October 16, 2015

Tricks and Treats Blog Hop

I'm excited to join this blog hop hosted by our collaborative blog The Elementary Entourage! This month, we are sharing our favorite teaching tips/tricks and then offering up some FREE treats for you as well!   
This is more a trick to use for the beginning of the year, but one of my favorite classroom tricks was using a number system. Before school started, I would take my class list and look up all their birthdays. I would then assign each student a number starting with the youngest student as 1. Of course I didn't refer to my students as 1, 2, 3, but this helped quickly compare how they were doing academically compared to their peers and their age. I also compared their maturity level as well. If student 2 seemed to be struggling or seems very immature, it would make more sense because they are one of the youngest in the class. Of course in Kindergarten, I would always take in consideration their previous schooling and family life, but putting students in order by their age was VERY helpful! 

I labeled many things in my classroom with the student numbers instead of names. This saved me time during Back to School because I don't have to re-label everything every year with student names. I labeled mailboxes, book bins, cubbies, lunch clips, supply boxes, etc.  At our Meet the Teacher night before school, I would tell parents their student's number and they would help them find all their things they'll be using for the year. Have students number the top corner of their papers and you can quickly put them in order and see who's missing an assignment. 
I even used numbers with my clip chart system so it was a bit more private what color each student was on.
I would have my students line up in number order as well. This saved all the fighting of who could line up quickest, who is the line leader, etc. It was also a quick way to see who is missing during fire drill!
When I taught Kindergarten, we would always do a poem a week and use a variety of activities to learn that poem. Closer to Halloween, I would also teach The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  I did a blog post awhile back about my Nursery Rhyme Bundle which includes 10 of the most popular Nursery Rhymes. You can read more about the activities included in that bundle here.

Here is a sample from the The Itsy Bitsy Spider bundle. Students can use this emergent reader to read along with the poem. I love using these emergent readers, because it builds student's confidence and they are so excited to take them home to read them to their family.

 Grab your FREE Itsy Bitsy Spider book by clicking the picture below. 

Visit the rest of these blogs for more tricks & treats!


  1. putting students in line order was the best thing I did...cut down all the fights!

  2. I used numbers on my clip chart clips this year too! I like it so much better than having names for all the kids and any parents/staff member that walks into the room can see! Great idea!

  3. Numbering everything is a huge timesaver!!!

  4. I love using the number system as well but I NEVER thought about doing it with birthdays! That makes so much sense :)


  5. Thanks for the tips!
    How can I find out what my TPT follower number is for you, if I followed previous to this contest?

    1. Good question, I'm not sure if there's an easy way. I just changed it to say "what name do you follow under" so it'll be easier to enter. :)

  6. I love your Itsy Bitsy Spider book!! It's so cute and kid friendly! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
    ~Heather :)
    Recipe for Teaching