Thursday, July 28, 2016

V.I.P. Club -- Very Informed Pupils

I'm introducing something new to my classroom this year: V.I.P.s.  I've seen lots of posts and pins about VIPs in classrooms being based on behavior, but that's not the kind of VIPs I'll be having.  I got this idea a couple winters ago, while watching school cancellations scroll across the TV...I saw a few local, rural districts, and curiosity got the better of me.  I ended up spending most of that snow day browsing random district websites and their teacher blogs or websites.  I saw this idea for VIPs on one of them and loved it.  I'm not sure why I'm just now ready to incorporate it into my classroom!

Basically, the VIPs in my classroom stand for Very Informed Pupils, and this challenge will take the place of the "What Do I Do Now?" board full of random worksheets and whatnot.  On my classroom website, I've made a page simply labeled V.I.P. (I'm not linking to my webpage, because it is mainly a place for my students and parents).  I do have a free downloadable version of this list available in my TPT store.  Click here to be taken directly to the VIP Club Tasks.  When students click on this page, they'll find all of the tasks they can complete for the V.I.P. Club.  Students work on these independently, at their own pace, and at their own discretion.  They can complete as many or as few as they like, and in any order.  Some of the activities are very short, and a quick Google search will give them the answer.  Others require more work, such as memorizing the U.S. presidents in order or writing letters to former teachers.

Students will keep a V.I.P. folder with all of their work in it.  They're required to write the number and name of each task on top of their work, along with the date.  I'll come up with some simply tally sheet where I can keep track of their points/stars.  What I'm most excited about is the fact that after making the webpage, I don't have to do anything!  I don't have to print or send off for copies, or file, or organize!  It's all done by students, in their folders, with their notebook paper.  

Yes, some of these activities are very low on the DOK, but I really don't care.  Some of these things won't stick in their brains forever, but I really don't care.  All I want out of this is for my students to learn to value knowledge, even if it's briefly gained through Google or Wikipedia.  If I ever have a question about something, I'll go and research it myself, and I think that's a skill kids need.   Don't even get me started on the afternoon my sister and I spent researching Icelandic naming traditions for no apparent reason.  It's still something I know a lot about, and I've never been to Iceland, nor do I have any Icelandic heritage.  The point is, I wanted to know about Icelandic naming traditions for some odd reason, so I spent the time figuring it out.

I also think it's very, very sad that kids don't know things like the names of all the states, or continents, or Presidents, and so on.  These are things that we technically don't have time for during the day, but I believe they're important to know for the sake of knowing.

In the end, I think the V.I.P. Club will serve as a great way to keep my fast-paced learners busy learning.  And that will be beneficial in the long run.

P.S.  I know these pictures are small, and it's hard to see all of my wonderful V.I.P. tasks.  Sorry about that!  Basically, I just racked my brain about everything students should know by the end of 5th grade and made a list under each subject.  I also included some 4th grade review things, as well as some general knowledge.  Under the miscellaneous category, I have lots of tasks involving sports, celebrities, careers, colleges, and other interesting things.  I like that these lists are flexible, and I can add to them throughout the year.

Ha!  Just realized I actually blogged about VIP club waaaay back when I first started working on it!  You can read/copy/paste the ideas here!


  1. Hi there! I really like the idea of your VIP club. Is there a way you can share the tasks? I would like to use something like this, but am wondering when I will have the time to develop it. Thanks for any help you can give. :)

    1. It did take quite awhile to come up with so many activities! I've created a free downloadable list, which is now available in my TPT store. Here's the link:

  2. YOU are AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing this info with me. I really appreciate you taking the time to put this together! I'm your #1 fan! :)