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1/2 Day Kinder Line-Up Order Struggles - Please Help!
Old 07-27-2010, 08:47 AM
 
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My Dilemma - Title 1 school, 1/2 day program that comes with a high degree of

transiency and absence. LINE- UP order:

Last year I had my biggest difficulty managing line order and couldn't figure out why my kids could not remember who to stand in front of/behind! It was driving me, my coaches, the playground supervisors, and the kids CRAZY!

I realized what I was struggling with was:
Transiency and absence. I'm looking for input on how to deal with this issue! I put masking tape on the floor with the kids name labels on top. I color coded the masking tape: green for am, blue for pm. [We have carpet.]

I am thinking of having one Student Helper of the day who is also the line leader. The next day that student becomes the line ender/door holder. But if I am going to rotate the line, then this confuses the kids. If I put numbers down instead and rotate the line, I feel that too will confuse the kids. Then when people move and are absent that confuses them as the visual of remembering who they stand by is changed frequently. It obviously isn't fair to have the kids line up the same way every day as they all want a turn to be first. Half day has higher transiency and absence...nature of the beast. IDEAS?


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I think you just solved your own problem!
Old 07-27-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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I am going to use numbers this year. I also have carpet. We are required to go to lunch in abc order, so I'll put numbers 1-2? on the floor for them to stand on. This is also a great way to help kids get numerical order and recognize numbers out of sequence, so it's definitely appropriate! I have used the alphabet for line-up too, but counting and recognizing numbers to 20 is a major big deal at the beginning of the year. I think once kids know who is gone, they will say "no one will be on 6 today, because Suzy is absent", etc. This works because my kids readily recognized whose letter wouldn't be covered up by shoes when a child was absent. Numbering systems are great for getting kids in order quickly too! You can skip count by twos, fives, and tens too
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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Our kids have to line up in ABC order for lunch. The problem was that kids that ordered the alternative lunch were supposed to be at the front of the line, and I was running into a similar problem. The way that I got around it was to have the kids line up in the same order EVERY TIME we were leaving the class. THEN I could pull kids out and move them.

So you could line them up in the same order every time, and then pull out your line leader and door holder. The entire line doesn't need to rotate.

In addition to having them remember the student in front of them and behind them, I also had them look at where they were in the room when they were in order. (next to the pencil sharpener, the cubbies, the job chart etc.) so they knew where to go even if the person in front of them was absent.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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I believe highly in the KISS system (Keep it Simple Sweetie)

I have one Student of the Day and that child gets to choose to be line leader wherever we go or be last.

Everyone lines up as I dismiss them, they have no set order-that would drive me nuts for all the reasons you cited...

I can sing songs like Here Comes Uncle Jesse and have him 'holler' red or other colors and those that have that color line up or he can 'holler' tie shoes, velcro shoes, long sleeves, short sleeves, or those whose name begins with the letter 'r' or the sound, names that end with 't', etc.

You must model, model, model how to line up (every day for months sometimes), then have a child model, then ask for volunteers who think they can do it (at first this will be 3-4 or more) and be sure to say things like, "Wow! Did you see that???!!! I didn't hear anything, everyone was SO quiet! He used his best walking feet! His hands didn't touch anyone on the way, FANTASTIC!" In short, you will constantly praise all the positives you see and ignore any negatives if you can.

The beauty of having one SOTD is that if someone is absent, no problem, just choose another. I do mine totally random with their name on a jumbo colored stick in a bin, mix them up and choose---I think they pay better attention that way over when they know when their turn will be, i.e., when it's on a posted list.

I honestly see no reason for them to have assigned spots in line. If you have certain children who cause problems you can always ask them to stand in a different place or have them hold your hand....and then have them practice with you at recess or choice time.
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Line-Up Order, 1/2 Day Dilemma
Old 07-27-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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Okay...??? So walk me through what I do when kids move. Last year I got 6 new kids at the end of the year in two weeks for example. Think aloud: Do I 'hold' a spot for kids who moved away and leave their number blank all year, just always adding on to the end of the line?

Maybe the REAL solution is to use "ordinal numbers" - 1st through 30th [just in case! ] Then when I implement the jobs/student helper of the day/line leader everyone has to remember a NEW number every day. Hmmm....what do you think? Will they remember their new ordinal number of the day? Makes it real - gives connection to ordinal #'s.


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line order
Old 07-27-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I do use a line order and really like it because it makes lining up so simple all year once you have taught it. I rotate my line at the start of each new week. So a child will be our line leader all week, and then the next week they go to the end of the line to be our caboose and the next kid in line is our line leader. I would go crazy if I had to change line leaders every day. I keep a list of the line order near my door , and put a clip next to the line leader so I can remember who it is for the week-but honestly -the kids keep track of it and never forget to tell me who is the line leader.

