Signing in to preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on January 27, 2014

in Classroom Management, Daily Routine/Schedule, Signing in to Preschool

The Sign-In Board

Since a few of my students have been with me for two or three years now (depending on birth-date and kindergarten eligibility), I decided to change up my sign-in routine this year and invite the children to sign-in to preschool each morning on a clip board…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

Before continuing on with my post, I will tell you right now that the jury is still out on whether I like this process or not. It is a new classroom procedure that I have never tried before so I have had to make adjustments (and still am making adjustments) as the year has progressed…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

But to give you the idea of how this works in our classroom: As the children come into the classroom each morning, they will find two clipboards set out with a sheet of paper and a pencil.  One clipboard has a list of names for our preschool age children (threes and fours) and the other clipboard has a list of names for our prekindergarten age children (fours and fives)…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

The children find their name on the list that we have printed and then print their name in the space next to it…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

For our younger children, Mr. Hayden and I have spent time helping them to recognize their name on the list and have spent time encouraging them to either “make their mark” or print out their name depending on what they are ready for…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

Shortly into the year, I realized that we were using the wrong font for the name chart so our lower case “a” looked like what you see in this post rather than than the way it should for teaching my students to write the letter “a” so we revised our sign-in sheets with the correct version of the letter “a”….

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

We spent the first several months of school helping those who needed it to find their name on the chart and make their mark. We also have spent every month since school has started to go and put their back pack on the hook and then go and sign-in.  Everyday, the same routine and yet pretty much no one seems to remember to sign in unless I say, “I need you to go sign-in please!” …

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

I have wondered if this was a good idea or not since my threes were struggling with finding their name and now my prek kids were getting so good at signing in their name that they are starting to sign-in using bubble letters and adding curls to the ends of their letters to make them “fancy.” Two extremes in ability and interest all showing up in one seemingly simple procedure…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

There have been a few days off and on where we have skipped the procedure all together because the children are either too distracted by other things we have out in the classroom or we are running late getting kids in the door, back packs hung, and coats and mittens put away…

Signing in to preschool by Teach Preschool

And we don’t always have the clipboard in the same place every morning. Sometimes it is on a table and other times it is on the floor or even on our easel. Where the board can be found depends on where we have available space each morning. So this might not be helping instill the routine of signing in all that well either…

http://www.teachpreschool.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Snow-and-Snowball-day-008.jpg

So although the sign-in procedure has had some ups and downs, last week I observed the children closely and noticed that they are all starting to find their own name without our help and they are all starting to recognize each other’s name and all our younger children are beginning to make more specific marks rather than just a line or coloring in the entire space with the pencil.  And one of my threes looked at me last week so proud when he handled the entire sign-in process all on his own. Progress is evident and perhaps I need to make a few adjustment for some of my students but as I said earlier, the jury is still out on this process and we will see where it leads as we go along…

Signing in to Preschool by Teach Preschool

I am sure some of you have tried a similar sign-in process like this. I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

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1 Robin Schaeppi January 27, 2014 at 8:05 am

I have children sign in for years right along side their parents!
On the left side of table is the parent sign in sheet, middle of table is the crayons or markers, depending on their age, and on the left, their are individual pieces of paper for each child to sign in on, this helps them practice writing their name and learn to recognize their names, along with recognizing other children’s names. (the older children have blank paper and the younger ones have their name prints on the paper with dash type font). And on the back of the table I have a sign that says Good Morning, today is (Date), !. Sanitize, 2. find your name, 3. print your name. I will try to pin a picture to the pinterest site and let you know the address for it.
They love it, as it makes them feel independent and I and the parents love it…. Thanks for sharing everything you do for us!

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I love that the parents are included in the process! And would love to see a photo too!

3 Amy January 27, 2014 at 8:11 am

What a thought provoking email this morning! We have daily sign-in, but I only have them sign in on paper once per month (for portfolios) so that we can note the writing progress throughout the year. Other days, we try to do something with name tags: counting the letters by putting something on each letter; using wiki sticks to find curvy lines; toothpicks to find straight lines; writing names on the chalkboard or white board; finding matching clothespins with the correct letter to pin on the nametag. I have thought about trying something like your process, but it just seems like a lot of paper when there are other meaningful ways to explore writing. Parents seem so anxious about children writing names when the child can barely name the letters. I so appreciate your sharing of struggles in the classroom. Do you feel that you learn more each day than your students?

