Kids love feeling special and I love helping them feel special! That is why in our preschool classroom each and every child has a daily job. For us, having preschool classroom jobs is not just about children helping out in class. Jobs help cultivate a feeling of classroom community. Plus, when each student gets a job everyday he or she fills a special spot within our early childhood classroom. For preschoolers, being a classroom helper is super fun! Young children love to help out in meaningful ways. Some of our jobs even work on skill building (win-win)! I like to create class jobs that fit easily into our day. As a preschool teacher, we’ve got plenty of things to do. So even though a job for every students every day seems taxing – I promise you that it is not! Plus, it’s worth any time and effort put into, thanks to the classroom jobs being an important part of building community in your classroom!
Types of Preschool Classroom Jobs
Some of the different jobs I assign are carried out through the day. I use a pocket chart to track who has which job title for the day (more on that later).
As simple as it sounds, the door holder’s job is to hold the door for the class when going outside. I love that this job also teaches kindness and manners.
Teaching children to conserve energy is important! The light helper is in charge of turning off the lights when we leave the room.
Being in the front of the line is alway a thrill for children. But, it also teaches the responsibility of ensuring that the class is following and we are keeping everyone together.
Being the last person in the line is not many children’s favorite jobs. So, it’s important that everyone takes a turn at being last. Because honestly you can’t always be first!
If you have morning snack like we do, a snack helper can be an extra help! This job could range from getting napkins and cups ready to actually passing out snack.
Cleaner or Table Washers
After snack or lunch there is usually a mess. The table can’t be used by students until it’s clean! The table washers help spray the table with water and wipe it down.
Have an activity, game or song where everyone needs materials? Adding a Materials Helper job is a great way to get some help in passing out materials.
Other types of common jobs that you might find useful in your classroom include: attendance helper, gardener (water plants), pet vet (feed and check on class pets), floor sweeper, block area helper (helps organize blocks), librarian (tidies up the book area), kindness counter (keeps track when kind things are said and done), prayer leader or recess helper (brings recess equipment outside).
Circle Time Helpers
I also like to incorporate some jobs that promote learning and community that we carry out during our circle time.
The greeter’s job is good way to develop a sense of community. The greeter wears a special apron (see picture below) and asks each child at the circle time rug how they would like to be greeted. This not only makes sure everyone is included, but it also helps children get more comfortable when one another.
The well wisher uses a wand to wish everyone on the rug to a have a good day. They wave the wand above each students head and wish them a good day. This is a great job for the beginning of the year because it helps everyone feel included and helps children learn each others names.
The weather watches job is to check outside and report back with the type of weather we are having that day. We go one step further and have the weather watcher graph the type of weather on the monthly graph so we can make comparisons.
The calendar helpers job is to count out the days on the calendar using a pointer (the class joins in one the counting). He or she then helps the class determine the pattern on the card, as our calendar cards are also patterning. I love that this helps children practice 1-1 correspondence and left to right, return sweep motions that they need for reading. Yes, we still use a calendar and here is why.
This is a job that we do later in the year. But, for this I fill a clear tub with a certain amount of items (not over 20). The estimation helper goes around the classroom during free play time and shows the estimation jar. Each student tries to guess how many items are in the jar. The estimation helper records that number. At circle time we review guesses and then the estimation helper counts the items. We verify who was the closest using a number line.
This is a job that we do mid-year. The news reporter gets to report to the class (using a microphone) what he or she has been doing at home. I write what the news reporter says word for word. I use this as a modeled writing exercise that we later read back and display. After all children have had a turn giving their news report, we switch to a different job.
This is another job that we do mid-year. The Survey Taker uses a class survey on a clipboard. With help from the teacher he/she asks each individual student the question and the survey taker records the responses on class survey. The survey taker presents the results at circle time and we view and analyze them.
This is a student favorite! The Mystery Bag is a spin off of show and tell. When it’s a child’s turn to be the Mystery Bag job, he or she takes home a small bag with a parent note. The family is asked to have the child choose ONE thing to share that can fit in the bag. Then, they are asked to write 3 clues for the class to guess what is inside. Once the mystery bag comes back, that student holds the bag while I read the clues. The class guesses and the mystery bag is revealed!
Classroom Job Chart
There are many different ways to display and keep track of all the different jobs and who is doing them! Many teachers use a bulletin board with each job added onto library pockets and displayed on the board. They then use popsicle sticks with student’s names to indicate who has what job.
But, my favorite way to keep track of classroom tasks is to use a pocket chart with job cards and a sentence strip with the student name on it. I’ve found this method to be simple and easy!
Plus, I can easily control how many jobs are on the board. So if a new student comes or a student leaves I just add or take away a job icon.
Another bonus of this method- I can easily take out jobs that students are no longer interested in and add new ones. Just by changing out the job cards!
Take a look at the photo below to see how I set up my classroom job system using a pocket chart, job cards and name cards:
Looking for the printable cards from this photo? I have a whole Classroom Jobs resource available to make implementing daily jobs oh-so-easy! It’s the one I use in my own classroom and have for many many years. It works so well, I wouldn’t dream of changing it!
Want a more in-depth look into the jobs I use in my classroom? You can check out the training video I did on Preschool Classroom Jobs. Not only does this training go in to depth about the different classroom jobs I use, there are also visuals and props shared to give you a better idea of how the jobs work.
Drop me comment below and let me know: Do you use classroom jobs in you pre-k classroom? Have you tried out a job for every student every day? Do you see how having jobs can create community, build skills while also helping with building students responsibility? Tell me what you think!