Sunday, August 6, 2017

Why I Give My Students A Number

Do you give your students a number? I think it's a great Classroom Management technique....and I'll tell you why! 

1. Lining up is a breeze!

For many years I went the route of "Line Leaders" and a "Caboose".  Every day I would pull two names out of a jar and those were the "chosen" kiddos of the day. One was the line leader and one was the caboose.  The rest of the kids just got in line wherever they ended up.  BIG MISTAKE.  Every single day, without fail, somebody complained that "he cut me" or "she's in my spot".  Or even worse, once in a while somebody got in front of the LINE LEADER.  What???? And then the whole class was tattling at once!! 

Finally one day, when I was at my wits end, I said "From now on I'm giving you all a spot in line and that's your spot for the rest of the year.  Period.  No more line leaders or cabooses.  This is your spot."

And you know what happened?  They all got in their spot.  Every day.  And nobody complained about "cutting in line" or had to remind me 100 times who was the line leader.  It was like miracle happened.  And that's when I figured out that this could work for other things too!

2. Collecting papers is easy peasy!

When you give your students a number, it makes collecting papers so easy.  I usually give my kids numbers according to their place in alphabetical order. When your students write their name on their paper, instruct them to ALWAYS write their number in the corner of their paper too.

When I want them to turn in a paper, I simply call them by number.  I used to have to dig around for my alphabetical list of kids every time (because I couldn't remember their order no matter how much I tried).  Now, I just call them by number 1-2-3, etc.  So simple!!  Which leads me to my next reason that I love giving my firsties a number......

3. Entering grades is a snap!

Ok let's face it.....entering grades is time consuming.  And who has time for that?  If you're like me, you just want to get this job done and move on to other more important things during your planning time.  When your kids have a number, and you collect your papers in numbered makes it so easy to enter your grades.  Your papers will already be in alphabetical order.  No need to shuffle papers or flip back and forth in your grade book.  Just enter the grades in the order that you collected the papers. I even have time to go to the bathroom on my break!

4. Returning papers to kids is so easy anyone can do it....even a kindergartener! 

Do you spend 15 minutes at the end of every day passing back papers?  Calling their names and then they walk over to you (taking their good old time....) and take the paper from you? Not me...not any more.  In fact, I don't spend ANY time passing back papers.  My students do it for me.  And THEY LOVE IT.  Start by giving each of your students a mailbox with a number.

Now, when you want papers passed back, its so easy, any child that can read a number can do it.  AND what makes it even easier is they are already in numerical order (see #3 above) so it's very simple to slide them into the mailboxes by number.

5. It makes Back to School set up so much easier!

When your students have a number, you will no longer have to wait for your class list to get your classroom ready.  In fact, it will already be ready from last year for many things! I use numbers on everything ~  mailboxes, cubbies, sign in board, book boxes, take home folders, clip chart ~ you name it, it has a number.

Once your students know their number, they will know exactly what belongs to them in the room.  The one exception I make is their name tag for their table and signing in.  But I also include their number on that as well.

So there you have it.  Numbered order.  It's a good thing.

So now that you know all the reasons numbered order is a good thing,  I've made it easy on you to get started.  I use these numbers in my room and they are super cute.  This set has numbers for everything ~ 

1. Floor Numbers for Lining Up
2. Cubby Numbers / Book Box Numbers
3. Mailbox Numbers
4. Sign In Numbers / Take Home folders
5. Name Tags with Numbers
6. Clip Chart Numbers