Within classroom procedures, there are random odd jobs that could be done by any student. This could be passing out papers, whiteboards and markers, or any classroom supplies. There are several ways to pick volunteers to do these procedures. In my placement, my mentor teacher elicits a student as dictātor for the week. The dictātor chooses a classmate to complete a needed task or be a part of the story going on in class. Other ways include cards of fates, or a random name picker, which you can make using Flippity.

Item of the Day

The system I purpose is a bit more involved, as well as something I see working well in an elementary classroom. I refer to this system as Item of the Day (IoD). IoD is a rather complex system or can be made simple with the aid of technology, like most things. With IoD, you have an established lists of categories. These categories can cover clothes, traits or superlatives. The categories can be as detailed as you’d like or as broad. If you often need many volunteers, pick a broad item. If you need only one, pick a superlative.

How It Works

Above I have some of the items I’d use in my classroom. For clothes and technology, you’d pick one either from either category and then a color to narrow the feel a bit. Some of these superlatives can be established during class icebreakers during the first week, before implementing the IoD in the classroom. The questionable category is meant for high school students, or any students you think are mature enough to answer the questions it asked. I see using this category at the end of the year or with fourth year or fifth year AP Latin students who all know each other very well for the most part. Notice, I did not put dumbest or slowest as a trait. However, I kept the quietest, to help get that shy student out of their seat and involved.

Multiple qualified volunteers

When you have multiple students in the classroom the fit the IoD, then have a system in place for the order the volunteers occur. This system could be the students go alphabetically or by age, or rock, paper, scissors if there are only two qualified volunteers. Once you get to know your students and what they wear, you can alter categories as necessary. For example, if you only have one student you often see where a dress, you can move the dress item over the pool for single volunteers.

Using it in the Classroom

Earlier I stated this process can be rather involved. In my vision, I see having a square for each color and a picture for each piece of clothing (I’d also have each color and clothing labeled appropriately in Latin) to be posted at the front of the classroom every day it is needed.

Another way I see this happening is popsicle sticks or a randomizing wheel that could be physical or digitally made through Flippity. This could be something you make a big deal of with your students or a weird process of choosing that only you know about and see if students can figure out how you decide on volunteers.

This strategy is only a theory and is opened for suggestions. If you use a similar strategy, please share your experience and advice.

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