There are probably only a few things that are more exciting in Pre-K or Kindergarten than being chosen to be the teacher’s helper. The pure joy on our students’ little faces is priceless but finding the time to pick helpers and assign jobs is not always quick and easy. That’s why I am sharing with you my simple system for how to assign classroom jobs without losing valuable teaching time! Add this tip to your classroom routines for the year and start picking classroom helpers without creating an extra “job” for yourself.
*For even more teacher tips and how to create a playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
How to Assign Classroom Jobs in Pre-K & Kindergarten
In the past I have had classroom jobs, but the traditional method of choosing a student for each classroom task quickly became much more time consuming than I anticipated. It was an extra task for me to set up and manage every day or every week. That’s why I came up with this VERY simple system for assigning classroom jobs!
As teachers, we know how much Pre-K and Kindergarten students love an “All About Me” day or week. So why not turn this same excitement into choosing a classroom helper?
I spend about 1-2 minutes per day picking the helper and about zero minutes managing it!
How it Works!
This system for choosing a classroom helper couldn’t be easier! Begin by grabbing two containers. I use two simple, white paint cups but any containers you have on hand will work great. Grab some popsicle sticks (we ALL have popsicle sticks) to write the student names on and you’re all set!
All the names go in one cup to start, and each day right away I ask, “Who will the helper be?”
My students love this part and are always on the edge of their little seats. Not to mention, they love to make sure that I don’t peek.
After I pick a name and read it aloud, we all cheer and firecracker clap (“clap, clap, whoooosh!” and make fireworks with our fingers) for who was chosen!
Then I place that student’s name in the other cup until everyone has gotten a turn to be our helper.
What Does the Helper Do?
This is the part that makes this one quick routine such a timesaver – the helper picked does ALL the classroom jobs ALL day long!
That means each day one student:
- is the line leader
- gets the “special” chair at the carpet
- passes out papers and supplies
- helps at Calendar Time
- does ALL other helpful or special tasks throughout the day!
Trust me when I say that my kids cheer when it’s their turn, and they own that class job like it’s the highest honor!
But what to do when the inevitable “When is it my turn???” pops up? Follow this simple tip and this problem will disappear after the first week!
Each day in the beginning, after I announce the helper, I say, “Now, let’s listen to see who is still waiting!” And I read all the student names that are left.
When the kids hear their names, it reassures them that their popsicle stick is indeed there, and their turn WILL come!
What’s your system for assigning classroom jobs or choosing a helper? Let me know!
Want to stress less and learn more about how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?
(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)
If you want to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you will want to be sure to join me in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!
It’s going to be awesome (you can check out more about it HERE) and I can’t wait to learn together when the virtual doors open.
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