Table Captains

I want to share you a SIMPLE classroom management tip that I used with my Kinders and 4th graders. The concept is "table captains."  I typically keep my kids in table groups all year, and just switch them around to different spots in the room each month.  I keep them in little groups of 4 or 5 to encourage collaborative groups.  I was noticing that when I had one task for the group to complete, they would argue over who got to take a turn, or sometimes there wouldn't be a natural leader.  Then I thought.... TABLE CAPTAINS! 

I organize this by assigning each person in the table group a little animal.  The picture below is a view looking down at the center of the table group.  So for all of my little pods of tables there is a rhino, zebra, elephant, and monkey.  I laminate these and place them at the corner of each desk.  

At the front of the room I hang this poster that displays who the table captain is for the day.  I change it each day, and it stays in the same order.  The table captain is in charge of getting more supplies, passing out and collecting paper, or any other job I have for each group to complete.

If the person who is supposed to be the captain is absent, I just pick a random card from the stack and that table group has a different captain that day.

I can also strategically group the kids using these animals as well.  I can say "all of the monkeys are in a group" for centers, and they don't know it but those might be all my high kids.  This has worked WONDERS for me, and I am positive it could do the same for you.  Download this FREEBIE by clicking here!!!


  1. I have table leaders but I just write their names up on the board. Your idea to use an animal is perfect since I always forget to change their names or forget who was table leader next time. Definitely something for next year - thank you!
    Teaching in the Valley

  2. LOVE it!!! Thank you for this post! :)

  3. OMG...I needed something like this soooo bad! I was "trying" to let everyone have a turn getting supplies and I was always forgetting whose turn it was, and they were always fighting over papers! We had a snowday on Friday and I went in and printed and put these on their tables! Can't wait to use on Monday! Just what I needed!!

  4. I love this! I tried clickng on the link to download it for free and it says I do not have access. :(