Organization: please take a number.

Some days students work independently, and my job is to coach individually. I love doing this, but a problem develops when 5 students raise their hands within minutes of each other: I often lose track of who’s next. Also, students stop working when their hands are raised because they’re waiting for me. Their arms get tired, and they become frustrated.

I started assigning numbers instead. Once a student had a number, they would go back to work until they heard me ask, “Who’s number 4?” They knew that their turn would come, and often, by the time I got to them, they would say, “Never mind. I figured it out.”

Sometimes I forget which number I assigned last. Rather than risk giving the same number to two students, I skip a few and say something like, “Your number is 10. I don’t think there’s an 8 or 9, but I want to be sure.”

If there’s a student I don’t get to by the end of the period, they always tell me. I ask them to remember that they are #1 for the next day.


Iโ€™m participating in Kelly Hinesโ€™ Blogging Challenge. This is Day Two.

5 thoughts on “Organization: please take a number.

  1. I tell my students to write their names on the board, and I work my way down the list. They really like this, because it is fair.

    • Diana, I did that for a while, too. When kids started congregating at the board, though, I moved to the number system. If it works for you and your kids, wonderful!

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