Classroom Jobs **FREEBIE**!

Sometimes I feel like that camel on the Geico commercials… So happy that it’s mid-week, but no one else seems to be…

“Julie, what day is it?”

“I know you can hear me…”

“Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike… What day is it today?”…

“It’s Hump Day.”

“HUMP dAy!”

I have been working all week so far, even though pre-planning does not begin until next week. But, I have reached Wednesday and I am looking forward to NOT working for my last 4 days of summer. Okay, okay, I will probably work a little

I have spent the last two days in a training for the use of Data Teams in our school system this year. I am so PUMPED! (It doesn’t take much, though). I really believe it will streamline a lot of the processes that we are already doing, and hopefully make them more meaningful and– get this– have a BIGger impact on student learning. Say what?!

I will have to experience it this year and share more about that later, but a lot of the professional conversations we had led me to thinking about how I structure my time in the classroom. I use my classroom jobs because they seem to relieve some of my environmental stresses, assist in classroom and behavior management, and provide some new learning experiences.

Check out these cute little owls– Super Helpers! I love the bright colors, and the mix of my owl decor and something kids love: super heros! They are FREE… *ahem*… I said FREE.

Aren't they cute?!

Aren’t they cute?!

We know students love to help in the classroom and that it’s important that they learn responsibility and a sense of community.  I try not to get bogged down in the organizing or the rotating of the job assignments because then they become frustrating for the teacher and lose their purpose of being helpful. I have found it helpful to have enough jobs so that a third or half of the class can participate at one time. I rotate them weekly and not more frequently to make it easier on myself. I keep a stack of name cards, students’ pictures, or student numbers so that I am literally pulling off the top and rotating others to the bottom. I have also seen teachers have a constant list of student names or numbers posted in the room and actually rotate the job cards through the list of names so that kids can see when it will be their turn.

I use Leader mostly as a line leader, but there could be other “leader” roles that it could be used for, such as leading a discussion, leading a group, or leading a modeling task. I like general and somewhat vague wording so that I can change and manipulate them when necessary!

The Assistant takes messages, visits the office, helps with general classroom tasks, etc.

My Supply Manager passes out, collects, or organizes supplies (papers, folders, manipulatives, tools, scissors, etc.).

The Room Inspector helps to make sure that the room is kept as neat as possible- floor checks, center clean-up, chairs pushed in, etc.

The Pencil Patrol job is one of my favorites. They are in charge of sharpening any pencils that need it during the school day (excluding pencil sharpening time in the morning), picking up pencils off the floor, etc.

Lunch helpers wash tables, help monitor, pass out materials, etc.

The Librarian helps to put classroom books back into proper bins and shelves. They return things to the school library if necessary. They organize and clean up the shelves when needed.

My Blogger job is my newest position. I am going to try and start a classroom blog where my students will be responsible for recording thoughts or responding to questions when it is their turn. I realize that not everyone wants to use a Blogger job, or maybe some of the others, so there are two blank job cards that could be filled in however you see fit.

I hope you ENJOY using these cute Super Helper cards. And if your summer is winding down like mine is, make sure and ENJOY these days while they last! Happy Hump Day!

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Re-//Fresh// Your Daily 5 Classroom Routine!!

I LOVE Daily 5! I had so much success with it last year and I feel like it helped me come even further with my classroom MaNageMenT. I wish I had more time to devote to it each day in the classroom… but I just don’t! There’s time and schedule restraints… individual student interventions… small group expectations… you know, the USUAL school stresses. I do have to say though, that I use the Daily 5 and CAFE concepts in other subject areas too and they work!

Check out this rotation chart!

I love these colors... So FRESH!

I love these colors… So FRESH!


Here’s how it works… Of course I begin the year following the introduction plan that’s laid out in The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser, but once the students have learned the routines and expectations (after about 4-6 weeks) we begin a rotation. I set up my small groups through our beginning of school assessments and pre-tests based on Common Core, as well as through individual conferencing when it’s appropriate.  The groups are level and skill based with a specific CAFE goal in mind.

A typical schedule looks like this:

  • 10-15 minute mini lesson– introduce and model a new CAFE skill
  • “check in”– Some students will check in to Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Word Work, or Listen to Reading. Others will look at our rotation chart to see if they are supposed to “meet with the teacher” or use the computer for “technology”.
  • 10-15 minute Round 1
  • “check in”
  • 10-15 minute Round 2
  • “check in”
  • 10-15 minute Round 3
  • 5-10 minute mini lesson- reinforce CAFE skill taught, review previous skill that needs practice, or have students model new skill
  • “check in”
  • 10-15 minute Round 4
  • “check in”
  • 10-15 minute Round 5
  • 5 minute Summarizing and Sharing activities

This takes a total of 70- 100 minutes. Don’t forget a few brain and body breaks if you can! It can also be shortened to 3 or 4 Rounds and the students will have fewer “check in” times, but I don’t cut out the “technology” or “meet with teacher” stations. Usually I spend about an hour and a half for an entire Daily 5 time… and we have worked on Reading, Writing, Grammar, and spelling!

