Thursday, July 19, 2012

Helpers & Ambassador

On my last post, I had this picture of some goodies I bought at a teacher store and had some questions about what our ambassador does.  So, I thought I'd post today about that and my classroom helpers. 
I've tried several methods for classroom helpers. My first year teaching I had a clip chart sort of thing where class jobs were listed and student names were on a clothespin and I just moved the clothespins down each day so each child got a new job.  Last year (or maybe the year before that?) I thought I'd do a bulletin board on class jobs and have student names beside them with Velro so I could easily change them.
But, the Velcro wouldn't stick to fabric so I moved them to a storage door.  But, it just wasn't working.  Half the time I didn't manage them like I should have and jobs rarely got done.  
So I decided to SIMPLIFY (key word: simplify) the process of class jobs and now just have classroom helpers.  Two helpers per day, one boy and one girl.  I make name-tags for all the girls and all the boys.  I hang them where you see the class jobs above and use those 3M hooks.  I punched holes in the name-tags and tied ribbon around them to hang them by.  I have one set for girls and one set for boys.  My helpers do anything needed throughout the day, basically the same stuff as my previous classroom jobs.  At the end of the day, we just flip the name-tag to the next person.  I feel like my helpers feel a little more special this way because there's more to do and I guess being called "Helper of the Day" is a big deal to 4th graders.  


Now, the ambassador is something we implemented school-wide last year.  Each classroom has an ambassador.  I chose to make my ambassador stay the ambassador for a week.  I manage them the same way I do helpers (name-tags for all students, hole punch, ribbon, and hang on a 3M  hook).  When anyone comes in the room the ambassador walks to them, introduces themselves (unless they already know them), tells them what we are working on, and asks them to stay and visit/sit over there.  For example, here is how it might sound if a stranger walked in the room:


"Hi, I'm Johnny.  Welcome to our class.  We are working on fractions in Math today.  You can sit at the blue table."  


Or if someone they know walks in (like say, our principal) it might sound like:


"Hi, Mr. Haney. Welcome to our class.  We are working on fractions in Math today.  You can sit at the blue table."  


Ambassadors are often picked to greet adults from the community at events such as: Success Assembly, Lunch Buddy Week, or any special programs.  Most students LOVE doing it, but I did have one student last year who was super-shy and about crocked when it was her turn to be the ambassador.  We talked about it and she chose not to do it, which I respected and we moved to the next person.


Does your school have an ambassador program?

4 comments :

  1. In my class we all have a number...for lining up, for name & number on paper,etc. So the first week of school I draw a number and that person is my helper for the whole week along with being the greeter. This way that person is at the beginning of a line when we move to another class, to lunch, etc. Then the next week it is the next student in line and the helper from the week before goes to the back of the line. I teach 4th grade so I don't think it's necessary to switch helpers more often than once a week.

    Pat

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  2. I LOVE the ambassador idea! We have visitors in our school all the time now, so this would be great!

    Angi
    ★ First-Graders from Outer Space ★

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  3. I teach 4th grade and every student has a job which we rotate weekly. The job we have which is similar to ambassador is greeter. Not only does that person greet people at the door they also answer the phone when a call is pushed into the classroom. Of course they begin the greeting with "Student speaking...." since sometimes teachers start right into their dialogue. lol. Other jobs we have include photographer who takes pictures weekly of students working. When downloaded or printed they have to justify why they took the picture and over the years I have incorporated the rule that the subject cannot be looking at the camera to cut down on cheesy photos. I use these picture for an end of year slideshow I give the students as well as a tool to teach them about perspectives.There are 32 jobs to choose from weekly. Students names are randomly picked and they choose a job they haven't had before and so forth until everyone has a new job each week.

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  4. Are you at a Leader In Me school by chance? We are launching this year and I'm super excited. The ambassador position sounds like it would fit perfectly into LIM and 7 Habits.

    Amanda
    The Teaching Thief

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