Student Job Responsibilities
Students take ownership and rise to the occasion when they are given responsibility. I have several student jobs that are key to the successful flow of my classroom.
The Student Dojo uses my classroom mobile device to check students in at the beginning of each hour. The Student Dojo uses the ClassDojo app to award points by verifying that students have all class materials, that they were in class on time and gives them points based upon a teacher-approved stamp on student homework. When the teacher is absent, the Student Dojo checks students in and keeps track of participation.
The Teacher Assistant helps the teacher with various tasks, such as passing out papers, collecting student work, distributing testing materials, filing extra copies in the copy bin, running the computer when the teacher is absent, etc. The Teacher Assistant is also the back-up if any student is absent.
The Attendance Master uses the class roster and seating chart in the attendance binder to take a hard copy of accurate attendance at the beginning of every hour. The Attendance Master updates the binder if someone comes in tardy or leaves early, as well as collects extra copies of handouts for absent students and files them in the absent folder.
The Environment Engineer keeps students aware of clutter and messes when our learning is project-based. Because students are required to be accountable for the materials that they take out during class, the Environment Engineer makes sure that students leave the classroom as they found it.
The Filer passes back graded papers at the beginning of every hour and tracks down no-name assignments.
A Typical Class
Learning Target/Success Criteria Self-Evaluation
I review the LT/SC for each week at the beginning of the hour. Students track their progress toward mastery of these criteria each day on the top of their bell work page (see Planning and Preparation).
Bell Work (Trabajo del Timbre)
Students complete a short (5-8 question) bell work to begin class and get them in the mindset of the subject. It is at this time that the Student Dojo checks students in and I am able to conference with students before reviewing homework.
I include a mini-lesson of one new topic each day that includes a mixture of review, teacher-lead examples and gradual release of responsibility through guided notes (see Planning and Preparation).
Students begin working on the new topic independently or with a partner.
Grades and Graphs
I have been using a system to help students keep track of their progress in class. This system is especially important for students transitioning into middle school who are new to strict due dates and make-up work. Each week, students graph their grade as well as the class average. This has helped minimize missing assignments and takes grading from being teacher-centered to being student-centered, and a tool to help them evaluate their learning and performance. Click on the image to the left to view the document we use to track our grades.