{Writing and Grammar blend together in my Writer’s Workshop time which is usually a separate lesson in my day, but it is referred to and practiced during the Daily 5 time.}

During each round, I am working with a small group of students on their specific skill goals, the CAFE skill that was introduced to the whole group, or completing a fun reading or writing activity that matches the skill. Also, I use the “technology” station to have students watch online lessons (such as Kahn Academy), work on individual practice skills through Edmodo app games, or listen to a specific story and complete a graphic organizer.

I am LOVING the way this flows!! I think it allows the students plenty of Independence and choice, while giving me a great way to work with all my students… AND… giving the students time to practice other skills (“technology” practice games can also include math skills if that is the biggest need).

I use a clothes pin or large arrow to attach to the number Round we are on to help me and the students keep track (they usually know what they’re doing… I’m the one that gets scattered!?!). I also use small, numbered clothes pins (my students all have an assigned number for the room) at the top on the Group cards so that the groupings remain flexible and I can switch them around when necessary. You could also use a wipe off marker to write names or numbers… as long as the cards are laminated (which I recommend anyway so that they’ll last longer…).

If you want a set of these cards, check out my TPT store or click on the picture above to visit!

I’m getting EXCITED for the new school year, I can’t wait to see all my new little readers and writers in –action–! Just this weekend, I saw a student from last year and she said “My favorite part of the day was Daily 5 time… it was the best!

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Advice for a New Teacher Linky

I’m trying out joining a Linky Party… There’s still so many things that I don’t know how to do with blogging and it’s driving me NUTS! Seriously, if you know me, you know I am a recovering- perfectionist (self-diagnosed… accurately, I don’t make mistakes!) and I have a hard time feeling like the low man on the totem pole. However, I also love to learn new things…. so here goes!

Deb Thomas has a really great blog and every year she asks teachers with some experience to share their advice/ wisdom/ tips with teachers just starting out. I don’t have a ton of years under my belt (seven… YIKES, already?!) but I do feel like I have learned a lot along the way. Here’s my take on “new teacher advice”…

I would love to hear your advice to me!

I would love to hear your advice to me!

I found it extremely helpful my first year to have a mentor that was able to walk me through school policy and routines, paper work, and scheduling. Don’t let the background work mix you up and stress you out! Ask LOTS of questions and create a notebook that you can reference to look back on answers and solutions.

If you want to share your own new teacher advice, link up with Deb here

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She’s Crafty!

I have dubbed today Sit Around Sunday. Although, I’m really not good at sitting around… In fact I am an utter failure at sitting around unless it’s on the beach or in a porch swing. In between playing with my ADORABLE son today, I put the finishing touches on my new Share Chair!

I love these colors!

I love these colors!

I’ve always had a special chair in my classroom for sharing, but now it’s even better. We do Daily 5 CAFE and Writer’s Workshop and we do blended learning rotations for Math so there’s a lot of time to present and share. My students love to help with read-alouds and they especially enjoy sharing their own creative and informational stories. We participate in math in a way that’s similar to Daily 5 so they also love to talk about numbers and problem solving to their peers.

It’s not perfect, but then again I never claimed to be a very good DIYer… The quote at the top of the chair is one of my favorites, although I had to change it a little bit due to the availability of certain Scrabble letters LOL!

“When one teaches, two learn.”~ Robert Heinlein.

I love it because I think I learn more from my students than they do from me sometimes! I want them to know that we all learn from each other. I want them to feel confident in sharing ideas and asking questions. Most of all, I want them to think about life, have dreams, and share them with people they care about.

Another favorite that has become my mantra over the last few years- while trying to become more proficient in differentiation:)-

“Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.”~ George Evans

Btw, here’s a link where you can order more Scrabble letters in bulk (60 pieces for only $3.99!)

While reading my feed on Bloglovin’ (Follow me!, I was shocked to discover that there are some teachers preparing to go to work tomorrow?! YIKES! I’m gearing up to get back in the teaching groove, but I am definitely not ready yet. Good luck to all those who have work days tomorrow.

Happy summer Sunday to everyone else!

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Idea-Pirate on the loose!

