Let’s Work Together!

I am a contributing teacher author for  Who’s Who and Who’s New blog hop and i’m so excited to share some of my ideas for building a classroom community.

Building a strong sense of community can really make a difference in your classroom. A common phrase we say with our students is “Create the community you want to live in” and I am a strong believer that children who have a strong sense of community in their classroom have a higher level of respect. They respect one another, as well as, their surroundings.

It is not uncommon for teachers to have classroom jobs. Most teachers have some sort of classroom job/classroom helper bulletin board in their rooms. I, like most teachers have one of these bulletin boards. I have “Jungle Jobs” for my students.

My “Jungle Jobs” are just like most jobs you will find in a kindergarten classroom. We have our “messengers” our “pencil sharpeners” our “line leaders” etc.

We all know that by giving student’s jobs it helps build their sense of responsibility and self worth. When I first started teaching, I struggled with assigning jobs to everyone so the entire class can cooperate together. This year I will start “Animal Jobs” where each student will have a job that corresponds with their table/group.

Having each student have a job throughout the day helps build a sense of community among the classroom. Students take pride in their jobs and also respect our classroom. By giving jobs, like sweeping and wiping down tables, students gain a sense of community with the feeling of “we are all in this together.” From my experience, once i’ve implemented table jobs, students cared more about their personal space, as well as, encouraged other students to respect our classroom.

How my Animal Jobs work:

My classroom is set up in four tables with five or six students at each table. My tables are classified by colors.

  • Orange Iguanas
  • Blue Barracudas
  • Green Monkeys
  • Red Jaguars. 

If any of your grew up in the 90s you’ll know those are names from Legends of the Hidden Temple. For short reference with the kids I call them by their colors.

Each chair at the table has an animal in the corresponding color box.

  • Tiger
  • Lion
  • Rhino
  • Monkey
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra. 

The jobs that are listed for my “Animal Jobs” are:

  • Cleaning Crew
  • Paper Passer
  • Recycling(garbage)
  • Table Cleaner
  • Supplies
  • Chair Stacker 
Starting on the first day of the week I assign new Animal Jobs. The way I have my jobs displayed are are taped to my door (I’m out of bulletin board space) with 3M Command Fridge Clips hung below each job title. This is so I can switch the animal cards weekly. The students know that the animal on the back of their chair corresponds with their weekly job. 
Throughout the day the Supplies and Paper Passers will gather materials and pass out papers for our lessons. They are in charge of prepping their table for our lessons/activities. This helps build a sense of community and responsibility among their peers. 

At the end of the day Table Cleaners wipe down our tables with clorox wipes, the Recycling students empty table trash cans, the chair stackers stack 3 chairs and then the Cleaning Crew sweeps under the tables. This helps build a sense of community because when students are in charge of cleaning they keep their area neat so they will not have extra work at the end of the day. 
I purchased my classroom sized garbage cans at Amazon, they are great and can be cleaned easily. I then color coded each garbage can with Gym Tape.  I use this Gym Tape to color code everything! I highly recommend table garbage cans. This is a great way to keep students in their seats. It keeps them from getting out of their chairs every minute with scrap paper. I learned this idea when I was student teaching from my 1st grade cooperating teacher and I will never not use this strategy!
I purchased my small dust pans for student to use to sweep at Amazon. I then used the same Gym Tape to color code them. The students love to sweep under their tables and are more conscientious of their snack messes.  

You can have my Animal Job pack for free by visiting my Facebook Page and clicking on the “Fan Freebies!” Tab

Next up on our blog hop is Ms. Lilypad’s Littles!