Michele’s Job List (stolen from Ben Slavic)

As promised…this is just half the list of student jobs in Ben Slavic’s newest book. Giving kids jobs makes them feel needed and makes the class more fun.

1. PQA Structure Counters
2. Story Quiz Writer
3. Story Writer
4. Story Artist
5. Where Person
6. When Person
7. King/Queen of Gestures
8. Sound Effects Kids
9. Birthday Announcer
10. Place Poster Holder
11. Welcome Person
12. Techie
13. Lights
14. Chairs
15. Announcer
16. Greeter
17. Pencil Person
18. Actors
19. Calendar/Weather
20. Timer of length in Russian without English
21. Dialogue Bubble
22. Cardboard Crew
23. L2 Timer
24. Vanna White
25. English Patrol
26. Teacher’s Personal Secretary
27. Memorizer of the Cards
28. Absent students
29. Encourager
30. Calendar
31. Why/because (rolling the eyes; it’s fun in Russian)
32. Quiz collector

My English patrol kid is a little too nice; when I asked permission to speak English one time yesterday, she warned me that I’d already had three timeouts. She should have let me go and then thrown the hedgehog at me. I’m going to have to let her know that’s okay.

Ben’s list has good explanations and many jobs that I just can’t keep track of. I’m assigning just a few jobs a day now. We don’t have Ben’s “suddenly” person in Russian, because everyone does the sign and sound for that. We don’t have an “I have a secret” person for the same reason.


5 responses to “Michele’s Job List (stolen from Ben Slavic)

  1. Michele–
    Ben had jobs before me, but here is the reason you have jobs. That was my presentation in Las Vegas. In classrooms as in homes, everyone needs a job. It creates a sense of community and belonging. If you don’t have a job, why would you risk contributing to a class You have no value in the eyes of the teacher or your fellow students. Oh sure there are the special kids (4% ers) but why should I really bother?

    GIVING jobs not only holds students accountable to contributing in some way to the classroom community, but it says “We value your presence.When you are not here in our classroom, we function but not as well as when you are here.” At high school this is just as important if not more important than at kindergarten. High school students need to know their presence is valued. They need to know they matter. And only then will they feel the safety because they are connected to the classroom family will they try to speak a language that is foreign to them.

    For more on this concept of classroom safety and building classroom community, goggle Loving Guidance. There are now videos up that show high school students interacting with this same thought process of building classroom community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I’d been to your workshop, but I am so glad that you are supporting here! I agree that HS kids are the ones who most need to know that someone notices them and values what they do. I’ve been amazed by the turnaround of one guy in particular since he became my personal secretary!

      Oh! I forgot two jobs here that my kids added:
      –fact checker


  2. I just thought of something to add to the clicker counter jobs: They will help create a list of structures we’ve used. They will click until I’ve made 150 repetitions, and then we can start with a new structure, and they can add it to a class structure list.

    The timer kids already are writing on the board how long we stay in Russian, but I haven’t started the “longest stretch of Russian” contest. That’s the one for which a class can get points. (in my head? toward a game? I will figure it out)


  3. So, in order that the next kid a job gets passed off to can do as well as the one who has the job now (I change jobs monthly–so they can get in the groove) is to create a job book. This has each student writing in English/Russian what they do to prepare to do their job daily, and the procedures. You can take photos of them doing their job. In fact photographer is a great job in a language class.

    The job book helps people shift successfully from job to job. It also says that each job has meaningful purpose and no one is any more important in the classroom than any other (including you–even though you get the big bucks to be there). split the job book creation over a couple of your classrooms so you don’t spend all day every day for a week. You only need one book for all your classes though each class may not use all the jobs.

    The key is every student with a MEANINGFUL job. Doesn’t have to happen daily, but frequent enough to be useful.

    Check this 10 min you tube out on why jobs in high school.


  4. I came up with a new one: Prop Box (Mistress? Master? Like Wardrobe Mistress!) I don’t ever know where what things are in my prop boxes. I grabbed a pig hat to stand in for a moose the other day.


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