Job charts are a common site in early childhood settings. There is usually a “door holder” and “line leader”. There is a “table setter” and a “librarian”. Usually, there are just enough jobs so that every child has a job. Some teachers like to switch jobs daily and others like to keep them for a week. Young children like to have jobs, as they like their names to be called, and they like to be chosen. They want just enough responsibility to keep it interesting, but not so much that they have to miss out on play.
The “Weather Person” or “Meteorologist” is another way to explore the weather in your classroom. During the morning meeting (or circle time) this job asks that children go to the window and report the weather. They usually let the other children know if it is sunny, or rainy, if it is snowing or windy. Be sure to ask follow up questions like, “Is it VERY windy or a LITTLE bit windy?” to encourage further exploration of relative terms.
You can get an outdoor thermometer with large numbers (they are usually designed to be seen from afar, so they are perfect for children) and the weather person can also begin to report the temperature as well. Measuring the temperature and knowing that thermometers are the tool we use for doing so is one of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards.
You can begin using the thermometer by having children report if there is a “lot” of red or if there is a “little” red. Remember, this will be a relative idea- so you may need to have a sample in the classroom that you can manipulate to show children how the red goes up and down depending on the “hotness” or “coldness” of the temperature. Then children can begin to learn that there are numbers next to the top of the red that tells how hot or cold the day is.
The skills of reading a thermometer will take a long time to develop and may not happen while the children are in your program. No matter. Introducing the concepts and reinforcing the ideas is more important than mastery.
You may have the next Tom Skilling in your room!