Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Student Number System

My first year of teaching in a classroom, a teacher friend of mine gave me one of the most invaluable tips for classroom management I ever received.  Use a Student Number System.

What is a Student Number System? 
At the beginning of the year, you will assign each student a number.  I usually just type the student's names down alphabetically by last name, and then assign them a number, starting with one.  I had 18 kids last year, so I had student numbers 1-18.

Why use a Student Number System?
Because it makes your life SO much easier! :) Seriously.

On your classroom mailboxes, you can just put the student numbers, 1-whatever, on each mailbox.  That way, next year you won't have to rip off the names and re-do them! You can re-use the same mailboxes and numbers year after year.  Pretty sweet, eh?

Not only can you use classroom numbers on your mailboxes, but also on your text books, writing folders, or anything a student uses for the year and you will re-use again.

Also, it makes field trips a breeze.  Just have students count off starting at one (with you watching to make sure no one says someone else's number) and then you will know if all of your students are on the bus or at the meeting place, etc.

But the main reason why I love using a Student Number System is for organizing student work.  Whenever students turn something in, they will put their number at the top of the page instead of their name.  This way, it is super easy to put them in number order (which is alphabetical order)- even a student could do it!  It also provides anonymity if you have a volunteer grading any of your student's work.

NOTE:  Explain the classroom numbering system to parents before the year starts.  Put the information in your welcome packet or explain it to them at Open House.  They will want to know why their students are using a number instead of writing their name.  Communication with parents is the key to a happy school year!

Here is a picture of my mailboxes from last year.  You can see I just typed the student numbers on some address labels and then put them on each box.  I wish I would have taped over it with a piece of clear packing tape, as some of them started peeling off towards the end of the year.

I also found THIS idea on Pinterest.  I think I will probably use this idea in my future classroom.  However, I will probably use a little bit of Mod-Podge over the numbers to keep them from coming off.  Another idea I had was to paint the clips first, then put a number on it (possibly with a scrapbook sticker) and then Mod-Podge over the whole thing! :) We'll see what happens. :)

In the photo below, you can see my class's writing folders.  I put their student numbers on these as well and the class the next year was able to use the exact same folders with no extra work for me! Yea!

UPDATE:  Over on the Clutter Free Classroom blog, they are talking about the student numbering system! Yea! :)  If you happen to catch this post today (7-2-12), grab her set of numbers FREEBIE which is only free for today.  You will still be able to purchase it from her TPT store if you are reading this at a later date.  Check out her ideas--she has a great blog! :)

I've also found some great FREE number circles that I wanted to share with you-all. The links are below.

FREE Classroom Numbers for your Library Pockets (simply print and then glue on an index card & laminate)

Brightly Colored Class Number Circles

Yellow Stars w/ Red Background Class Number Circles

Zebra & Lime Green Class Number Circles

Dr. Seuss-like Red and Teal Blue Class Number Circles

Do you use a Student Numbering System?  Do you find it helpful?  Thanks for your thoughts and opinions! :)

Have a wonderful day!


  1. I LOVE using the number system in my classroom. When I taught middle school, I had around 150 students and seeing that many names drove me batty. Halfway through my first year I started having my students use numbers and it made my life so much easier! I, too, used it on field trips and as a management tool. It was also helpful when I had a sub. The students had to line up in numerical order everywhere they went as a class so the sub knew who she had and who she didn't. It also cut down on behavior problems in my absence.

  2. I agree with you about making it easier for subs... I love the number system too! :)

  3. Hi, I have a question. How do you handle new and withdrawn students? Do you "retire" withdrawn students numbers? A new student-would they get #19 or if # 5 had become available would they get 5?
    Thanks, Michele

    1. Hey Michele :)

      That's a really good question... what I did last year was when I had a student move away, I would just leave that spot empty until another student came in. The new student would get that "empty" number. If there were no empty numbers then I would give that student the next number available after all of my class numbers.

      I didn't love this system for new students because it kinda messed me up since my list was in alphabetical order (and numbers were given to the kids from my alphabetical order list). That means that I had all my kids in alphabetical order except the new student(s).

      I think it would work either way-I just didn't want to retire any numbers because I ended up getting several new kids throughout the year. My classroom numbers would have gone up too high. (All of my textbooks were labeled with numbers and we only had 20 copies of each book- so then I would have had a problem with higher numbers. That's why I chose to just plug the new students into the empty numbers.)

      Hope that answers your question- sorry I wish I had a better system for that! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your question! :) Have a great day! :) Ashley

  4. I am using an app which is allow to me convert an integer or fractional numbers into the binary, decimal, octal and hexadecimal system.
    Here the App link is :