Line 'em Up! {Part Two}

Today's post is a random follow up to the last Line 'em Up Post. It is just a small, but useful little tip. We're going to discuss getting your kiddos in line ... not the walking part... but how they go from carpet or desk to the line itself. I think this concept can work for all elementary grades {I used it when I taught 5th.}

Sometimes I know teachers use behavior ... such as, "The table (or row) who is the quietest will line up first today." And that has it's place...oh yes it does.... But I try to keep it creative and even keep it tied in with our learning.

First of all, all my little friends have a classroom number. This is for organizational reasons more than anything else. You can read {this post} to learn more about the classroom numbers.

It takes my kinders a while to learn their number... and even longer to recognize it. So in September it is all about learning our personal number...not just for lining up purposes, but for all the other things we do where they need to know their own number.

I will just count slowly starting at 1 or sometimes starting at 29 and going backwards. I will point to each child as I say their number so they know. Some days I will silently just hold up flash cards or point to a number line...again, looking at each particular child {usually with a number list in my hand because I too, have to learn their numbers at the start of the year.} It's pretty cool... but they usually start writing their number on their work... I don't require this, I did when I taught the older ones, but it is cute to see the kinders writing their name AND number.

Once they know 'em {fingers crossed... but I would say most of them know it by the end of September... and there's always a few who need extra time} I start counting by twos to line them up...or fives...or tens.

You know what I love...when they say something like, "Why do you keep counting so high when no one has that number?" Valid point...because I will count by fives to fifty and by tens to one hundred...and Me Oh My I would hope I never get to a class size of 100! {Common Core Standards for kinder K.CC.A.1 asks them to count to 100 by ones and tens}

Another Common Core Standard is counting forwards from a given number (K.CC.A.2.) So I may draw a name at random or choose my "Catch of the Day" (aka Star of the Day) to stand up and announce his/her number and help me to keep counting from their number. This also helps so that numbers 1-5 aren't always in line first.

For 1st and 2nd graders... let's bring in some place value. 
Please line up if your number has a 2 in the tens place.
Please line up if your number is 10 more than 14 or 10 less than 15
Please line up if your number is 5 less than 7
Please line up if your number is even/odd

Since their number remains the same all year... you do need to spice it up. Some days you have 30 seconds to line up so you just count by ones... other days you need a filler...well, you can drag this out as long as you need to.

I also line up using their names. Some examples:
Please line up if your name has 2 syllables
Please line up if your name has the long a sound
Please line up if you name starts with /b/
Please line up if you have 2 vowels in your name
Please line up if you have 5 letters in your name

For younger students we can simplify even more:
Please line up if you are wearing blue.
Please line up if you have curly hair.

Or if you just finished reading a story:
Please line up if you liked the ending of the story we just read.
Please line up if you think the main character made a good choice when....etc...

The possibilities are endless and like I said... this is a random post because I know most of you probably do something that works already. I'm sharing this because when someone was visiting my room they commented on taking that idea back with them so I thought it was worth sharing.

I made a small "cheat sheet" that you can download print out and put up somewhere as just a quick reference of some line up ideas... it is just the tip of the iceberg for you though.

As for keeping them in line... well, that was in the last post Line 'em Up {Part One}


  1. I just love your blog! Thank you for all the good ideas and your freebie. I am using numbers for each child this year but realize I need to wait until enrollment stops or my numbers will be out of sequence!

  2. A great share and some new things for me to try. One of my class favourites is to have the kids make 1 line following a boy girl pattern or boy, boy, girl, girl etc. I love to watch them work this out. They are so focused that the talk is relevant and minimal.
    With thanks
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage