This time around, Shelley Grey from Teaching in the Early Years has organized over two hundred bloggers spanning the grade levels and content areas... so there is certain to be "something for everyone." Shelley has done an amazing job organizing us all. And I am truly excited to share my "Bright Idea" with you today!
Recently, I had to survive without my table numbers. Things were miserable and I couldn't wait to get them put back into place once again.
Now, I'm not talking about "table numbers" in the traditional sense. I currently have 34 kids, but I always set up for 36 kids. We have often "visitors" fora variety reasons or sometimes a student needs a more "comfortable" chair during an activity. I have groups of students at desks... three two-person tables making a total of six kids grouped together. And I have six table groupings which I call (cue drum roll...) Table 1, Table 2, Table 3... Okay, I think you get the idea. Like many teachers, I even have a number hanging above each table. But that is not what I am talking about in this post.
I am talking about the numbers that are actually on each kid's desk. Every student's desk "spot" is numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. (There are two kids to a table, but they each have a numbered "spot.") We work at different tables all day--but that doesn't change things, because it's the spot that is numbered, no matter who is sitting there or what we are doing. By the way, until I wrote this post, I never knew how hard it would be to photograph the corner of a desk. Yaaaawwwnnn! It is less than thrilling to look at, but it IS important to this discussion!
And this is so easy to implement! If you are not color-crazy like me, you can skip down to the picture with the number on the white board. If color matters in your decor choices, read on!
First I ran off the numbers... 1 through 6 on a page. I hated to waste the extra space so I added a little affirmation in the corner. Every August when I print them up again, I get a cheerful little reminder! (Is it scary that I am still surprised to see it each year?) By the way, those are Jen Jones fonts and frames. Don't you just love Hello Literacy?!
When you cut up the page, you have six numbers of one color...
But that is not the plan! Most of you know that I am a little...ummmm... obsessive... when it comes to colors. I have six table groups and six "spots," so I run off the numbers on six colors. These are the colors in my room: purple, magenta, turquoise, and bright blue... with a few dashes of lime green and and occasional hint of orange. And these colors are reflected in my table numbers. Every table has all six numbers and all six colors... but at each table the same number is a different color. (Just think 6 x 6 if you want to get "mathy" about it). It doesn't matter if this description doesn't make sense. This is not a Common Core math word problem. Relax. Just go with it... (And I am sure that if the whole table had the same color--or even if every single "spot" had the same color, the system would work just as well!)
Then I cut up some Contact paper, just slightly larger than the size of the numbers. I know contact paper is a bit "old school," but it works great in this situation. If you cut the Contact paper large enough and get a good seal, the kids are less likely to pry up the numbers. The Contact paper keeps the numbers on the table. It potects the numbers from being torn (or written on). And it helps keep the colored paper from "running" if the desks are being cleaned or there is something liquid on the table.
The Contact paper I have is made by the official "ConTact" manufacturer (or so I'm guessing!) It is very durable and it sticks well to the desks. It also has grid lines which makes cutting the rectangles a snap. I used my paper cutter because... well, just because, but, with the grid lines, scissors would probably work too! I like to cut them all at once. And I always cut extras because I either mess up when I am affixing them to the desks or some calamity occurs and I have to replace the numbers. I keep a set of extra numbers too!
Then I mix up the numbers. As I said, the color of each number varies from table to table. And I like to arrange them randomly. The kids spend a lot of time wondering about my system. Here's the truth: I don't have a system. I just don't like to have the blue number from table 1 next to the blue number from table 2... etc. It is a bit like a classroom Sudoku puzzle, and it is fun to do when your To Do list is lengthy and you just can't face anything else you're supposed to be doing! Also, my tables have rounded corners, so I cut one corner on the diagonal so that it fits across the rounded edge and doesn't lift up as easily.
And those are just the things I could think of at the moment. Because students have the responsibility for a week at a time, things fall into place quickly. Then I change the "big number" Friday afternoon, I announce it on Monday morning when we take on new classroom jobs for the week, and the responsibility shifts to the next number.
I am glad I have this system in place. I know it has saved me plenty of time and more than a few headaches! Thanks for listening to me ramble on about it!
I am guessing you are now READY to hop over to your next stop...
Angela at the Daily Alphabet is talking about an easy math focus! Her blog is always filled with fun-to-read posts and I just know you are going to love her Bright Ideas about number sense. Just click on that cheery button below to take you there!
Or, if you are in more of a "random" mood at the moment, just click on any of the links below! Wishing you a wonderful time along the way as you meet some new bloggers and gather some great new "Bright Ideas"!
Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by! And thanks to Amy Alvis for the background paper!