Confession: I hated my classroom job chart.
Every day I would hear someone that caught my mistake of not changing the names. “Mrs. Wriiiiiiiight….. Jacob was the cubby person yesterdayyyy!!!”
I always forgot to change those darn things.
Then Kagan ideas came along and all of that changed.
Kagan strategies are so popular in classrooms and I think they offer strategies every teacher should look into. Unfortunately I was never one of the lucky ones that got picked from our school to go to a conference. Fortunately for me though, I worked with some amazing teachers that came back and shared and taught us everything they learned.
There was one tiny thing I added to my classroom that I loved the most and those were the table numbers.
With this simple change, I was able to completely get rid of my job chart. I jumped for joy. It was one of those “Duh, why didn’t I think of this before?!” moments.
Each group has an equal amount of students if possible and preferably an even number. My classroom had rectangular tables with four kiddos to a table. At each seat, students were assigned a number 1-4. Odd numbers also had the label of “A” and even numbers were “B.”
Not only was it easy to say “we are going to play a game today and it is going to be A’s versus B’s” but I can say “If you are a number 1, I want you to solve the first problem,” and so on.
Now how did this eliminate my job chart?
I made sure to print each table set on colored paper. I had a purple, blue, red, orange, and green table. On my board I had somewhat of a “command” center. It let us know what the date was, what we were going to learn that day, and of course the kiddos favorite: who the captain of the day was.
I would rotate the numbers each day and that was the team captain of the table. This child was in charge of getting their group’s workbooks and cleaning up the area around the table. Basically anything that the kiddos needed to do I would say “Captains, do ___.” I never had to remember who had what job and run up to my chart to check. The students LOVED being the captain.
I also had a classroom greeter. Like I have said before, if you ever walked into my class, a student would meet you near the door. He/She would shake your hand, say “Hi, my name is ___. Welcome to our classroom!” I would get so much joy when this would happen! My guests were always impressed! To determine who the greeter was, I would add a color to my command center next to the captain number. For example, if I had the color PURPLE posted, and the team captains for the day were all of my number 3s, then the purple captain would be the one that would greet our guests for the day. Once everyone at that table had a turn at being the captain, then I would change the color. I always had 4 kiddos to a table so I knew whenever I changed from 4 back to 1, I had to also change the table color. I hope that all makes sense!!!
This system worked SO WELL for me. It is also an easy enough one to where you can implement it whenever.
For upper grades and possibly even middle school and high school, I see a
lot of possibilities with this as well. If you have students sitting
individually, these numbers can help determine who is grouped together
for projects. “All number 1s team up and work on facts about ___ to
share with the class.” I am sure you could think of a lot of different
ways to utilize this.
If this is something that you think you would like to try, I have a freebie for you! I have created some table numbers that you can use in your classroom. The first sheet is blank in case you want to print directly on to colored paper. After that, I have a chalkboard circle set with colored edges, a chalkboard triangular set with colored edges, and a shape set in case you want to have a “triangle table, square table etc.
You can find this freebie HERE!
Don’t forget to submit feedback, I’d love to know how it works for you!
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