Don’t lose a teachable moment at arrival time! Use a Job Board every morning and get your students working right away!
What is the purpose of having a Job Board?
- The job board gives each of your students the time to practice skills that you have already introduced.
- The board allows time for you to work one-on-one with students who need extra help with these skills.
- The job board also develops independence in your students since they are responsible for the materials and the progress through the job board.
- Time on task can begin as soon as the children enter the room in the morning.
How do the children work on the job board?
- Each day the children begin at job #1 and progress in sequence, doing as many jobs as they can.
- The supplies needed for the jobs are in baskets or containers around the room. Do not put all the supplies in one area because that will cause a logjam as the children go for the supplies.
- The children know the order of the jobs by referring to the Job Board and the signs posted on it.
- If a job has a product that needs to be checked, set up a place and/or a routine for finished work. The children can also check each other’s work for some jobs.
- Plan on 30 – 40 minutes a day for the Job Board, if possible.
- The board can be done at the very beginning of the day, immediately following recess or at the end of the day.
What does the actual Job Board look like?
- There is a sign and a number for each job. The numbers are separate from the signs for flexibility.
- The signs can be photos of the materials, clipart from the internet, or the actual material hanging under the number.
- Some jobs require task cards underneath the sign. Put the task cards in a baggie and at the end of the day move the front card to the back.
- When deciding on the order of the jobs on the board, remember:
- Jobs that cover skills you want all the children to do should be in the beginning since some children do not progress very far through the board.
- The first two or three jobs will be completed by everyone so you must have enough materials for all.
- If there is a job that you will need to check, you will want to put it further down the job board so that not everyone will need you at the same time!
- Mix up jobs that are paper and pencil tasks with those that use manipulatives.
- The last job on the board is always “Books” so that the children who finish the entire board will have a job to do that will last until you give a clean-up signal.
Where do I put the Job Board in my classroom?
- If possible, put the job board at the children’s eye level so they can easily check it.
- If room permits, the signs can be posted under a chalkboard or white board. Another possibility is to use a portable display board which can be tucked away when not in use.
How do I introduce the jobs?
- We begin with two jobs and then introduce one new job a day until there are enough jobs on the board for the fastest child to work on. If some children finish before time runs out, put more jobs on the board.
- At the end of the day, gather the children around you and show them the new job with the sign.
- Model the job and if time permits, have the children try the job themselves.
- If this is a job that the children can check for each other, teach them how to look at their classmates’ work and what to say if the work is correct or incorrect.
- Staple or tape up the new job to the board and have the children say the names of all the jobs beginning with the first job. Have them repeat the names three times in succession such as “Trace Name Card, Trace Name Card, Trace Name Card, Clay, Clay, Clay, Book, Book, Book” as someone points to each sign. This repetition will reinforce the order of the jobs.
Here are some ideas for jobs at the beginning of the year:
Scissors: Each child has a book made from 4 pages of plain paper folded in half with a construction paper cover. The children need a magazine for this job and check the task card hanging under the Scissors sign that tells them what they are going to cut out for that day’s job (ex. red items, eyes, apples). They look through the magazines and find a pre-determined number of pictures to cut out and glue into their Scissors book. A great job for beginner cutters!
Trace Name Cards: Make name cards for each student using a purple and green lettering system similar to the one that Math Their Way uses for number writing. The first stroke of the letter is done in purple and the next stroke is done in green. Laminate the cards and have parchment or deli wrap paper available. (Check wholesale stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club for boxes of this paper.) The children find their own cards in a pocket chart, put the paper over their cards, and trace the letters with a Flair pen, marker, or pencil.
During the year we extend the jobs to include new concepts in reading, writing, and math. Here are some more examples!
Newspaper Stories: This job requires the children to find letters or words in stories. We use stories we have written ourselves but you can also cut apart newspaper to use. There is a baggie with task cards hanging under the sign to let your children know what letter or word to find and they use a highlighter to mark it. We also have some stories with a color word as the title and the children know to search for that word on the paper. When they are done, they have to count the number that they found and write the number on the paper.
Picture Partners: The children match a letter or a word to a picture. This can be a leveled task where the children first match a letter to a picture and then a picture to a word and finally put a word into a sentence. Use clipart or old workbooks to make these sets or purchase the set of Picture Partners in our store. Each set should have a number or letter on the back of the pieces in case they get lost! Put them into baggies or envelopes that have been labeled and laminated.
Partner Counting: When a child reaches this job, he/she asks a friend to be a partner for counting. The two children find a quiet place in the room, face each other, and count alternating turns. Child #1 says, “1” and child #2 says, “2.” Then child #1 says, “3” and child #2 says “4.” They continue counting like this until they reach at least 20. If your children have difficulty with counting, they can do echo counting where the second child echoes the same number that the first child says. This helps the struggling learner with the skill of counting to 20.
Number Writing: The children use the number writing papers to practice this skill. You might need to have a few number lines available for the children to use for help.
The job board can be unlimited in the work you put up on it! Be creative and give it a try!
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If you have any questions or suggestions for other jobs for all of us, please make a comment below!