Magnets for Management

Having shared this idea for years and years during seminars, I finally decided to post it on the web site. It's a simple yet effective classroom tool for teachers who are using student numbers.

Lately, though, the whole idea has kind of taken on a life of its own. And as opposed to making one long scrolling page showing all of the various ways this playful little tool can be employed in your classroom, I've decided that numbered magnetic tiles deserve their own special area on the website.

Getting Started

  1. polygons; one per student (these can usually be found in math manipulative kits)
  2. self-adhesive magnets (you can buy a roll at Michael's Arts & Crafts)
  3. permanent marker (a Sharpie is ideal for this task)
  1. Number the polygons from 1 to n: n being the total number of students you have.
  2. Attach a one-inch strip of magnet to the back side of the polygon.
  3. Place them all on a magnetic whiteboard.

Magnet and Number

Here they are being used track the completion of an assignment.

Magnetic Tiles

The tiles still below the red line represent the students who have yet to finish. That's a good thing to know.

For those of you who prefer details instead of the big picture, here's what happened.

I placed all of the tiles on the whiteboard and then drew a red line above them all. As students finished the assignment and placed it in the collection box--the lid to a case of xerox paper is perfect for this--they moved their tiles above the line. The tiles below the line (7, 11, and 15) represent the non-finishers.

Note: You can almost always count on some obsessive/compulsive student to organize the tiles so that they end up in numerical order from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Just another example of how to redirect student energy as opposed to always trying to suppress it. Organizing the tiles, both above and below the red line, would be a really good use for some of that OC energy a couple of your students carry around with them.

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Check out the other links in the nav bar to the right for more suggestions about how you can incorporate magnetic tiles into your own classroom.

Note: Some of the tiles shown are the original ones I made from the polygons. The other tiles you'll see are the ones we now sell. Check out Ready Made Tiles for more information.

And if you come up with any new ideas, let me know. I'll add them to this section.


Magnet Home Page

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Writing Progress

Ready Made Sets

"What do I do now?"

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Magnet Tips