Why Classroom Jobs Are Important To Build A Good Classroom Community

It’s time to head back to the classroom and that means it’s time to start planning for how your classroom will run. Classroom management is a huge part of having a smooth and successful year. This means having a good system down for behavior management, reward systems, and building a classroom community. 

classroom jobs pin

What does classroom community mean? 

If you don’t already know, a classroom community is defined as when the students in your classroom feel a sense of belonging and they come together to work towards the common goal of learning. 

What makes a good classroom community? 

In my opinion, a good classroom community is created when students feel a sense of responsibility, acceptance, and ownership in the classroom. In other words, students feel like they are a part of the family. It’s every teacher’s dream! 

Now I know you may be wondering, how do I do that? To start, make your students feel welcome and valued. Spend some time getting to know your students and doing some team-building exercises so they get to know each other as well. Another thing I love to do is ask each student to bring in a photo of themselves and their family to hang on the “family wall”. 

After that, it’s important to focus on the sense of belonging and responsibility. To do that, I use a classroom jobs system! 

What are classroom jobs? 

They are just what they sound like- jobs that each student is assigned in the classroom. It really helps students become active members of the classroom when they have a specific task that they alone responsible for. This could be line leader, trash monitor, homework helper, paper passer, photographers, and more! 

classroom jobs

If you are looking for an easy classroom jobs system, I have you covered! My Classroom Jobs resource makes it easy to implement jobs in your classroom and build your classroom community. It does this by helping students feel a sense of pride and belonging. 

These are made with Google Slides that are editable. So if you think of a job that better suits your needs, you can add it right in! 

classroom jobs

I love having classroom jobs! They give my students a feeling of ownership and responsibility in our classroom. It also helps our classroom run smoothly, even when I’m not there! Students become experts at their jobs and take pride in their work. It’s so fun to see! 
For more tips for creating a classroom community, check out my post here to learn about some great books for building community!

Football Theme Learning Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms

Are you ready for some football? Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner, so why not use a real world event to get your students excited about learning! 😀 That doesn’t mean just add a football on a math worksheet, it’s about connecting our essential standards to these real world events.

Here are some fun ways to add football into your elementary or middle school classroom!

Football STEM activities: Students can create football fields and test their skill at flipping a paper football through the field goal.

Football Math: The Pro Hall of Fame has an incredible website with some great math problems for upper elementary and middle school students. Great math word problems with conversions from feet to yards, and inches.

Football Books and Vocabulary: I made a list of vocabulary words I wanted my students to understand during this unit and the definitions with them. Students will work in teams to match the word with the definition.

Football Decorations: I love a football room transformation! It can be costly, but the great thing is that the Super Bowl happens every year and your purchases can be reused! So start small and add to you Super Bowl tub each year. I had a great Homeroom mom that had the turf squares and the football balloons. Many times football moms have had banquets, birthday parties, or thrown showers for friends using the football theme. So just ask! Here is my football Amazon list!

Famous Football Quotes: I love using quotes to put up all over my classroom. This link has several great quotes for kids.

Have fun teaching and make learning fun! Engagement is key!!!

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Soft Start STEM Activities

Have you ever tried STEM soft starts?

As back-to-school preparations are amping up amongst teachers, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to start a new day with my students- STEM soft starts!

Soft starts in general are a way for students to come in and get mentally ready for the day. STEM is the perfect way to do this. It naturally gets students thinking critically and creatively which puts them in the right mindset to get the day off to a great start. Having STEM soft starts ready to go will have your students designing, creating, engineering, predicting, comparing, building, & reflecting on their challenges.

You can set up STEM soft start stations using supplies you have in the classroom. This can be Legos, pipe cleanerspopsicle sticks, magnets, cards, etc.

My STEM Quick Challenges Resource is perfect for STEM Soft Starts.

The STEM School Box Challenges is a packet of 12 STEM Challenges that will fit into a school box which makes them perfect for STEM Soft Starts or when students arrive at school early. This packet contains Challenge Label, Inside the Box Student’s Directions, a Teacher’s Page with the directions and materials, and Student STEM Journal.