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 10:09 am

Yes, I do! LOL! I am happy we are giving this a try this year so I can decide if it is meaningful in the overall experience of our classroom. We do explore our names and writing through many different avenues but I really like the idea of signing in at least once a month and moving on to other ways the rest of the time. Hmmmmm, so much to consider.

5 Robin Schaeppi January 27, 2014 at 8:13 am

Here is the link to my pinterest page!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/559220478701851819/

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 10:10 am

Love it Robin!

7 Robin Schaeppi January 27, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Thank you, it is always nice to hear that from a professional like yourself.

8 lynette January 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

Our PreK rooms sign in when they arrive. Some rooms have the children sign more than once when they arrive (4-5 times, tracing their name). This since a bit too much. We have many opportunities for them to write their name or begin name recognition. Other than practicing name writing what purpose does it serve? Do children sign in at Kindergarten? There are many ways to explore writing as Amy suggested below. Also many children fine motor skills are not yet developed. For some kids coming in early, tired or hungry (or the need to explore or be alone for a bit), a little time is needed for them to acclimate to school each day. If I was the morning teacher I probably would not do it or find a different way to do it.

9 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

I agree with you whole heartedly! I think this might be why we are not persistent or consistent with the routine. There are some mornings when my students are not ready to write – they need to warm up and do other things first. Great points here to keep in mind!

10 Stacey January 27, 2014 at 9:57 am

Hello! We have the kids sign in each morning. I have the large index cards (the ones that are the size of half sheet of paper) with their first name printed on it. I do the printing. I laminate them. They go in a small basket. The kids use dry erase crayons to sign in. As children come in we have a routine that is the same everyday and the cards are always located in the same spot. We have three tables–one has the cards and the other two have toys. We have about 20 minutes when children are arriving at various times. Once the complete their ‘morning work’ (the last of which is writing their name), they can play for a few minutes.

Doing it this way has allowed for some differentiation. Some children are tracing their names, some are writing their name in the space on the card below their printed name. As they progress I switch out some cards following the needs of the students. Right now I have some students tracing their first names, some writing first names from a model, some completing their first names (I just have their first initial), and some writing their last name from a model.

The lamination and dry erase crayons (they seem to come off better than marker) allow us to use the same cards for several weeks/months. Sometime during the day my associate erases the cards to get them ready for the next day.

11 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

I love how your process is consistent and yet allows for different skill levels and saves on paper!! I have enjoyed saving our sign-in sheets over time as it has given me a good collection of writing skills but if I think about what is best for my students, the process still has given me pause.

12 Fiona January 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

I use signing in with my pre primary class (4/5 year olds). In term 1 they trace their name, in term 2 they start writing it on their own. In term 3 we start writing it on the line and in term 4 we introduce dotted thirds to get them ready for year 1. I like that it has them practicing their names daily but I also love that it becomes a part of the morning routine and settles the children as they come in.

13 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

I think if I were only using this with my pre-k class, I would be more happy with the process. To include my threes is definitely something I will reconsider. Hmmmm, I might switch it up a bit. I do like how you are progressing through different stages to keep the process fresh as well.

14 Sarah Mullins January 27, 2014 at 7:42 pm

We do it just this way, too except I have the name cards on the back of a clear plexiglass easel and the blank cards below. The children write with dry erase markers on the plexiglass.

15 Melissa January 27, 2014 at 10:22 am

Hi there I tech pre-k so 4′s and 5′s. We do a daily sign in! Our children love it and we have it on a table shortly after the children enter the room. I feel like it gives them purpose and helps them transition in for the day. We don’t just sign a name or mark. Some times it is a close pin sign in so this works the pincer grasp! Or an opposites matching puzzle or a math manipulative. I recently made felt mittens and ironed on the numbers 1-10 and got small snowflakes for the children to put on the mittens to correspond to the number. This was a big hit at our sign in. Cutting is also great at sign in and then we use them for their assessment folders! Have fun with the sign in! Try an estimation jar sign in as well! Very fun!

16 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

I wish I could see your sign in process and how you change it up! I love the creativity involved!

17 Denise Wiktor January 27, 2014 at 10:51 am

I really like this method of sign in. I’ve done it with my class using chart paper for them to all write their name or name cards to trace or copy. I like the clipboards though. For the font like you talked about, I found that Comic Sans has the appropriate “a”. I use this all the time! Thanks so much for your posts!

18 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 11:53 am

I use a font called ABC Print but comic sans is definitely available to most folks!

