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!