Do you ever look around and wonder how your classroom is going to be ready for the next day without having to stay for hours after school? Here are a couple ways that I get my classroom ready for the next day.
This is the first year that my paras are only with me during student hours. In the past, I had always had paras working in the classroom for 30 minutes without students. During that time we would get the classroom set for the next day, discuss behaviors and questions that came up, etc. With a little creativity, I found that it was possible to get it all done.
To begin with, I scheduled the last 15 minutes of the day to be classroom jobs. These are different jobs than the ones we assign during morning meeting which are more like roles in the classroom. These jobs are ones that students complete in order to take care of our classroom. The jobs include:
- Resetting morning meeting– getting the calendar prepared, clearing the student of the day, place value board, mixed up sentence, etc.
- Setting up the classroom visual schedule- this is a great way to teach students to read schedules.
- Wash any dishes that were used during the day (Great life skill!!)
- Putting parent communication books in mailboxes- this is a great way to reinforce reading and matching names
- Setting up the lunch choices and ordering boards- Great way to sneak in extra writing!
- Setting up individual schedules- great way to preset students for what to expect tomorrow
The key here is to teach students how to do their job independently so that you can talk to paras while students work. If there is a student who isn’t able to be completely independent, pair the student up with a peer that is. It is a great way to teach students to respond to peer modeling. Another option, if you have more than 1 para, is to meet with one para at a time while the rest of the paras are assisting students.
This system has really helped students take ownership of the classroom and develop greater independence!