No one would ever mistake me for an artist. I’m using the term “artist” in the sense of a visual artist: painter, sculptor, drawer…whatever. I’m so not artsy/craftsy. I’ll leave that stuff up to Bridgette. But, I saw this neat idea on Facebook, and I decided to try and create my own version for my classroom.

Before putting the final labels on
Before putting the final labels on

As a music teacher, I see about 80 – 120 kids a day in my classroom. That’s a lot of people to keep track of especially when someone needs to go to the bathroom, someone else just lost a tooth, someone else is in charge of getting the mail this day, and another someone else has to make up a test…(Don’t get me started on kids missing specials classes to make up tests…grrr. Thankfully that doesn’t happen much where I work, but, I digress…) Last year I had a small dry erase board for kids to write their name when they left the classroom, but they’d forget, or mostly, they’d use it to write “We love music class” or “So and so is BAE” or “Drama club forever,” and while I appreciate the sentiment, I didn’t appreciate the board not being used for its original purpose.

By chance, I came across this awesome idea – assign each student a number, and use magnets! I love magnets…my fridge is full of magnets.

Much to Husband's dismay, we will never have a "clean" outside of our refrigerator!
Much to Husband’s dismay, we will never have a “clean” outside of our refrigerator!

Instead of loosing the dry erase marker, or having it dry out, now all the kids have to do is move their magnet to “bathroom” or “nurse” or wherever if they’re leaving the classroom.

The finished product!
The finished product!

How did I make this? I used a cookie sheet (who knew they were magnetic??) instead of a magnetic bulletin board. It’s much less expensive. I ended up buying a cookie sheet since most of the ones at home get a lot of use and have seen better days. So, my large cookie sheet cost me about $4.00 while a magnetic board would cost at least $15.00. Then I bought magnets. I wanted to find the round magnets in different colors, but, after going to three stores, my best bet was the square, multicolored magnets. They have a “u” marked on them which I wish wasn’t there since it made writing the numbers more difficult, but it’s not the end of the world if the numbers are a little bumpy…gives it character, right? I used a black sharpie to write a different number on each magnet. Finally, I used patterned duct tape for the border. The pattern doesn’t totally match up, but that doesn’t bother me like it might bother some people. I’m just happy it turned out looking at cute as it did! I used my label maker (best office supply EVER!!) to create the labels, and voila! I’ve got a nice, easy chart that everyone, from kindergarten – eighth graders can use and understand. Plus, it will be so much easier when a student leaves the room. I’ll know who is gone, how many students are gone, where they went, and I’m not just expected to remember that off the top of my head.

I know it’s not a post about babies, but school is starting soon, so expect some more “teachery” posts sprinkled in amongst the baby blogs. I mean, my students are my kids too.

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