Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pencil monitor

Here is how I said all my students will participate in simple classroom chores.

Today I will discuss the role of a student "pencil monitor" in my future classroom.

Some people call the job title, "supplies manager," "daily helper," etc. Pencil monitor sounds so much more specific and direct to me. Who knows what other egomaniacal things a student would get up when given the title "supplies manager" and nothing else. Depending on the student, they'll range from doing the job the way I want it to be done to getting into other supplies that they are really not supposed to get into. Or not doing it at all. Which means I need to figure this thing into their grades or other incentive.

Of course I expect all my students to bring their own pencils. But on the off chance that they somehow lost their own, or it got broken in the course of furious studying, then they may borrow the classroom pencils.

Classroom pencils belong to the class. Which means they stay in the classroom. I may even become a "pencil nazi" about it if my own students are anything like my fifth graders this past semester. Actually, I still may for intermediate grade students.

The pencil monitor is in charge of making sure there is a good number of pencils in the classroom pencil holder, and that all of them are sharpened and ready for use by the start of each day. "Good number" is too vague, some students would think two is a good number. Which it is - for themselves. And that's who they are thinking about, as opposed to the entire class of 35 other people. I'll be more specific and make it an even 20. Being specific is better.

While I'm being specific, I'll also make the pencil monitor have one specific time when he/she can re-fill the pencil holder and sharpen pencils. Probably right after school, before they leave the classroom for home or whatever. Then I don't have to worry about the student not coming in early enough to get it done in the morning. Plus, I like to have the classroom all to myself in the mornings before first bell (unlike my JL).

Every little detail of how to manage a classroom really does need to be thought out in advance. I notice that most of the things I plan out like this pencil monitor thing runs a lot smoother than most of the things I don't. Which doesn't mean it won't bomb anyway. Students are people, and people are sometimes unpredictable like that.

No comments: