Hmmm... as an elementary teacher, I like to be very organized with assigned classroom jobs. At the beginning of the year, I introduce the responsibilities of each job and my students rotate through this list week by week. Here's a view of my helper chart... (kinda far but you get the idea).
However, I just realized I've been doing it all wrong! If the teacher keeps assigning these duties, when will the students really learn responsibility? In my classroom, I want all students to be responsible for as much as they are capable of, not just what is assigned that current week. I also don't want my other second graders to think they don't have to clean up after themselves because there is an assigned person for that.
"Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves - and be free." - Cesar Chavez
Another great aspect of responsibility is the daily tasks that must get done in the classroom, such as transitioning from one subject to the next. I have always displayed an agenda (schedule) for the day, but I haven't had my students direct these transitions. I usually point them out and move along with our day. I can just imagine how much time could be saved if my students took on this responsibility to be more aware of our time.
With all these roles/responsibilities established, Solarz explains what a SILENT DAY looks like in his classroom. Once students are confident with the classroom rituals, his students are required to run the entire day without ANY guidance from him. He remains SILENT (except for emergencies, of course). Wow! I would love to see that in my classroom!!!
Solarz continues to explain the daily rituals in the classroom vs. routines. He talks about Literature Circles, Summarizing, and his dismissal procedure: REARJMCL. I've always established routines, but now I am motivated to begin meaningful routines and create them into rituals not just habit! 2015-2016 will be a year where my students will truly encompass responsibility!! I love all the ideas and suggestions in the chapter and excited to implement them with my second graders!!
Join us next week for Chapter 6, Active Learning.