These activities can also be used for STEAM Activities, Maker Spaces, Tinkering Labs, or After School Clubs. Your students will love designing, creating, engineering, predicting, comparing, building, & reflecting on their challenges!

Here’s what’s included:

  • Index Card Tower
  • House of Cards
  • Pipe Cleaner Bridge
  • Popsicle Stick Catapult
  • Army Parachute
  • Fidget Spinners
  • Building Squares Structures
  • Dominoes Diving Board
  • Packing Peanuts Structures
  • Triangle Structures
  • Button Designs
  • Button Towers

Make sure to check it out here!

Essentials For The Perfect STEM Makerspace!

Do you have a STEM Makerspace set up in your classroom or school? 

STEM is a great way to get students working on multiple subjects at one time. It combines science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into one and usually takes the form of an educational challenge for students to work through. Sounds fun, right? 


To optimize time working on STEM in the classroom, I like to have a designated area, or Makerspace, that we can use again and again. 

What is a Makerspace? 

Makerspaces, also called Tinkering Labs, Learning Labs, or even STEM Labs, are essentially dedicated spaces for hands-on STEM learning. These spaces are great for allowing students to use their creativity to explore and learn different STEM concepts. 

What makes a good Makerspace? 

There are so many things you could include in your STEM Makerspace, the sky really is the limit here! Here are some of my favorite supplies to have on hand for the perfect STEM Lab or Makerspace. 

  1. Dual-sided Fiberglass Tape
  2. Origami Paper
  3. Assorted Ocean Animal Figures
  4. Assorted Animal Figures (zoo, farm, pets, etc)
  5. Food Grade Mineral Oil
  6. Paper Streamers
  7. Plastic Storage Containers
  8. Storage Bins
  9. Stopwatches
  10. Building Straws
  11. Food Coloring
  12. Expandable Ball Toy
  13. Craft Sticks
  14. Paper Fasteners
  15. Washi Tape
  16. Measuring Tape
  17. Buttons
  18. Hole Punch
  19. Building Flakes
  20. Mini Mirrors

For even more ideas, check out my full Amazon List here! 

I hope these ideas help you get the perfect STEM Lab set up for your students. What are your favorite items to have in your Makerspace? Let me know in the comments! For some fun STEM activity ideas, check out some of my favorites here!

The Perfect Books To Pair With STEM Activities

Have you read any great books with your students lately? If you know me, you know that I absolutely love all things STEM and books! In fact, I have created multiple resources that connect these two passions of mine that you can check out here. 

Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite STEM books. These books are the perfect pair to a STEM activity because they will get students thinking critically and problem-solving. They are great for upper elementary to middle school students.

Check out these STEM books to find your next favorite! 

`1. Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars by Brooke Smart

2. Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses by Shira Boss

3. Flip! How the Frisbee Took Flight by Margaret Muirhead

4. Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy

5. Here Comes the Garbage Barge! by Jonah Winter

6. The Secret Subway by Shana Corey

7. Jonas Hanway’s Scurrilous, Scandalous, Shockingly Sensational Umbrella by Josh Crute

8. If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche

9. Dream Something Big by Dianna Hutts Aston

10. Where Is the Brooklyn Bridge? by Megan Stine

Now that you have some books to start with, you may be wondering: what are some STEM Project Ideas?

Here are some resources that pair with other great STEM books!

Because Of The Rabbit

stem books resource

f you read Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord this is the resource for you!  Because of the Rabbit STEM Challenge and Literature Resources is a packet of literacy activities that pair perfectly with this engaging book.

Shouting At The Rain

STEM books resource

Love Shouting At the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt? This is the resource for you!  Shouting At the Rain STEM Challenge and Literature Resources is a packet of literacy activities that will get your students engaged in STEM and reading.

The Friendship War

STEM books resource preview

If you read The Friendship War by Andrew Clements you’ll love this STEM activity!  The Friendship War STEM Challenge and Flipbook is a packet of literacy activities that your students will love and be engaged in while reading the novel.

For more STEM fun, make sure to check out my latest blog post here.

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