I think the first few weeks of the school year are the hardest-it really does take them a long time to figure out the whole line order thing and remember their spot-so I practice it SEVERAL times each day like a little lining up game for the first few weeks of school (in addition to the practice they get when we actually have to line up to go somewhere). I also encourage them to help each other (for example, if Sarah always forgets where her spot in line is, I ask the kids in front and behind her to help her remember). If a new kid joins our class they go at the end of line-I do not try to put them in where they would be alphabetically since that would just mess everyone up. Also, I do not use numbers-they just have to know their spot (who they are behind in line).
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Line-Up Order, 1/2 Day Dilemma
Old 07-27-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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Jacque, I can totally see your points! And yes, despite the model/practice/model/practice and prepositional cues approach, there was frustration. What I feel like I was up against was the frustration felt by the playground supers and my coach. Where I am more concrete/random they were looking for strict concrete line ORDER.

I have to admit that it was mostly a problem outside with kids rushing to get in line 1st, pushing, cutting, etc. My response to that was always to calmly send those kids to the back of the line. Yet I think they were looking for/needing a structure out there, as well as at library time.

I like the randomness of your approach that still provides structure. I don't know how to transfer that to outside and library, etc. Still searching through the rolodex of my mind and forming your ideas into new cards to choose from...
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:21 AM
 
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I did it like you said: one student was the helper of the day, which included line leader.

First I got my kids to know who was in front of and in back of them in line in alpha order. Then we just rotated. I didn't have too many problems with students getting confused about where they were supposed to be. They just knew to be between their people unless they were the line leader or caboose. The kids figure it out pretty quickly. If someone was gone I would just say "Who is after so&so?" and they would get in place.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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My assistant is also a main playground monitor, so she greatly reinforces no pushing, shoving in line and NO CUTTING! These things will earn them time at recess to practice and if it continues after that, I have them miss an entire recess and go to the office to do nothing---usually only takes one time to make believers out of them.

Last year we had a short interval where some kids fought over getting in line last. It just becomes a Choice Box issue then and once they know that, it goes away. As with other things, consistency, repetition are key to eliminating these behaviors.

I suppose my school is very different from many as we have a ton of parents always here to help. I know I would never be comfortable with a structured line-up---we just do that for picture taking....maybe I'm just uncomfortable with children being assigned numbers or letters....and I'm always looking for ways to make life less complicated.
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Keeping it Simple
Old 07-27-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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I hear you...a balance of structure and keeping it simple is what I'd really like to find.


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Old 07-27-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I'm in a similar boat as you - I work at a Title 1 school that has tons of transiency and absence issues. You also seem pretty regimented in your procedures, so I'm going to be specific for you! I have only a student of the day, and that person is line leader. If they are absent, they lose their turn and I go to the next person on the list. It's alphabetical. After a while, the students know who is next. I add my new students to the bottom of the list, and make sure they see everyone else in the class be the student of the day before they get their turn so they know what is expected of them.

The only time I have them line up in a specific order is when we are outside (recess/PE). The numbers are already painted on the playground. I assign numbers based on height (I hate when I can't see how the students are behaving at the end of the line) and by how responsible they are at the beginning of the year. I usually have some sort of boy-boy-girl pattern (never enough girls!). When students are absent, they know that no one will be standing on that number, and they leave a space.

The rest of the day, it depends on what we're doing before I dismiss them to line up. If they are seated, I dismiss by table group or by where they sit on the carpet (I have a Lakeshore rainbow striped carpet, so I dismiss by color row). I make sure that the whole class is doing exactly the same thing - no one is getting a backpack or cleaning a table. They are watching each other - no talking. I teach them to use the "Lines, Lines, Lines" method by Whole Brain Teaching/Power Teaching. They say, "Lines, Lines" repeatedly until they get to the line, then they stop talking and show me correct posture (hands behind back, bubble in the mouth). If they have freedom to line up however they want, I simply move those who can't handle the responsibility of standing near a specific person.

If you have to have them lined up alphabetically to go to lunch, can you dismiss them in the proper order? If you are dismissing them, and someone is absent, they won't get confused. You also won't have to label the ground.

Here's a lining up trick I learned from Conscious Teaching:
Make a loose rubric to rate how students are lined up. You take photos of the lines in the various stages of the rubric. Here's a sample:
1. No one is facing the front, they hands on each other
2. Some are facing the front, but others are not ready
3. ?I can't remember? You decide
4. Everyone is ready.