19 Mjohnson January 27, 2014 at 10:55 am

We meet three days a week for our preschool. The teacher that greets each child (after they hang up bags, coats etc.) will either have a question of the day (in which each child has their name on a card which they can respond with) or a way for children to sign in. We tend to mix up ways to sign in. At the beginning of the year we make a name card for each child and always have it available for the children to look at. ( they hang in our writing center each day). Some days the children may trace their name over their laminated names – early in the year. Later children are given opportunities to actually write the letters in their name- we use dry erase boards, small chalkboards, large paper, sentence strips….we also vary the writing tool to add interest.

20 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 11:53 am

What do you do with your question of the day?

21 Trisha January 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

Hi Deborah,
I have enjoyed receiving your emails about your activities and ideas you implement into your class very much. Our 3-5- year olds ‘sign-in’ each morning at our kindergarten. when they star,t they have a ‘name card’ made up for them, first name and last name and these are all put out on a table as they enter the class – girls are in green and boys are printed in blue. So they first learn that their name is either green or blue then they look for the first letter of their name etc.. The children take their name card to a seperate table and practice writing their name. the sheet of paper just has lines on it. Some parents ‘help ‘ their child sign in by using hand over hand but we try to remind parents that they don’t need to be perfect. :-) As a child may be with us for at least 2 years before entering school we take enjoyment as we see the children slowly learn to recognize and form each letter in the first name at least . every few months we record their progress in their portfolio.

22 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

Isn’t it great when you have the children for more than just one year? You get to see so much of the development taking place over time. I hadn’t heard of folks color coding the names too! So many ideas I would never think of!

23 Tera January 27, 2014 at 11:18 am

I do different sign ins for my 4s vs. my 3s.

With my 3s I started using this Reggio Emilia sign in this year and it worked well so that students started seeing what the first letter of their name was and then we worked from there. http://fairydustteaching.com/2013/01/reggio-emilia-alphabet/ It’s a about half way through the post. Now that they students are familiar with the first letter of the name (some are still learning right now, others know how to write their name already!), I have switched to having a name card in front of them and they “make their mark!” We meet each child where they are at.

With my 4 I found this post from pinterest and choose to use it this year! http://fun-a-day.com/preschool-name-writing-tool-the-sign-in-book/ I liked how they used the yellow highlighter to show the children how the letters are formed. I used the yellow highlighter through the end of December. Now I just have the kids write their name by themselves and I will do that through the end of the year.

24 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 11:51 am

I can’t wait to review all of your links Tera! Thank you for the resources and insight!

25 Mary Catherine January 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Deborah, I love that you are testing this out with your kiddos! You’ve had so many great suggestions here already, but I thought I’d add my two cents too.

With younger kiddos, I’ve laminated their names and had them move them each morning to “sign in”. One of my teaching buds last year, had the kids’ names on owls. Each morning, the children got their owl from a basket and placed it on a tree that was up on a bulletin board as a way to show they were in school that day. That focused much more on recognizing their names and getting into the habit of signing in.

As one of your awesome readers already mentioned, I do use a sign in book with my pre-k children now. We also do sign-in graphs, especially during the second half of the school year. For example, the graph might say “I have a brother.” Then they sign in under yes or no, depending on their answers.

26 Martha January 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

At the preschool I volunteer at they have the children come in, and find their name tag which is in the same place everyday. Then on two separate tables they look for the paper with their name. I think that it helps some of the kids because the teacher uses dot to dot. We do this on a daily basis and I think it works really well.

27 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 11:49 am

I used to have the children find their name tag – I think I need to put that back into the routine too!

28 Patrice Tompkins January 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

Since I have 2-4 year olds, I have the children Velcro their photos under their names. They feel a lot of pride doing this but I am in the same boat as you as I am always reminding them

29 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Haha – oh well, it gives us a roll in the process:)

30 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I mean role – I always get that word wrong!

