Sunday, August 10, 2014

Back-to-School Blog Hop (Tips and Tricks)

I am so excited to join my PA blogger buddies in hosting Tips and Tools for Back-to-School. 

If you are anything like me, you're probably feeling just a little anxious that summer is ending and school is just around the corner.  It seems like August just ticks away so quickly.  To help you with your back to school preparations, we each have a tip to share and a tool for you to use when you return to your classroom.

Keep Things Simple (and Keep your Sanity)! 

 We've all been there...keeping and maintaining the dreaded (at least IMHO) classroom job chart. I'm busy with 3 kids of my own, and I have a life outside my classroom. So, I'm constantly refining my teaching methods and classroom decisions to make sure things are kept simple, yet very effective. And, simple my friend, does NOT include keeping and maintaining a classroom job chart. Instead, use a Kid of the Week!

Yes, the Kid of the Week is the answer!

Tear down those job charts because you will NEVER need one again! I've been using a Kid of the Week for the past 10 years, and I am NEVER going back to job charts. Here's how it works (so simple)!

The first week of school, I do all the jobs (Pledge Leader, Calendar Helper, Morning Message, Trash Collector, Line Leader, etc.). As I do each job, I tell the students everyone will get 2 chances to be Kid of the Week during the school year. I explain that it is a very big responsibility, that the Kid of Week helps me with EVERYTHING all week long! When the 2nd week of school rolls around, I assign the first Kid of the Week (I use number order-so the student who is assigned #1). The following week, the previous Kid of the Week becomes "Second in Command" (helping when needed-for example, walking with the current Kid of the Week to the office). The student who is assigned #2 becomes the next Kid of the Week. Each week, there will be a new Kid of the Week (and the previous Kid of the Week becomes "Second in Command".

Pretty soon, your students will catch on to the predictability of the order (and the jobs they will do). As the year progresses, you will notice the Kid of Week preparing the calendar for the next day and doing many of the jobs without reminders. It is so awesome to see the students take ownership of their jobs and their classroom. Students look SO forward to being Kid of the Week. 

See? Simple, yet very effective! 

All About Me & Show and Tell

My tool for you is a set of two Kid of the Week bonus projects. My students (and their families) absolutely LOVED these, and I did too (and they are great for building both oral/written language skills and listening skills)! These activities are also another great way to build community within your classroom. Every Monday (or beginning of week), I sent home the "All About Me" project with the Kid of the Week. In addition to the "All About Me" paper, I sent home a blank piece of construction paper for the scrapbook page mentioned in the parent letter (construction paper=FREE). I used to buy a variety of actual scrap paper until I ran out and forgot to get more. I then started to use construction paper because #1-it's free and #2-it's simple (and believe it or not, I got some of the most decorated pieces of construction paper returned with photos, decorations, etc.).
Once all students had an opportunity to be Kid of the Week (and complete their "All About Me" project), the project changed to "Show and Tell" (also included in the freebie below). Toward the end of the year, you may find you have to double up (i.e. assign two kids for Kid((s)) of the Week) to make sure all students had two opportunities to be Kid of the Week. 
Click on the image below to grab this product for FREE!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today! I hope that you enjoy the freebie.  If you would like to be the first to know about new posts, giveaways, and blog hops follow me on Bloglovin' by clicking the image below.

 Don't stop reading here!  We have more tips and tools for you.  

Just follow the link below and visit my blogging buddy Catherine at ABC 123 is 4me!

Have fun hopping!

Graphics and fonts used in this post were courtesy of I'm Lovin' Lit, Melonheadz, and KG Fonts.  Check them out!


  1. The Student of the Week is great way to take care of classroom tasks. Cuts down on so much thinking. I always forget which kiddo is passing papers and which kiddo is leading the line. I'm all for simplifying the procedures. :) Thanks for sharing your Kid of the Week Activities!
    Read With Me ABC

  2. I love the idea of "Kid of the Week". I was ALWAYS getting "yelled at" by my kids on Monday because I didn't rotate the job chart. And I could never remember who was what job. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love things like this that save me time! I think I'm going to have to start a Kid of the Week! I wanted to use a superhero theme, so I might do something like "Super Student of the Week" and have a superhero rotation going... You got my mind going! Thanks so much!

  4. I might consider your way of doing jobs! I hate changing the jobs ta the end of the day every Friday!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great tips! I have a job chart...maybe I need to reconsider! Thanks for sharing!