Getting kindergartners to line up is often like herding cats. So many haven't a clue on what it means to be in a straight line. So many have never had to line up before, and now here it is the first day of school and we are asking them to get in a line. So, what do we do?
I use pictures to demonstrate what a line is. With the help of some handy clipart, my elmo projector and large paper, I create a poster to show what a line of students looks like. Then, we practice it with a few kids at a time, but making sure everyone gets a turn.
Then, as a whole class we practice. To help it go easier, there are a few things you can do. I use numbered stars on my classroom floor. I tell the kids to line up on the stars. Another co-worker uses colored tape. She makes a tape line through her classroom. The kids know to stand on the tape when lining up. I like the stars with numbers. My kids can practice lining up and learn their numbers at the same time.
Now that you know how to direct your kids to line up, there is still that problem of "I was first", "that was my spot…." For my class it is simple. Because I have to follow our school rule for lining up. Every class lines up in alphabetical order by last name. We are a K-2 school, so lining up in A-B-C order really helps speed up the snack and lunch lines. Especially in kindergarten, because they don't know their last names when the lunch lady asks them. To help me remember who goes where in line, I sing their names to a familiar tune. The tune of "Ten Little Indians" seems to work well for this. We practice singing it as it helps us when getting in line and helps them to learn everyones name.
If you don't want to fuss with making your own, I have them in my store. along with the line-up poster.
If you have a different trick or teqnique for lining up your students, I'd love to hear about it.