I keep going back and forth about assigning numbers to students. How long does it take for you to memorize the number associated with each student? Does it really save time? Do you just assign alphabetically?

Last edited by Daphne333; 07-31-2012 at 06:47 AM..
Reason: corrected spelling

I assign student numbers alphabetically and it doesn't take too long for me to memorize them. Everything that I use year to year is labeled with a number so I don't have to re-label every year. It is very helpful when trying to figure out whose missing assignments. I even number permission slips and important notices before they go in mailboxes so if it's found in the classroom or hallway after school I know who to return it to. It's worked for me, but I'm an organizational nut sometimes

I always assign student numbers. It takes them maybe a day to remember their number! I have them write their number in the upper right corner of everything they turn in. I can quickly put papers in numerical order and see whose paper I may be missing - much faster than I can when just looking at names. I also use it when lining students up. I tell them to line up in increasing numerical number, decreasing order, multiples of some number, odd or even first, etc.

I assign them alphabetically. Newcomers just get put at the end.

Even students who had a different number last year have no problem learning/remembering their new assigned number.
I had always used alphabetical until last year when I read a fun way to give numbers. On a small piece of paper write each number. Fold and place one number inside a balloon and blow it up (small size) and tie off to hold air. On the first day, gather students giving each a balloon. On command, toss in the air repeating for several times...call stop, each pops their balloon and the number inside is theirs for the year. It was wonderful and everyone was smiling. I had a "Z" name who had always been at the end was suddenly #4 for the year and was thrilled. Even her mother remarked how happy she was to move up and NOT be last My grade book was set up to numbers not alphabet and papers/work were always collected numerically to make my life easier. It was a good activity for the first day of school and I am looking forward to it again this year.

I really like the balloon popping way of getting a number! I've already assigned numbers, so I will save that for next year. That's a problem with being done in your room a few weeks before school starts. Great ideas keep coming through on PT. If I make an exception this time, I'll start changing all sorts of things.
Maybe I need to quit reading PT until school starts.

I have assigned numbers to my third grade students for the past several years. It only takes them a few days and they have it memorized. I put the number along side their name on their desk plate, on their locker and lunch card. That way they see it several different times. I assign numbers in abc order. It makes it so much easier to sort through papers, put mail in mailboxes etc. All my textbooks and math pouches are numbered too. That way I don't have to rename them every year.
Just to clarify something, the students aren't just a number in my room They must always put their name along with their number when they hand anything in. I don't put numbers on projects to hang in the hall, always their name. I use the numbers only as an organizational tool for me. So many times we have students that have similar names and it gets confusing.
Numbers just make life a little easier.

I think using numbers saves a lot of time. I keep a list handy with their names an numbers in case i can't remember which student goes with a certain number. However, the kids always remember so you can just ask them.
For those of you that assign numbers alphabetically, do you reassign numbers when you get new students? Last year I had a lot of new students coming in and would reassign the numbers but then the kids started getting mixed up and forgetting their new number. I did this because it makes putting grades into my gradebook easier when the papers are in alphabetical order.

I can't imagine not having numbers! I assign alphabetically, but I usually wait a few days until I actually assign them - just to make sure I have my final list. It absolutely saves time. I write numbers on everything rather than names - so they can be reused every year (mailboxes, cubbies, etc...).

When a new student comes in, they get the next number. If a student moves, that number remains empty unless a new one comes in (then they get that number).

When I get a new student (or one moves), I draw a line with a highlighter in my gradebook, to make sure I don't put the wrong grades in there - as soon as I get to the highlighted line, I know that means I need to go the new student to put in his/her grade.

My gradebook is on my computer and the names are automatically put in abc order so i can't use your highlighting tip. Other than this SNAFU, i love using numbers.

I love student numbers. I use it for most of the ideas already stated but I love it when we have fire drills. It's so easy for me to run down the line and tell who is missing. My students line up in number order with a new student in front each day (the whole line moves up one each day so no one is ever always last). I can start counting with the line leader. It's so much easier to count than to try to remember the names in an emergency.

It only takes me a few days, if that, to remember the number and corresponding names. I do keep a large list on my wall for guest teachers and student reference in case they need it. If I get flustered and can't remember, it's right there. Last year I changed student numbers when one student left and another came in. We only get 20 students per classroom and we're ususally set by the middle of September. I don't have to worry about getting a new student in April. Because my gradebook is online and can only be set up alphabetically it was easier for me to change their numbers. I have first graders and one of my kiddos who had to change numbers was the one that it took the longest to remember her first number but she made the change without much difficulty.

I say give it a try! What's the worst that can happen? You forget and don't use them. Then you'll know for next year!

Makes life so much easier. Re the PP who mentioned the random assignment (balloons), I "sort of" solve the always-last problem by mixing up how I call students for various things. So, for example, I might start a class presentation by calling numbers 21-25 first, rather than last. Or start in the middle, with 11-15. Just write yourself a note so you remember who you've called and who still needs to be called.

I assign numbers to my students alphabetically. We start in the middle of the week, so I usually wait until the first Monday to assign numbers. That way any who didn't show/show up late are still in ABC order. If as student leaves during the year, I don't reassign the number unless I get a new student who falls close to there that number would be in the alphabet. Otherwise I just add them on to the end. I do not reassign numbers for the whole class.

I only use numbers for line order, and they are lined up alphabetically. Maybe this year I'll go reverse AbC order and have Zs as 1 down to A's last.

I plan on using numbers more this year, especially with book boxes. I bought 28 nice ones. So I'm just going to number instead of sticking name labels on them!

I have never used numbers before but after reading these great posts for Daphne, I am convinced! Love the odd, even, ordinal idea! I have always (for some silly reason) alphabetized mine by first name. Numbers sounds so much easier!

I number in reverse by last name. So last year my student with the last name West was number 1. Not only do we use it on papers, we use it to line up, choose teams for games, seating arrangements, hanging pictures in the hall, etc. As pp's have suggested I number everything and then it can be used from year to year easily. My kiddos turn in their papers in number order from 1-35 (this year) that way my grade book on the computer is set up alphabetically by last name and this way their papers are in order for me to input the grade book online. If I get a new student they get the next number or an empty number if someone has moved. This way even if there are some new, I had 7 new last year, I only have those to put in out of order.

I also love assigning my kids numbers! It makes things so much easier for lots of things! It's funny how certain kid's numbers stay attached to them - sometimes even years later I can remember a kid's number from when they were in my class!

You'll be glad that you did! Assigning numbers to students really helps with everything- organization, record keeping, lining up, grading papers, etc.... I assign numbers alphabetically, just start at the top of the class roster and keep going. When a new student arrives they receive the next number. However, I don't assign numbers until the second or third week of school because of so many students join after the first day and first week. Students memorize their numbers in no time and so do I. I can't imagine not using a number system in my classroom.

I always assign numbers, alphabetically. It definitely makes things easier for me. In the beginning I will call students up by number to turn in a paper/test to help them & myself learn the numbers.

Good luck. If you choose to use numbers I hope it works out for you.

When using numbers for papers and such it doesn't really matter if the student is first or last it's more for the teacher's use. To prevent those A's and B's always being first though (I was an S and feel their pain!) I like to mix a little math in and call odd or even numbers, multiples of 3 or 4 and other type "math problems". The students figure the problems out quickly and mentally to determine if they are included in that bunch and it always mixes up and produces an ever changing order!