When lining up, after the students have practiced and practiced, you can now hold up your fingers to signal or hold up the picture to signal what you are seeing. If students take too long to get ready, you have them all return to their seats, talk about it, then try again. I was all ready to use this idea this past year, but I didn't need to! For the first time ever, I had such a nice class!!! Telling them to sit down and trying again worked very well for me.
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Line-Up Order, 1/2 Day Dilemma -
Old 07-27-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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Thank you for your clear/specific directions. I can create a movie in my mind from your post and like the idea of shortest to tallest for outside and at library time. I only have lunch lines 1x per week and theyare the only ones who don't care about line order. I also like the pictures of them doing it/not doing it as expected. You've given me the idea of making a class book from that rubric. I appreciate your help!
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lining up
Old 07-27-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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I do it like Jacque does. I work in a school that is very transient and has high absenteeism so numbers or alphabetical becomes too complicated. I don't have any parent support or aide so it's up to me. I can see how outside can become an issue. I usually have one child who is always racing to be first, usually I just deal with that individually, sometimes that means assigning that one child a spot.

One thing that has worked well at the beginning of the year is having a mystery walker. I choose a person, without them knowing they are the person I am watching, and if we get where we are going with them walking appropriately they get acknowledged. I agree with Jacque about the tons of praise and practice for the first few months, and we revisit it after any holiday.

I remember teaching a little boy one year who's first name started with a Y and his last name with a Z and he was very tall for his age. He was so excited to be in my class because he said the entire year before he had always been at the back of the line (they lined up alphabetically, sometimes by first name sometimes by last or by height). It meant so much to this little guy that I swore I would never do that. That was over 15 years ago and I've never forgotten it.
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Line Leader - looking through their eyes
Old 07-27-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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Your narrative says so much. I am struck by that feeling and you are so right - we never forget that kid! Those stories give me the tools I often need when the 'regiment' comes up - the how to get through it all is driven by these little lives. We can get stuck in the planning of structures and forget what it feels like at their age. They all want to be a leader 'sometime' and they watch and know when it is not fair.

We talk alot about having a 'business face' and sing the first lines of the Rolling Stones 'You can't always get what you waaa-aaant!'. We talk about attention seeking and disruptions with some lightheartedness. I teach them that "This is not my show...this is not ______'s show or ______'s show [using different names all the time]. Who's show is it? It is everybody's show. Everybody has the right to learn, to get attention, to be first, in the middle, last, get their questions answered, get recognition, praise, etc." They get a big kick out of the song and the "It's not the ____ show, etc."! This humor is something that really helps me. Always looking for more humor ideas.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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I so agree with you Luv2Chat. As a child, I would have hated to always line up by alphabet or number. It is a time when they seek to be with their friends and I like to encourage that as long as they can do what they need to do. Let's cut them a little slack and trust that they can do this without a lot of intervention on our part. Luckily, my lunch room just asks them to line up by what they are ordering, i.e., all chicken burgers together, etc.

Funny how all it takes is a child's vocal perspective to change how we look at these things. It would certainly curtail a great deal of my short little teaching items if I were to line up by alphabet or number. I would definitely miss that. Sometimes I use rhyme flash cards and tailor each one to a specific child, they have to tell me a word that rhymes with the card, then push the easy button and line up. Sometimes I use opposite cards and do the same, sometimes I throw bean bags (alphabet or number) and do the same, sometimes I show them dot or line cards, sometimes a die--they count dots and tell me how many, then I change to two dice and they add them together.
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Child Friendly
Old 07-27-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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Thank you, jaque and Luv2Chat for those great insights! I love the learning and game-like ideas you have jacque! Sounds like I need to have a little transition 'exit basket' for line-up and give them some space. It feels so much more human.

In my student teaching my mentor teacher insisted that I memorize a very militaristic set of line-up instructions and deliver it to the kids like a drill sargent. It stressed me out so much that for the life of me, I could NOT memorize it! Talk about trauma all the way around!

Does your building pressure you to do the line order at all or do you have so much experience that they let you do your thing? Maybe the pressure I've been getting was because of being new.

Having a chance to discuss it and get multiple perspectives is very refreshing vs. the example I cited above! Thank you all!

Last edited by BeeHappy; 07-27-2010 at 04:12 PM.. Reason: left out detail ; )
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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No one at my school, K-8th grade does a line-up by any system. Our students are pretty responsible and maybe that's why, plus we have parents everywhere....I do not think they would like it either. Line-up problems are just not a big issue---I have bigger fish to fry....

I say do what feels comfortable to you.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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I don't have any problems with a structured line-up, since we do rotate who the line starts with each day. I haven't really had any problems with pushing or cutting because they know exactly who they're supposed to be by. So no arguing about who gets to be last or first, or who gets to be by who, etc.

Of course, I don't have any parents to help or an aide, so this definitely makes my life (and theirs) easier.
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Line Up Structure/no structure options
Old 07-28-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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Thank you Tessa_Rue ~ I have a para in am, none in pm. Glad to hear you have success with your line order structure! ; )
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