Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who?

An apple a day is what I always say . . . Please welcome Michelle  from Apples and ABCs as she gives you some tips for organizing your classroom helpers. 


Hello everyone!  It's Michelle from Apples and ABC's!  I am so excited be blogging for Marsha today, so thanks for having me :).  



On staying with the theme "Back to School" (is it coming WAY too fast for anyone else?!?) I want to share with you how I do my "daily helpers" in class.  I get so jealous of the teachers that have 15 different class jobs, with clever titles, and that change daily.  I am SO not that teacher.  There are so many aspects to teaching and especially to keeping a classroom run smoothly.  For some reason, I have not been able to implement a detailed classroom helper system.  It seems like I have tried every year, and I end up forgetting whose job it is (and so do the kids)...  I wish I could have a structured system, and have the kids so well trained that the classroom helper jobs are running without me even needing to intervene.  But that is not my reality.  :/  The good news is, I have found a system that works well for me!  Maybe some of you haven't found the perfect classroom helper system yet either, so it could work for you too!

Here it is:  I have one helper a day.  Yep, just one...and that student gets to do EVERYTHING!  They are the line leader, light monitor, runner, paper passer, you name it, they do it.  Let me share some of the benefits.  Instead of only getting to turn the lights off 6 times a day, they get to be in charge of everything!  This makes them feel so special when it is their special day, and it's all about them!  There are always little things or opportunities to get the other kids involved in the day, but there is one person that is the main helper.  This keeps it simple and easy for me and all of the kids to remember whose day it is!

Let me show you how we keep track of who the helper is...


I have a long, skinny pocket chart by the door and each student has an apple with his/her name on it.  We call this "apple order."  Having this list of names is helpful to know whose day it is, we just go down the list and each person gets a turn.  This is also helpful when I need to make sure everyone gets a turn at something, or if students are being pulled out to be tested, or all need a turn to glitter something (a kinder life for me....), then I just go down the list of names and make sure each child gets a turn.


There is a clip that slides down the pocket chart and if it's your day the clip slides to your name.  If someone is absent, I might switch the apple with the one below it and it will be that next child's turn.  

I bought this pack of apples at Lakeshore, and wrote each child's name on it.  Then the apples go in the chart, and there we have it:  a classroom helper list!



I hope this way of doing class job's isn't too simple for you!  It surely keeps me organized!  One day I will have 27 class jobs, but until then, it will just be "an apple a day...."

Come visit me soon!  -Michelle Griffo

Check back tomorrow for more back to school ideas and activities from my next guest for Back To School with Guess Who?




16 comments :

  1. That's how I do my helpers too! I just can't keep up with a bunch of jobs. One helper does the job!
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

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  2. That's how I'm planning on doing my helpers as well. I always feel bad when kids have to wait forever for their favorite jobs (like line leader). I have 23 kiddos this year and the thought of having to wait 22 weeks to be the line leader makes me so sad. I was planning on pulling names from my jar during morning meeting, but I might do your idea instead so it's planned and ready to go! Thanks for the tip!
    Liz
    Come check out my new blog Teaching in the Valley

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    1. I know, that is the only thing I don't like about this system...is that they have to wait so long for their turn! But I try to find other things that I need help with throughout the day to get the other kids involved too! :)

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  3. I also have 1 main helper a day. I base it on our snack calendar. One person a day brings snack for the class, they also get to be line leader, etc. except for 1 job, the door holder, that job goes to the person who will be the snack person the next day...so it is also a reminder that their snack day is fast approaching. I have used this system for years and I don't have to worry about a "job chart" taking up valuable wall space!

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    1. That is so smart to have one person be the door holder to remind them to bring the snack for the following day! Love that idea!

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  4. I did that last year and it worked perfectly!!

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  5. Great job Michelle! I have done "Helper of the Day" forever and I love it! We go in order by their first name and I hang their name up on the calendar wall for the day. In the beginning of the year, we do fun things with the helper's name. Every time we start over with the first student I add something new to the routine. They like to see what new way they can do the weather or if they get to lead us in a favorite song. Just something new to the job! I am with you about not being able to keep track and I think the kids really enjoy their day. I am sad that I will have 30 kids this year. That is a long wait to be the helper! I also do a star student and they can also help too if I need a job for 2 students!

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    1. I love the idea of adding something new each time you go through the list!

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  6. I do the same thing! My helper each day is the line leader, helps with the calendar, passes things out, etc.

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  7. I love this! It fixes all my worries with what classroom jobs I need! One kid does it all! LOVE!

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  8. I do pretty much the same thing! I have tried all the different helpers, but can never remember either! I just have leader and caboose. The leader gets to do everything and the caboose holds the door and then makes sure the door gets closed. The next day the caboose is the line leader and it rotates from there. Thank you for sharing with us! :)
    Cheryl
    Crayons and Curls

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    1. I love the caboose being the end and the door holder! I am going to do that next year! And it helps with the problem of the kids fighting for the end! :)
      Michelle

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  10. My helper is the "VISA" for Very Important Student Assistant and my other helper is the "End Friend". They wear tags on a lanyard on their day, and I just have them take the necklaces off for recess and PE. The End Friend holds the door and then pops on to the back of the line... no more arguing! It has always worked for me. I just draw sticks to pick new every morning and check them off on a list. I do like your idea with the apples, though!

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