I have begun to think about school starting… ugh, I know! But for those of you who don’t teach with me, let me just let you know that my county has been “out of school” since May 3rd! MAY THIRD! Yep. I have not had students in exactly 2 months. I say “out of school” because are we really every “out”? I try to be and I have to brag that I have done better this year than in the past.

But now it’s July and the beginning of August is looming just around the corner.– *Insert “scream” face here*— I’m starting to feel the pressure to finish all of my Pinterest To-do lists! (Like that will ever happen!)

Any-who– I have set up a store on TPT ( – if you’ve never been to the site then you’re missing out.) I’m just starting out but I hope to add lots of great stuff soon! I went back through a few of the things that I had at home that I got a lot of great use out of last year.


1. Go to
2. FOLLOW me and RATE my stuff
3. Most important– DOWNLOAD and buy some things that you think would be useful!
4. Pin the ideas below to Pinterest and tell your friends! (You know we’re all Pinterest-holics these days)

I used this Scavenger Hunt activity last year and I loved it for several reasons.

It's set up like a flyer!

It’s set up like a flyer!

Of course we all want our children to get to know things around the classroom as well as their new classmates. This combines those two desires. It is a collaborative activity that is more than just a checklist. The small groups or partners will receive their own flyer that has directions and the item descriptions. They will work together to find things around the room that match the descriptions. (Such as “something that has numbers”, “something that can hold other things”, or “something that you have a question about”). If they spot an item matching a description, they get to be the one to tear away that piece from the flyer and hold on to it to share what they found at the end of the activity. They like to see how many they can get. I liked hearing what they found and how they thought of things. It’s always nice to get the creative juices flowing early in the year! Best of all, they did not have to write, they got to move around, and they learned a lot about our classroom (things I wouldn’t have thought to show them!). They get a jump start in sharing with our class and speaking appropriately during classroom discussions. Click on my TPT store link and check it out if you’re interested.

As soon as I can figure out how to get one of those fancy “pin it” buttons to work on WordPress, I’ll be sitting pretty!

There’s also a few essentials posted at my TPT store for getting homework started. I had a lot of success last year with my Homework BINGO incentives and my Spelling Tic Tac Toe choice board. Although, I may use the Tic Tac Toe on my Word Work board as a choice for working with Spelling words instead of using it for homework. But– homework is a rant for another day!

I went up to my classroom today and started the ever-so-popular task of unpacking and setting up my classroom. WHAT A MESS! I feel like I got a lot done, but like I said earlier- I have high Pinterest expectations! I can’t wait to have it closer to finished and show off some nifty before and after photos of the wreckage. I reorganized my files by CCSS and got rid of my teacher’s desk- whoa.

I was also a total idea-pirate of some very creative pinners that seem to have their classroom all together!

Follow this blog… Seconds Please!

Follow me on Pinterest… Happy PINning!

Follow me on Bloglovin’… Happy Bloggin’!

Follow me to the ol’ drinkin’ hole… Happy summer!


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<a href=”″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Follow me with Bloglovin’!

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Let’s get this party STARTED!

Everyone has a blog or a product these days! I have been so envious of these beautifully planned, well-put-together websites, products, and blogs that I have seen other teachers creating. I also see many of my friends who are selling their talents… making personalized signs, sewing adorable children’s clothing, hand-making bows and headbands, painting, crafting, and creating. I started to search for my own talent to produce and share with others (not necessarily for money, just for the joy of sharing). I’ve thought about sewing (I guess you have to actually take the sewing machine out of the box?!), painting (who has time for that?), and even selling skin care products (I’m more of a giver than a salesman…). Then it hit me– Why not spend time sharing my talents in teaching!? I already spend most of my time on thinking about teaching anyway…

I have known many teachers in the last five years who have decided that the profession is no longer for them, and I can’t say that I blame them. Teaching is exhausting, frustrating, demanding, and often disappointing. We don’t get paid enough, have enough time, or receive proper recognition. BUT, on the other hand, teaching is fun, rewarding, challenging, and worthy of my time. The money is not important enough, I like spending my time on it, and the recognition is there if you keep your heart open to it. Of course, I sometimes question the pros and cons of the job that I do… but as long as I keep a proper perspective and prioritize what is important, teaching is one of my greatest joys!

Rule #1: In order to have order, put your life in order.

God–> Family–> Others–> Self–> Talents and Interests

I love reading other teacher’s blogs. I am very excited to begin my own and I hope that I can share ideas to help others, just as I have “stolen” many ideas and activities over the years. 

One of my favorite places to be…




Posted in So Tech Saavy | Tagged , | 2 Comments