Monday, July 14, 2014

Very Important People

I'm sitting here writing this post while a crazy storm is going on!  My poor 14 year old dog, Max, is having a bit of a hard time with the thunder.  He starts scratching and pawing at the carpet and always bunches it up in a pile.  Do any of your dogs do this?  I've always debated whether to put him on some medication for storms like this but I hesitate since he's getting up there in age =)  Poor guy...

My intention with this blog is to begin sharing some of my ideas in my classroom.  It is July so I don't have pictures of my actual classroom but I will share some ideas from Pinterest so you can get an idea of what I am talking about.  To remind you, I teach 1st grade and this past year I taught in an inclusion class as the general education teacher.  It was my hardest class yet in my 8 years of teaching but I will say I sure learned a lot!  I think that is what makes effective teachers...the ones who can reflect on what worked and what didn't and being willing to change and adapt the following year.

With all that has been added to teachers' plates over the past few years, I know I look for anything and everything that can be a time saver for me. I will say one thing that worked wonders this year was an idea similar to this: Helping Hands.  While I didn't use the term, "Helping Hands" I did use die-cut stars and made my title of "V.I.P.s" for the Very Important People of the day.  The stars were on rings, which were then on magnets on the top of my whiteboard in front of the room.  I had two VIPs each day, one boy and one girl, and they helped do any and every job that needed to be done each day.  They were the messengers to the office in the morning, they called students to line up, they carried our lunch bucket, they were the line leaders, etc.  It was WONDERFUL!  There was no arguing (which there was a lot of with this group...sigh...) about what job belonged to who (or is it whom? I never know!  That reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross and Joey have this conversation...) and it made my life a bit easier.  Each morning, I would just flip each group to the next name (I had one group for the girls and one group for the boys) and that was who the VIPs were.  Anytime I needed papers or folders passed out, or just a helper around the room, I would just say, "I need my VIPs to come with me", or "VIPs, please pass these papers out" and the 2 students would come right up and do their jobs.  Like I said, with a difficult group, this was absolutely fantastic and something I will do next year, too.  It worked well splitting up the groups into boys and girls and it gave the students the VIP job about once every 2 weeks, if that.  The students didn't give me a hard time about it since they knew right away who the VIPs were.  I don't know about you but I had found it a bit of a pain to change jobs for the students using any other job chart idea I had in the past.  The VIP idea was adapted from other ideas I saw online and I don't know if I'll look back!  Maybe this can help you change things in your classroom!  I'd love to know what type of job helper chart you use and if it works for you!

Well, in the time that it took me to write this, the storm has seemed to have passed and Max is quite comfortable now!   (You can see the bunched up carpet and his bed behind him!)

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Love the VIP idea! I am def going to try it this year. Other job charts are always a pain and I always seem to forget to rotate jobs each week. This idea seems to be the perfect solution. Thanks!
    :) Beth