putting the kids to work...around the classroom?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jessiiteach, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. jessiiteach

    jessiiteach Companion

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I know the first week is supposed to be a week of team building, rules, procedures, etc. There are so many things that I need to do to prepare for the year and I have pondered the idea of making setting up the classroom a team building activity. I mean I can set up some but I don't know if I have time to do everything I want to do before next week. I have so many posters that could be hung, pencil and crayon marks that could be removed, tickets that need to be stamped and separated...

    This is my first time experiencing the beginning of the year with a class. And I am new to teaching so I am so afraid my ideas are bad ideas since I have such little experience.
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Personally, I don't see the harm, as long as it doesn't interfere with team building, rules, procedures, and any assessments, etc.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Aug 13, 2012

    Without routines and expectations in place, this could be tricky. The reason my kiddos can help clean up at the end of the year is because they know the expectations for behavior in my classroom. What grade do you teach?
     
  5. jessiiteach

    jessiiteach Companion

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I teach third grade
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Aug 13, 2012

    Has anyone else ever been told that having students clean the classroom as punishment is considered corporal punishment? My principal told me that last year and I was very surprised. It obviously isn't the same in the context of volunteering/chores.

    **It came up in conversation.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm in 3rd and today was our first day. I find at that age they are so eager to help. I didn't do any of the tasks you described (personally, I'd be worried about a 3rd grader's ability to hang posters nicely, lol) but we do community supplies so I had volunteers collecting various ones and putting them in the correct place, kids sharpening pencils, picking up trash, passing out papers, straightening up books, etc. and had no problems at all. I just asked who was interested in helping with ___________ and 95% of them were eagerly raising their hands. We had already gone over our rules/expectations...if I saw a kid who was goofing off while helping, I would have simply told them to sit down and picked another student since they all wanted to do it so badly.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2012

    What sorts of tasks do you need help with? There are some tasks that I think kids would be great at and love to help with. I wouldn't ask them to do anything that needs to look especially polished or to clean anything, though.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I feel like so much more "perfection" needs to go into setting up the room. I care about how things look, how they go up, where they go up at the beginning year. Also, I want the room to be ready when the kids arrive.

    At the end of the year, I care a lot less about how things are taken down, how things are cleaned (they're just going to get dusty over the summer anyways) so it's easy to let the kids help. As another poster said I also already know the kids very well at this point. So I know who I can trust organizing the library and who will do a decent job cleaning off table tops, etc. At the beginning of the year I wouldn't know who to trust with which tasks.

    Also, this year I'm teaching 3rd grade so I'm expecting it'll take some getting used to how "young" the kids are. The kids that left me in June were ready for 5th grade, they were 10. Now I'm getting 8 year olds. They'll obviously be capable of doing a lot less in terms of organizing/helping.
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    3rd graders are eager to help, but they are still quite young. I would be as prepared as possible without counting on the kids to do much. They can help sort out their own supplies when they arrive, but the classroom should be mostly set up and ready to go.
     
  11. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I always ask for volunteers when it comes to cleaning the classroom. (And they usually fight over who gets to do it.)

    But if a student makes a mess of something I've forced them to clean it up before. It seems like a logical consequence to me.
     
  12. janney

    janney Cohort

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    I always think that I am going to have students help sort materials and things the first week of school but then I always just run out of time. The first week just seems to fly by and I just end up doing it all after school anyways. I say if you can do it yourself now I would. You can save the easy/fun things for the class to do. Sorting and stamping tickets sounds like something they would love to do.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have heard that. My previous school used to do that all the time as punishments for middle schoolers (they'd have to help the janitor clean the cafeteria) and then my P was saying that they weren't allowed to do it anymore. Personally, I don't think it was a good idea anyway. I bet most of the kids would rather clean than sit in class, and it seems unfair to stick the janitor with the burden of babysitting kids when he's trying to get his job done.
     
  14. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Aug 15, 2012

    I don't think it's wise to have the kids do things you would do but you just don't have time for. Especially as a new teacher, that makes you look bad.

    If you are intentionally having the students create their classroom environment so that they take ownership of it and see how the environment can help them do their best learning, this is a great idea.

    It's a fine line.
     
  15. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I'm actually surprised at the number of people who worry about having kids clean up the room!

    I have a job for each kid every day. Some involve housekeeping items (passing out papers, turning on and off computers, running errands, etc.) and others involve what would be considered cleaning (dusting, sweeping, straightening bookshelves). I think it's ridiculous to think kids shouldn't help keep a room clean that they are using all day long!!

    I've never had a kid refuse, though. They all seem excited to have a job! BTW, their jobs change weekly...
     
  16. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Aug 16, 2012

    I think there is a difference between keeping the space you use tidy and cleaning as punishment. For instance, I always ask my students to pick up at least 3 things from the floor to throw in the trash on their way out. That would fall under tidying the space they use. If I had a student yelling in the cafeteria and made him clean the cafeteria, that would be considered cleaning as punishment.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2012

    Personally, I like the classroom to be completely set up and ready for the kids on day one.

    I have, however, had the kids help me pack up my room at the end of the year. They love doing that.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I, too, have rotating jobs for my kiddos - I never thought of dusting as one, though - great idea! Interestingly, last year's crop of kids made horrible messes in our classroom bathroom from day one. It got to the point where I had to turn the water off for the sink, remove the soap, and keep the paper towels on a shelf outside the bathroom so I could see how many they were getting. This year (knock wood), my bathroom is clean, and doesn't even smell!
     
  19. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2012

    These are all great things to do at the end of the year when they are aware of your expectations...even then it can get chaotic. I wouldn't attempt this at the start of the year.

    I think it is especially important as a new teacher. You don't want administration or other teachers to walk by a chaotic situation if you have not established yourself.

    Make a list of what needs to be done. Prioritize it so you can do what you can. Maybe consider having a small group join you each day before/after school or during recess. Best wishes for a great 1st year.
     
  20. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 17, 2012

    I wouldn't have a student clean as a punishment unless it fit the crime. For example, if a child put tp all over the bathroom floor, I'd have no problem having them clean it up. If a child writes on his desk or puts stickers on it, I might have them clean it off. If a child makes a mess in the cafeteria, I'd have them clean it up.

    I don't use jobs as a punishment. It's actually a desired thing in second grade :lol:
     

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