Goals for this lesson:
Discover the two categories into which most student numbering procedures fall.
Learn about a variety of student numbering procedures.
Decide how you are going to number your students.
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At my school, I am required to submit report sheets to the office every two weeks. Since the report sheets are in alphabetical order by last name, should I number my students the same way so that they are already in that order?
It's always best to filter the ideas presented in this handbook through the sifter of your own school requirements. Thus, an alphabetically ordered report form that needs to be sent to the office every two weeks mitigates in favor of you taking the same approach.
There will come the time, however, when you will receive a new student. Putting the new student at the end of the list will mess up your order somewhat. Nonetheless, the majority of your list will be in the correct order. It will only be a matter of looking at the bottom of your grade sheet to find the grades for your new student when you come to his name on the report form. No sweat.
The Other Side of the Coin: Most of the recording, evaluating, and assessing is done in-house. And although you will need to export things to the office on a regular basis, the volume and extent of the reporting is not even close to the amount work you do in your own room on a daily basis. I'd concentrate on making your classroom as efficient as possible.
I teach a combination class: half of my students are third graders and half of my students are fourth graders. Should I keep the two groups separate when I number them?
If you're talking about having the third graders use numbers 1 to 18 and fourth graders using numbers 19 to 36, I wouldn't recommend it. Although it may seem like the natural thing to do, it's only going to add to the already divisive atmosphere of the combination class. Whenever possible, you want to try to break down that feeling of having two separate groups and bring them together as one class. Commingling the numbers will help you to achieve that goal.
Of course, the advantage to grouping the numbers is that it would enable you to more clearly focus on the two separate grade levels. The Check Off List example on the left shows the grouping method. The example to the right shows how an integrated system still enables the teacher to maintain a grade level specific awareness. The dots in front of some of the numbers represents a third grade student. The undotted numbers belonged to fourth graders.
I had my students get in an alphabetical order line according to their first names in order to receive a student number. A month later, a new student enrolled in my classroom. Should I re-alphabetize everyone and assign new numbers?
First of all, congratulations on allowing your students to become involved in the "get a number" procedure. I think it's important that we promote participation in as many ways as possible.
Second, don't even think about renumbering your students so that you can maintain alphabetical order. I realize that having students in order by their first names makes it easier to learn a student's number or locate the name in a grade book; nonetheless, it's not so important that you'd want to make it your top priority.
When a new student enrolls, you can do one of two things.
1. Reassign any number that is no longer being used. This is usually the case when a former student has transferred out of your room.
2. Add the new student to the bottom of your list.
I know this messes up that carefully crafted order you established on the day the students received their numbers, but it's just not that big of a deal. Within a week, it won't bother you at all.