Sunday, March 13, 2011

What is Line Order? A Classroom Management tip.

When I first started writing this blog I posted pictures of my classroom. Recently I linked up with Mrs. Ibarra at Always First Grade for her Classroom Photos Linky Party. While reviewing my classroom pictures I noticed that there were several procedures I have in place that I wanted to post about that I never did, so today I will post about 1 of those... Line Order.

I don't know how many people are familiar with Line Order. When I taught in Florida I never had a specific "line order" I just had a line leader & the rest of the students just got in line in the order by which I called them. Needless to say that there were lots of fights, complaints, whining & drama for me to deal with. When I moved & started to teach at my current district I subbed for 2 years. During that time I had the opportunity to visit SEVERAL schools. I quickly learned about "Line Order". Almost every class I visited had a "line order"& it helped me as a sub a GREAT deal.

So here it goes. The students get an assigned letter or number. I like to use numbers because my little students are 1. still learning their letters & 2. they like to go to the letter their name starts with. This is a problem because we all know we get students whose name begins with the same letter & then they begin to argue who gets the letter J. However, almost every other teacher I work with uses letters. Anyway I use numbers, which I then use in my classroom for seating arrangements on the carpet & tables. Numbers works great because I can use them for SEVERAL groups. (If you hadn't already heard, I teach 5 groups of students.)

It takes a little bit for my students to remember their numbers so I post them in my class. I really post it more for myself than my students, but that a secret I don't tell them. Because my room is color coded, red for Kindergarten, blue for 1st grade I used 2 $1.00 pocket charts from the Target Dollar Spot. For my Kinder kids I use their pictures, because some of them still can't read their names & for my 1st graders I use their names.
This year I had to connect 2 pocket charts for Kindergarten because I had so many of them. Also you will notice that I have pictures & names on both sides of the numbers. That is because I have 2 groups of Kindergartners & 2 groups of 1st graders.

At the start of the year I assign students a number. They are to get in line in their numerical order. I can still chose a "line leader" but I don't have to. Occasionally I get asked to change the line order. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, the students know it is my prerogative & they have to be OK with that. When ever I lose a student or gain a student I just climb up on the desk, (I'm short) & add,  remove & occasionally change up the order.

On additional note, the line order is shared with the staff & posted in places like the cafeteria so that other adults in the building can quickly check to see if students are in their proper place.

I don't collect a lot of my students work, like I used to when I taught Gen Ed 1st grade, but if I did I would have the students put their number on their papers &/ or materials. That makes it easier for you to file papers & locate who is missing materials.

Simple, yet effective, my favorite kind of management tip.

I hope this Classroom Management tip is helpful to you.

Ms. M


  1. I too use line order. This is alphabetical. Like you mentioned, its easy for subs to take roll, pictures are always taken for yearbooks alphabetically. I use their numbers to line kids up in various ways. I can call even and odd numbers or reverse order. The kids become familiar with math concepts, have various ways to line up. The kids are familiar with each other's numbers. We put their number in all their classbooks. When a book is found, we know who it belongs to! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I totally love this idea. I'm just thinking why didn't I think of that before. I see how this could prevent all those arguments that come up when they do line up with out a line order. Thank you for the idea.


  3. I assign each of my students a "number" based on alphabetical order by last name.

    I have a permeant fish line on the floor of my classroom. We use it as a number line for math activities like adding and subtracting, but mainly to help get us out the door in an orderly fashion everyday!

    On the floor in the center of my classroom, I put down decorative paper fish (my classroom has an ocean theme) with contact paper. Before sealing the fish to the floor, I took a black sharpie and wrote 1-20 on the fish. Right in front of the door, I have a larger fish that says "Line starts here" and is the special spot for our line leader.

    I also have the students turn in their work by calling their numbers. Example: "One through five, go turn in your papers in order." Students would quickly line up and turn in their papers to a basket. Then they are already alphabetized and easy for me to grade and record! I also put their cubbies in alphabetical order so distributing papers is a breeze.

    To determine the line leader, I have all the students' first names laminated on a small binder ring. Everyday I change to the next student and they will be line leader and calendar helpers.



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