Names with Numbers

Student numbers…it may sound rather strange, but as many times as it has come in handy. I shall share the idea.

Student lists enter the class alphabetically. Ever after, the teacher is putting their information in alphabetical form.

Once the year has begun, and most late comers have arrived, I assign a number to each child.

Using the alphabetical list of names, I assign beginning with ‘1’ – or ‘001’ for fun.


Whenever the child does a worksheet or an assignment, they put their number under their name. That lets me alphabetize them quickly and record their grades on the computer.  If there is a reason I don’t want the name of the children on the paper, I ask them to use their number at the bottom. This helps if I am hanging their papers in the hallway and want a bit of privacy. The number can even be put on the back.

I keep a small jar with circle tags with their numbers. At the beginning of the week, I pull tags out to give turns for answering questions. If asked, I put it back and pull another number. (Sometimes, the child is allowed to go and ask someone for the answer. They then return to their seat and give the answer. They do think that is fun!)

I have a set of ‘mailboxes’ in the room to put papers in that are going home that night. By putting the papers in number order, I can quickly put them in the alphabetized boxes.


Numbers are helpful, but I do not forget that using their names is loving.

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