From Electric English...
Even though you will introduce this process in the first couple of weeks of school, this will actually be an activity that you implement year round into your classroom... Question. Why should teachers take on the burden of all the tasks necessary for a highly functioning classroom when there are several capable hands to help with the work?
Answer. They shouldn't.
This activity will involve the students filling out job applications for various responsibilities in the classroom, along with year long discussions about how it, "takes a tribe" or "takes a village". The students will fill out the application, and you will conduct very brief interviews in the first two weeks of school to determine positions, which you will then implement the rest of the year. Changing positions only once at the beginning of second semester. (Of course, you could do it quarterly too if that works better for you.) I know I know, it sounds like alot of work. But I promise you, that a little extra work in the first few weeks, will pay unheard of dividends for you in the long run.
The application includes student information, request for a reference, a few short answer questions, a disclaimer that all students may not get exactly the job they asked for, notification that termination is possible for under achievement, etc... There is also a detailed list of the job openings with descriptions. There are over 30 possible tasks, but you can make it fewer, if that is what fits your needs. The listings include jobs such as: Computer Director, Librarian, Messenger, Gardner/Botanist, etc. The templates necessary for certain jobs are also posted in the store.
As always, I have posted everything, individually, in case there is just a small portion of this that will be useful to you. However, that being said, I have also posted the Employment Application as part of a packet too for 25% off what it would cost to buy everything separately.
This is a great way to kick of the year, because it highlights creating a classroom culture and community with your students. I have decided to tie this in thematically with my first two units as well. And focus on the idea of community in their everyday lives, and all that entails... However, this will work no matter what the start of your year looks like. Give it a try; you will be so glad that you did. Not only will this lift some of the burden off of your own shoulders, but it will show your students that they can make a difference too!!