Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alphabetical Numbers


So I missed last week's #MSsunfun post on games (darn it all!) because school just caught up to me and I became super busy.  I decided that I needed to make sure I posted this week, even though it was just going to be a short post on organization.

This year, I'm trying something different in terms of getting back papers (quizzes, home enjoyment, exit cards, etc.)  My wife teaches fifth grade and has been using a form of this idea for some time now and I figured I would go ahead and try it.  I've given each student in a particular math class (say math 1 my first math class) a specific number that corresponds with their last name alphabetically.  For instance, if Michael Adams is the first name alphabetically in my class, he gets number 1, Janie Betts is the second name alphabetically, she gets number 2 and so on.  In addition to writing their name on each paper, students are expected to write the number as well.  Then when I pick up all the work, I am able to simply put the work in order by the number and see who is missing and then I can go right over and approach them.  Right now I'm still getting used to doing this as are the students so I need to remind them and need to go back and look at what number goes with whom when I'm missing a number but I think both of these problems will soon go away as we get used to the system.  The other potential problem is that I teach on a three person team and we mix the kids up for different classes, so if my teammates try to do this, kids will have different numbers.  At this point, neither of them is using this method so it isn't currently a problem.

Overall, I'm happy with how it affords me a little more time which over the year will add up to a lot more time!


  1. I haven't ever done the "assign a number to each person" thing for the same reason you mention -- kids potentially having different numbers in different classes -- but it would make my life SO much easier to enter grades if I could get papers in order quickly. I guess you could use letters of the alphabet, and if you have more than 26 students in a class you could start back with AA, BB, CC, etc. Numbers are definitely easier, though! I probably just need to get over my "issue" with this and just try it!

  2. Alisan,

    Thanks for the comment. You are basically where I was at the beginning of the year. I was worried about using the numbers but just "got over it" and used them and I must say it does make my life much easier! Go ahead and do it!:)

  3. I use the number system too (it also ties to their assigned graphing calculator number) and it has saved a lot of time in getting papers alphabetized. You can hand a stack of quizzes to a student and they can put them in order for you :-) So far I haven't ran into any other teachers at school who do it, so kids only have my number to keep up with (luckily!).

  4. Any updates on how this has been going for you now that a couple months have passed?