“Each Job Could Be a Color!” - Maisie
The children recalled the jobs that we employed last year in order to care for our environment and to establish a sense of ownership and responsibility for the shared classroom space.
We brainstormed which jobs still applied for the Tucker Room classroom space, and the children’s list was not-so-surprisingly similar to last year’s:
1. The Home Shelf
2. Snack Set up
3. Snack Clean Up
4. Mindful Moment
5. The Book Picker
6. Taking Care of Ribbit
7. “The Message Bringer/Looking in the Mailboxes” - “So the jobs are, you go to deliver the mail but if you see any mail….like if I was in the classroom doing something and Elena was delivering the mail, and Elena saw that I had a message and she refilled all the messages in the things and she took the message out of the mailbox and brings it to me…” explained Maisie “you see if its your mail and you decide if its your mail!” added Elena.
8. Animal Rescue - Elena asks, “What’s animal rescue?” to which James replied, “so animal rescue, it’s this thing that um, me and Hugh and Max used to do…Hugh may still do it…and we would check around the playground and see if there’s anything left after clean up. So the animals don’t eat the things.”
“Maybe this [abacus] could actually help give us some ideas or inspiration for how to organize the job chart?”
Maisie immediately replied, “Hey! I’ve got an idea! Maybe everyone in the class could pick a color, like whoever did like, Snack Set-Up could put theirs right there so we know not to do that for the next week…”
Allison asked for clarification:
“are you saying that each job should be a color or that each child should be a color?”
Maisie explained, “Each job could be a color!”
The children immediately began discussing which color should be used for each job….
Elena suggested, “Oh! Oh! I know! I know what the orange could be! Orange should be taking care of ribbit!”
Maisie replied, “No! No! Dark green should be taking care of Ribbit! It should be green!”
Allison offered, “Well maybe Elena could propose an argument for why the job should be orange and Maisie could propose an argument for why it should be green?”
Maisie explained, “Because I think this color [green] looks a lot like Ribbit because it’s the same color as ribbit!”
Elena explained, “and I like the color [orange]”
James, listening to both propositions concluded, “So let’s do Maisie’s color. The green should be the color.”
The way that the children were thinking about and understanding the colors was so interesting so we followed their train of thought. They were making connections, recalling memories and considering how the various colors illicit different feelings.
We began by counting how many colors we had to work with on the abacus. We each reached a different total, so we gave it one final count together for a total of 10 colors. We had already listed 8 jobs, so we then cross referenced our job chart from last year and the children recalled…
9. Watering the Plants
Allison suggested…“Looks like we could have one more job, because we have one color left. What could the tenth job be? I’ve got an idea for what the 10th job could be but I’m wondering if you might have an idea?”
Maisie suggested, “Taking care of the teachers! Making sure the teachers have hugs!”
James added, “Maybe organizing the classroom? Or organizing the books? Put all those together so they don’t get mixed up?”
Allison offered, “My idea, is that maybe the 10th job could be ‘Setting Up the Job Chart’ for the day”
Elena replied, “Yeah! It could be three friends or four friends, or six friends!”
Allison concluded, “So are we in agreement? The 10th job will be ‘Setting Up the Job Chart’?”
James, Maisie, and Elena all announce in unison, “Yeah!”
10. Setting Up the Job Chart
We then began to list which color should be used to represent each job:
Red - Snack Set up “because strawberries are red” - James, “and tomatoes too!” Maisie
Orange - Snack Cleanup “because sometimes there are clementines on the floor” - James
Yellow - Animal rescue “because cheetah’s are yellow” - James, “and giraffes too!” - Maisie
Dark Green- was originally for watering the plants “because leaves are green. Some are dark green.” said Will. But with the switch for the Mindful Moment, dark green became the color for taking care of ribbit, following the same logic that frogs are green.
Blue- water plants “because water is blue” offered Dagny
Purple - picking the book “because some books are purple” lily
Pink - Homeshelf keeper “because we keep all the things there that we love, because pink is the color of love” - Maisie
Light Brown and Dark Brown - There was a debate for whether the “message bringer” should be light or dark brown. James said the message sender should be dark brown “because sometimes messages are dark,” and Tegan suggested that the message bringer should be light brown “because paper is light.” The children also suggested that dark brown should be used for the “setting up the job chart” job because “the old job chart is black,” recalled Maisie and Dagny, “and this [dark brown] looks like black,” agreed will. The children concluded that light brown would represent the message bringer job and dark brown would represent the “setting up the job chart” job.
“But how can we remember each color?!” asked Cate.