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Do you ever feel like you are just treading water at school?  No matter how many hours you spend you never get ahead of all of the planning, prepping, paperwork, and all the other "p" words that go along with teaching.  I get stressed when I don't feel like all my ducks are in a row.  One day, I looked around my class, and noticed that I had 20 very capable students.  Students who would benefit from having more responsibilities in the classroom. That is the day that I learned the true value of delegating. 

I organized my class into teams of 4 and each person on the team had a job. 
Each team had the following helpers:

#1:  Paper helper
  -Collects assignments to turn in.
  -Hands out assignments to team members.

#2:  Stamper
  -Checks to make sure each team member has his/her homework assignment.  Stamps student's chart if homework is finished.
  -Stamps assignments that won't be collected for a grade.

#3: Custodian
  -During transitions (desk to carpet or desk to leaving room) the custodian makes sure all of his/her team mates chairs are pushed in, there aren't stray pencils/crayons on the floor, and trash is in the trashcan.
  -During messy assignments, the custodian gets the trashcan to collect his/her team mate's trash.

#4:  Captain
  -This was my students' favorite job.  This person was in charge of his/her team.  The captain gave gentle reminders about following the rules.  The captain answered team mate's questions during reading group time.  This person's job was to do everything that wasn't assigned to the other three team members.  

There were four members on each team.  Each week, the jobs rotated to the right.  At the end of four weeks, we moved our desks and formed new teams.  

After implementing this, I found:

**I quickly knew who had and who hadn't finished his/her homework assignments thanks to the stamper.
**I spent less time shushing my class because the captains managed their team mates' behavior.
**My room wasn't as messy which made the school custodians very happy.
**It was quicker for 5 students to come collect papers from me to give to their team mates than for me to hand out 20 papers to my students.

Each time we changed teams and seating chart, we picked new team names.  Sometimes they were thematic like turkeys, pilgrims, Mayflower, etc.  In the beginning, I went for something simple,  I used numbers.  I hung small signs of the teams' names on my board so I could keep track of team points.  Students could earn points for things like, coming into the classroom quietly and getting out a book, 100% of the team turning in their homework, etc.

I made a couple of different team signs that you can use.  There is also an "EDITABLE" file so you can personalize it to fit your needs.  You need Powerpoint to use the editable file.

These are polka dot signs:

These are the gingham square signs:

I thought the gingham square signs would be perfect for those of you who purchased my Old West packet.

Click HERE for the FREE signs.

Click HERE to find out more about my Old West packet.


Julie Reid said...

These Team signs are great. I want to call my center groups teams this year to encourage them to work as teams and help each other rather then hunting me down for every question. Perfect! thanks

Carmen Pesina said...

Thanks for the signs. I love the idea of naming the team according to the unit of study, too.

Laurie G. said...

I've always had table managers who managed supplies, got paper, etc; and each child would rotate this job daily. But, I NEVER thought about assigning each student a role! That is awesome! Oh, and thanks for the team signs!!