Even in middle school, classroom jobs play an important role in building a sense of community. I am a big advocate of including my students in as many classroom procedures as possible. This is OUR classroom, and I want them to take ownership of it. Doing so makes them feel more compelled to take care of and show respect for our learning space. This is where classroom jobs come into play!
My 7th grade students still enjoy helping out around the classroom. I often have students arrive early each morning in hopes of having the opportunity to tackle some small tasks around the room. My students truly enjoy feeling responsible for the different chores that make them feel as though they are contributing to their learning environment.
CLASSROOM JOB BASICS
If you’ve never used student helpers in your classroom, or perhaps you always thought posting jobs would be more work than it was worth, check out this Classroom Jobs for Big Kids resource I created a few years ago. I assure you that with an organized plan, offering this opportunity will help you build a stronger class community.
This printable PDF resource also includes an editable PowerPoint file so you can add custom tasks as needed. I recommend keeping your roles broadly defined because there will be new duties to add as the school year goes on.
Here are the simple steps to implement this into your weekly routine…
- Print and laminate each of the jobs and lanyard tag pages.
- Cut and display the jobs in a visible spot as a reminder to both you and your students.
- Explain each classroom job and display the job descriptions so students are aware and can perform the job accordingly.
- Use clothespins with student names and clip them to your classroom jobs display board.
- Allow students to wear the job lanyards while in class, but have them hang the lanyards back up upon their departure.
- Rotate the jobs weekly or as you see fit. I rotate in alphabetical order.
- The list of classroom jobs includes Administrative Assistant, Librarian, Mail Carrier, Technology Coordinator, Task Director, and Project Manager.
TURN CLASSROOM JOBS INTO LEARNING
One fun way to incorporate ELA instruction into classroom jobs is to set up an application process. This works really well if you utilize Google Classroom and laptops. After experimenting with this idea, I created a digital unit that utilizes job titles from my original resources but turns the process into a more comprehensive activity.
I find middle school students tend to be minimalist writers unless you give them practical and high-interest writing exercises. This Classroom Job Application and Descriptive Writing Unit comes with both the DIGITAL and PRINTABLE versions to engage your students in the descriptive writing process.
Descriptive writing is a skill that students must possess, and students have a lot of fun using these job applications to develop their skills. You can use as many of the organizers and lesson ideas as needed for your classroom and the job opportunities available.
If your students are anything like mine, some will require support through the writing process, while other student writers will hit the ground running. The goal here is to immerse them in writing early in the year and generate enthusiasm about the process of going from ideation to completed work. These types of creative writing projects tend to do both!