I've worked in many different types of schools. In some, the prevailing philosophy is that students should learn to move respectfully through the halls so others can still learn, but that doesn't necessarily mean traveling in a line. In others, straight, quiet lines are an important building expectation.
In some schools, students spend most of their day in flexible seating arrangements. In others, there is no flexible seating, or students have a modified structure, where sometimes they are in assigned seats and other times they work "around the room."
If your last name starts with a W (like mine), you know the pain of alphabetical systems. You are always last to present, always last to be presented to, and always last in line. I haven't lived the experience of an Alvarez, but I imagine those with "A" last names sometimes get tired of being first all the time. So I make it a point to rotate. If your building expectations are more structured, here is an easy system to rotate students so that each person has fair access.
I found some white circles in packs at Michael's, and numbered them from 1 - 25. Since they don't have student names, they can be used from year to year. I hot glued the circles to lengths of ribbon. Students move a tiny clothespin, or clip, from one circle to the next each day.
If the clip is on your number, you are the line leader that day. So if it's on 10 (which is actually the number we started with on the first day of school, just to be unpredictable), student number 11 is lined up after you, student number 12 is in third place, and so on, with student number 9 at the end. The following day, the clip moves to number 11, and student number 10 goes to the back of the line.
It might seem a little complicated for second graders, but for fifth grade, it's predictable and easy. I am not super excited about having a line order at all, but in a building with extremely quiet hallway expectations, it's a fast method to set up, every student gets a different spot over time, and it cuts down on the problem of friends chatting in the hall when they line up next to each other.
This rotation system doubles as a method for our classroom special seating. I found that when I left it open to whoever wanted it, the same students always got to use the wobble stools, saucer chairs, and bean bags. It was often respectful, polite students who went without and never got a turn, no matter how many class meetings we had about being mindful of others' needs. I don't have enough special seats for every student to have one every day, so without a system, I sometimes had to play referee over who could go where. I have 5 wobble stools and 2 standing desks (7 total) for assigned seating time. I have bean bags, saucer chairs, and a studio chair for work around the room time (7 total).
So if the clip is on 10, and you are #10, you are the line leader, and you get to pick your seat first that day. If you are in the Top 7 (in this case, it would be 10 - 16), you may choose a stool or standing desk for assigned seat time, or a bean bag or saucer chair for work around the room time.
Once the system is in place, I never have to read a list of names or move furniture, because the students know exactly who is eligible that day. It's a class job (the Routine Executives) to move the clip to a new number for the following day. I never have to remind students to do this. Later in the year, we meet about the system and decide if there are people who don't want the special seating and want to opt out of the rotation. Also, when students have identified needs for special seating, of course they have access to that every day.
We also use this board as a system for rotating class jobs. Groups of students are responsible for each job family, instead of making individual people assigned to separate tasks. My class job categories are: Librarians/Historians, Positive Community Specialists, Floor/Surface Supervisors, Paper/Supply Managers, and Routine Executives. I don't group students alphabetically for this; their first names are on cards under each job category.
Each group rotates so that everyone gets to try each job family once. Job rotations last for a month. Later in the year, students generally settle in to jobs they enjoy, and they keep those jobs through the end of the year.
I have done many versions of a classroom economy system, where students had the class job of being bankers and stock brokers, and in which we had job interviews. It was fun and memorable, but time-consuming to manage. However, whatever your jobs, you could still use this board system for the rotation. Pro tip: rotate the job family cards, not the student name cards, to save yourself time.
I think it's worthwhile to help students process how to manage themselves - just like they learn not to take all of the dessert when not everyone has been served yet, they learn to give someone else a chance or move quietly so they don't disturb others. This system does take away their opportunity to practice those skills. However, in a structured environment, it can be a system that gives your students a little more flexibility and choice without costing you time and additional decision-making every day.
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I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of students and families in IA, CT, NC, MO, TX, and Canada. I love being a teacher-librarian!