Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tips & Tricks ~ Part 2 ~ Student Helpers

&      Student helper “jobs” – Popular with my 7th graders ~not so much with the 8th
§  Develop a sign up sheet – or perhaps a “job application” – for students to fill in.  Most students love to be a helper.  Give them a Jolly Rancher and they’re happy as can be!  Some won’t even want anything for it.  Regardless, you won’t hear so much complaining.  They are choosing to take the responsibility!
§  This is nice because depending on the current project, things can get crazy at clean-up time.  Having a few students helping out with some minor tasks (i.e. the return of borrowed pencils) can lift a lot of pressure off your shoulders. 
§  The jobs can run a week or perhaps a month at a time.  Payment is up to you. 
§  Ideas:
-        extra credit points
-        earning the use of the teacher’s chair
-        working at the teacher’s desk
-        a piece of candy
-        a pop from the teacher’s lounge (always a big deal, not sure why)
-        positive notes home
-        picking out a gift from the treasure chest at the end of their work cycle.

Here are some jobs that have worked for me:
1.     Librarian – (1 person) - make sure all borrowed books are returned, books are straightened on the shelves
2.    Supply Cabinet manager (2 persons) – I have tall cabinet with pull-out bins in the back of my classroom to store markers and colored pencils.  They are sorted by type and color.  I also keep scrap paper, activity pages (for “I’m done, what do I do now?”), and older scissors and rulers.  This cabinet is always open and the kids can access it as needed.  This job would entail keeping the supplies and bins sorted, cleaning marks from markers, & testing markers and throwing away bad ones.
3.    Sweeper – (1 person) – Sweep up the floor as needed at the end of class.  The kids love to use the large, wide brooms if they can.  I was able to get one from our maintenance staff.
4.   Materials handler – (1-2 persons) - Helps to pass out and/or collect paper, handouts, and other supplies.
5.    Teacher's Assistant - may be called upon to help with demos, run errands, assist other team members
6.    Table Supervisor – (1 -2 persons) – Checks to make sure tables are clear of paper, ink, paint, etc.  As well as the chairs and floor area.  They are to help if needed, but they also have the authority to politely remind their peers to clean up their area properly.
7.   Sink/Counter Supervisor – (1 person) – Check to make sure sinks off and are free of wet paper towel, paintbrushes, or other objects. 
8.    Supply manager - (1 -2 persons) –
~ Pencils: make sure all borrowed pencils and erasers are returned (If you have a microphone system in your room – allow the kids to use it to call out names or pencil numbers.  They love it and the rest of the class can hear them clearly as they are busy cleaning up.
~ Other supplies:  this will vary depending on what type of project you are doing.  For example, during a painting project, the student could be in charge of making sure all of the brushes are properly rinsed and returned, paint bottles are returned, etc.
~ Drying Rack:  I have a very large drying rack in my room.  The students can handle loading it for the most part, however, it is nice to have someone there to help and watch.  That way I can move about the room to monitor clean-up.

*Note: signing up alternates is a good idea.  For example, if Sam is absent, then Joe knows to take over his duties.
*Another Note:  Instead of individuals signing up for these tasks, you could easily assign them by table.  Perhaps it changes each day or week, depending on what color/artists’ name/or number their table is.