By: Carmen Willings
Updated June 9, 2019
The ability to perform classroom chores or jobs will prepare the student for being a contributing member of the classroom, homes, and community. It also lays a foundation for job-related skills and employment later in life. It does take more time, and generally takes a lot of patience when instructing a student in these goals, but it will pay off over time and can lead to a self-confident, organized adult.
An added benefit to having classroom jobs is that the student will gain plenty of experiences with real objects. This will help a student that is visually impaired develop an awareness of shape, size, texture, softness, temperature, weight, and other features of objects. Some chores typically considered household chores can be taught and practiced within the classroom or school. Everyone should be expected to participate in basic chores on a daily basis such as hanging a coat on a hook or on a hanger, putting toys, materials, and belongings away, placing trash in the trash can, sorting recycling. Create a classroom chore chart with a variety of chores that students can have turns being responsible for. Typically students will look forward to having classroom responsibilities.
Some Possible Classroom Jobs...
The school cafeteria presents a perfect area for students to practice job and career readiness skills. The student can refill salt/pepper shakers, condiments, and napkin dispenser in addition to cleaning tables, sweeping floors, emptying trash and any other job-related tasks that need to be completed.
Have the student make or assist in making coffee for the teacher workroom and restock the area with sugar packets, napkins and stir sticks. Alternatively, the student can assist the teacher in preparing individual cups of coffee with the classroom Keurig.
The door holder job is often as sought after as the line leader position in many preschools and elementary classrooms! The student can hold doors open for classmates as they enter/leave school or as they enter/leave the classroom.
First Aid Kits
At the beginning of the school year, most schools pass out baggies containing small amounts of first aid supplies. The student(s) can be a part of creating this initial set for each classroom or they can assist in restocking these baggies throughout the school year and delivering the first aid kits to classrooms and offices.
Many schools these days have Green Teams. A weekly or bi-weekly chore of the Green Team is to collect and sort recyclable objects from throughout the school and bring them to the school recycling bin.
Although most schools have custodians, rooms are not always thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis. Create a classroom housekeeper position for students. The student can use a cordless mini-vacuum or a full-size vacuum to clean the floor and dust counters and shelves, clean doorknobs and faucet handles. Additionally, if the floor is tiled or laminate, they can use a Swifter Wet Jet or similar tool to clean the floor.
Have the student put spoons away in the silverware drawer; sort silverware into utensil tray; help carry purchased snack, etc. into the class; help make grocery list; set table for meals; put napkins in the napkin holder; read/follow recipes; snack drawer to retrieve snacks between meals; opening various types of containers (bread bags, twist ties, can openers, box lids; doughnut box; cereal box; Pringles cans; boa of cookies; pop top cans; freezer sleeves for microwave; wipe down table. Placing ingredients for upcoming recipes in the proper place.
Have the student put dirty art smocks in the hamper; carry laundry basket to the washing machine; put clean smocks away; help load the washing machine; load the dryer; put in fabric softener sheets, and fold laundry or kitchen cloths.
As stated earlier, this is probably the most coveted job in the preschool and elementary classroom! The line leader can lead the class from class to specials and back. This student's role can also be to ensure classmates remain in line and quiet in the hall.
Have the student bring messages or attendance to the office, help put items in the mailbox to mail and raise the flag. The student can also retrieve mail from the mailbox and deliver to teachers throughout the school.
Have the student be responsible for delivering information to the office, helping to shred any papers, help to make copies of worksheets or reports or deliver mail to other classrooms. Additionally, the student can sort and staple or clip papers together and hole punch as needed.
The student can feed the classroom pets; carry in cat/dog food; pour pet food into an airtight container. They can also assist in cleaning cages and tanks. Cleaning food and water bowls is another job of the pet sitter.
The student can water and care for the classroom or school plants including weeding the class or school garden.
Scuff Mark Spotter
Attach a tennis ball to the end of a pole. Have the student walk along the hall or in the gym scanning for shoe marks to rub out. This is a great activity for visual scanning and eye-hand coordination!
The student can wipe down the table, and give each peer a plate, napkin, cup, spoon, and fork. Teach students to clean the table in a systematic pattern, wiping up and down and back and forth.
Students can empty little trash cans into a larger trash can; help pull out a trash bag and tie it up and take the trash bag out to the larger container; take trash bag to the curb.
Job Tasks for Jobs, Career & Life Recorded Presentation
Do you struggle to find activities to use with students with mild to moderate disabilities in addition to visual impairments or blindness to prepare them for jobs and provide functional literacy activities? I love these activities that I developed specifically for this population. In this presentation I share what I feel are the important reasons for using job tasks and share activities that you can take away to create job tasks for your students to help them build skillful hands, assemble kits and follow directions while building functional literacy skills. These activities use real materials, are age neutral, and can be easily modified to meet the unique learning needs of each student. This presentation is packed full of activities you can begin using immediately with your students!
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