Teaching Tip Tuesday – Take a Number

Welcome to the first edition of Teaching Tip Tuesday. Today I want to share with you a small tip that I am so glad to have come across in my first year of teaching. I have used it ever year since and will continue to do so. It may seem overly simple, but that is the beauty of it.

On the first day of school, I have the students arrange themselves in a line in alphabetical order by their last name. It is always a nice ice breaker activity. It shows how they can work together to solve problems and starts a team building atmosphere right away.

While they do this, I have the class list in my hand. I double check to make sure that they have done it correctly. I then go down the line and give each student a number based on the alphabetical roll. For example, Sean Adams would be number 1, Carla Barker would be number 2, and so on. I usually skip number 13 because I don’t want anyone thinking they are unlucky number 13.

Student numbers are the best organizational tool ever. I’m not even exaggerating. I have the students write their name and number on everything they hand in.

When the students hand in work, I can quickly put the papers in numerical order and see right away who hasn’t completed their work. It also is nice to have them in order so I can add marks to my mark book quite easily.

I also like having student numbers so that I can write a catch-up list of work to be done on the board. This way I don’t have to write down 25 names on the board. I can just write “MATH pg 35. 3, 5, 7, 8, …” Students know their numbers and know what work needs to be done.

Another benefit to this numbering system is that whenever we have a fire drill or a field trip where a head count is needed, I can have the students line up in order or call out the numbers and have students raise their hands as I check them off the list.

So try it out. Give every child in your class a number. You’ll find out that this numbering system has so many benefits. You can assign textbooks, calculators, and other resources by number as well. The benefits are unlimited.

Go to Tip 3 – Day Plans

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