectively following through on them. Ask: What might happen if a classroom helper lets the door close on someone?
2. Think! Think! Think! Decide which tasks should be performed daily (feeding the hamster), several times a day (holding the door), or weekly (passing out the class newsletter).
3. Get Them Going! Ask children to select classroom-helper partners. They can twirl a spinner to land on a child's name or pick a name out of a jar for added excitement.
4. Clever Charts. Motivate children with creative theme-related charts, such as pockets in a farmer's overalls. Hang up a clear plastic closet door shoe holder to hold the cards. Use pictures and words to help children "read" their assignments.
5. It's a Match! Take into account children's various learning styles when matching children to tasks. Keep tasks simple for young children and rotate them quickly. (It's hard for them to wait too long for a turn!)
6. Fair and Square. For some of the most popular jobs, keep a tally on a graph so the children can see who has taken a turn.
7. Super Supports. For a job well done, use a verbal thank you, a visual "thumbs up," or a physical pat on the back. Encourage children to acknowledge each other's helpfulness.
8. It's a Wrap! Turn over a tag so everyone can see that a job is done. Put a smiley face on the back to reinforce completion of a task.
9. Celebrate Volunteerism. Create a bulletin board that highlights jobs well done! Take instant photos of children doing their jobs and invite them to dictate captions about their involvement.
10. Tell It in Pictures. Create a booklet showing children helping one another Read it together and discuss how they are taking turns at their jobs. Put the booklet in the classroom library for reference.
This article originally appeared in the October, 2000 issue of Early Childhood Today.