Saturday, May 19, 2012

Signing In (freebie)

I've always had my students sign in when they get to the classroom each day. When my students were younger, I just had them move their name card from the 'absent' board to the 'present' board. Now, they are way beyond mere name recognition - they all recognize each others' names, as well as their own - and I've still got the sign in boards up but don't bother having the kids do it anymore.

Time to change it up, then. I tried this out this week and it's worked well so far. Now I have a sign in notebook, and the kiddos have a choice of whether they'd like to cut and paste their name into the book, trace their name, or use alphabet stamps to stamp their name.
It's more time-consuming than the old method, but the kids really like it and, especially, it hits on letter recognition/word building skills, which most of my kiddos are working on. It's also an easy way for me to catch up on attendance - from time to time I've definitely been known to forget to enter daily attendance on the district website until it's due at noon each Friday (whooops), so I can easily look back in the notebook, instead of trying to recall if anyone was absent on a particular day.

To help the kiddos make their choice of signing in method each day, I have an "I Can" poster on the wall above the can download that freebie here (I have two versions in this download - the first is the one I use and the second includes "I can write my name" for those kids who are past needing the support of tracing):

(graphics from


  1. I don't teach elementary, but this is such a great idea! I'm sure your students love it!


  2. Thats a great idea! I read about something similar when I was teaching Handwriting Without Tears to the preschoolers at my last placement. (The teacher there didn't DO it, but it was in the book!) Their sign-in activity was to have a certain kind of line, like a straight line, squiggly line, jagged, etc, and each kid has to draw that line next to their name as they enter the class. (I kinda like yours better because they're actually practicing their own names!)

  3. Great idea and awesome that you changed it up! I love the idea of signing in, great life skill. I teach HS self contained, and we practice the idea of signing in more along the lines of a job. They have to fill out a card with the date and then write what job they completed in ordered to get paid at the end of the week. Thanks for the freebie!

  4. This is great. You could even have the letters of their name already cut out and they could glue them in order.

    Thank you for always sharing such great ideas! =)

    Heather's Heart

  5. Thanks! Can't wait to try it out, tweeked a little for preschoolers but I love this!


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