Teaching Tip Tuesday

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I thought I would start sharing a little teacher tip every Tuesday....probably not anything groundbreaking, but little tips passed on to me that have really helped get me organized or helped with my classroom management over the years.

Teaching Tip #1 has to be to number your students!!  I'm always amazed at the veteran teachers who do not do this yet!  Or, maybe they do number their students, but they don't utilize the numbers to the maximum.

At the beginning of each year, our class roster determines a student's number (alphabetical order).  They learn that number on the first day of school and we use it for a TON of things in our classroom that make my life much easier.

First, students write their numbers in the top right corner of ALL papers.  This ensures that I can quickly put the papers in order before grading them.  This helps to know if any are missing and if so, I can tell who did not turn one in.  It also makes entering grades into the gradebook super easy since they're already in order!  This year, I've taken this one step further and I have a class job as a "teacher's assistant."  This student gathers all sets of papers turned in during the day and sorts them in number order for me!  The students LOVE being the "teacher's assistant" and it saves me a little more time!

Second, students line up in number order.  I know, I know...this means they're always beside the same person, but it also means that I know and THEY know when someone is missing!  This comes in extremely handy for fire drills!!  Students start practicing lining up in number order on DAY 1.  I try to make it a game to get them in the habit of lining up QUICKLY.  First, I call each number and have students line up.  Then I have them look at the person in FRONT of them and remember that person's face.  When they see that person head for the line, they are to head there also!  Then, they return to their seats.  I say, "Line Up," and they begin going in number order.  They need a little help the first time usually.  I'm secretly timing them and I tell them how quickly they were able to line up.  We practice a couple of more times with NO TEACHER PROMPTS to see if they can beat their time!  This year my class lined up in 23 seconds the first time with NO help!!  Impressive.

Lining up in this order is also helpful at recess.  Once students are in line, I tap the first person and they begin a "count off" to make sure we have everyone.  As the year progresses, we can fade this out because students will automatically know who is missing.

Third, everything in my classroom that is personalized (lunch choice clothespins, student job rotations, cozy reading spot rotations, behavior management board, cubby hooks, etc) is labeled with student numbers rather than names!  This means that each year I can reuse these items without having to recreate them!!  Talk about a time saver!!

Do you use numbers in your classroom?  Do you have any additional tips or ways that you utilize student numbers?  If you're not using student numbers, yet - assign them TODAY!  It will make your life so much easier!


  1. I am so with you on that one! We are departmentalized and one of the teachers didn't want to number her kids. I numbered them anyway (and then, I think she has since started using them). My life is so much easier this way!!


    Fun in Room 4B

  2. I am a big fan of numbers! I don't have the kids line up in numerical order but that would be great during a fire drill or recess.

  3. I just started using numbers for a lot of things. It makes life so much easier and saves a lot of time at the beginning of the year since you do not have to remake things.

    Elizabeth L.
    The First Grade Jungle Room

  4. Ditto to all of it! We departmentalize in 4th grade at our school so the numbering really comes in handy. If you are number 2 in any of the classes I see that day and number 2's job is paper passer then all the number 2's in each class are the paper passer. If number 5 gets the special chair during silent reading then number 5 in all the classes gets the special chair. It's also handy if you have more than one kid with the same name!!

    Great tip!
    Super Pig and Tyrant King

  5. I number my kids by first name. The truth is..it takes me forever to learn their last names. I am going to try to have them number their papers. HUGE time saver.
    My Second Sense

  6. What a great post. It took me a few years before I learned this tip and I haven't looked back since. It REALLY does make my life a ton easier. I've never tried lining up my students in number order but I'm going to try that next. Thanks for the tip.
    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

  7. I just moved from Kinder to 2nd and am starting to use numbers. They have them but I'm not using them effectively. Thanks for the tips!

    ✪ Miss W

    Miss W Teaches

  8. I LOVE using numbers for just about everything!!!! I also use them for dividing in groups. For example, even numbers sit up front, odd numbers sit behind even numbers. It changes things up.

  9. Also, is it okay if I start using the Teaching Tip Tuesday if I use your picture and link back to you? I really like this idea!

  10. I just downloaded your "First Week" freebies! Thanks a million!......And yes, I would be LOST without class numbers! I use them for everything. :)

    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings


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