31 PamD January 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I sure do enjoy your posts! Thanks for taking time to share:)
As far as sign-in for my Head Start classroom, we have the children do this every day as a part of their arrival routine (at the begining of the year we use pictures to learn the exact routine that they need to follow. For example: hang coat up, put folder in the tray, potty, wash hands, sign-in, and wish well board.) The younger children first find their name in print and then learn to make a line starting from top to bottom. After they have accomplished this task they learn to draw a line left to right. After that they learn to make a /+/, an /x/ and an/o/ the correct way. I am looking for correct pencil/marker grip and directionality! I make sign-in papers for the children and then put them in a plastic pocket sleeve so they can write on them everyday with a dry erase marker, and then the teachers erase them after school. On my form that I make for each child I make a green dot where they know to start (green means go) and the red dot means to stop. Of course you will have to keep a close eye as they are first learning how to do this so you can get them on the right track as needed. For the older children I do basically the same thing except I make their name with dot-to-dot letters, but I also use the green and red dots to help them know where to start and stop. When they are able to write their name, making each letter correctly, I will take away the dot-to-dot letters and have them write their name on their own. I like this routine because I can keep each child’s sign-in at their developmental level. Hope this is easy to understand!

32 Suzanne January 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

It is funny you are having the same struggles I did when I taught FIFTH grade. The children would always forget to sign in on the bulletin board. I did it for the sole purpose of skipping role call which I had to do anyway because of the students who forgot to sign in. I eventually gave up the procedure when I changed the bulletin board for the new season. Only one or two students in each class (three total) actually wondered where the sign in page went.

33 Jackie January 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I also have children sing in and if it’s missing from the daily routine I am sure to hear about it. Maybe you could start including their last name if they have mastered their first.

34 Debbie Thompson January 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I have each child’s picture on the Smartboard with their name underneath. When they see their picture they can come up and trace their name. As the year progresses, I remove the name on the picture for those who have learned to write their name on their own. It always amazes me how quick they learn to write their name!

35 Mindy January 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

My younger kids trace their names every day on name tags that I have already printed their names on with yellow highlighter and laminated. My older kids have blank laminated name tags that they write their names on.

36 Sara January 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I have just started this routine in my classroom (almost all 4′s, a few 3′s). The kids really enjoy it. I have a special education co-op student, and one of her goals is to learn all of the children’s names. She mans the sign-in and calls over kids that might have forgotten This helps her see them one-on-one and chat with them for a moment, and learn their names. Of course, it’s also great practice for name writing. The kindergarten teachers in my building have said that it really throws kids when they can’t print their name, because they often use this as the first step in any project or activity.

37 Jackie January 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Most of my pre-k kids can write their name so we are working on using “Kindergarten Paper” with the lines. I cut pieces of this paper into strips enough to give each strip at least two full lines to write on.
I write the student’s name on one strip in the first line. They write their name in the second line. One strip per student per day.
We have started doing this every school day and I will give all the strips to parents at the end of the school year.
It’s amazing how challenging it is to teach them how to use the lines. However, even if they miss the lines their names are getting more legible.

38 Anita January 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I have worked in a classroom of 3-5 year olds for the last 7 years. We use High Scope in our classroom. The children are expected to make a plan each morning after group time. So I use this as an opportunity for the children to practice writing their name. They have envelopes with strips of paper that they use to “sign in”. Then they use their strip and choose from various pockets that have pictures of the different centers in our room to choose from. We call it making a plan. My 3 year olds get strip that have just their first name in dashed lines printed on it. My 2nd year students begin the year this way, but after winter break I add their last name. Not all my children leave for kindergarten able to spell their whole name but they know how to spell their first name and a portion of their last name. Since we live in dry Colorado, all our children have water bottles they fill each morning and put in a specific place in the classroom. Their names are on the bottles. This is also great practice becoming familiar with their name and their classmates names as well.
One year I saved a sample a month of their handwriting for a whole year. I used this to show all my parents the progress their children actually make in a year during spring conferences. It was another way to show the growth their child had made in a year.

39 Bobbie January 27, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I have done this sign-in but only for our 4′s and pre-kindergarten group. I don’t use it to sign in for arrival but chose a center that I want all the students to participate in. It has started slowly at first each year but becomes more of a habit as the yr goes on.

40 Catriona Robertson January 27, 2014 at 5:47 pm

In scotland, when my children were at nursery, they had to take a card with a picture and their name (which matched the one on their coat hook) it had velcro on back. They took it to the snack board, so that those helping prep snack would know how many to cater for. All the kids loved to participate, and because this nursery included kids with extra needs it was a great success. As one of the nursery nurses took regiser as they greeted children and parents just inside door, their was a portable register in case of fire alarm etc

41 susie daly January 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I teach twenty 4 years olds…. We have 4 sheets of paper with 5 names on each. In the beginning of the year they trace their name. Now they sign next to their name. I helps me to remember who needs help with this and a quick way to see who is missing. It helps them learn to write their names and recognize friends name. I think it a great part of morning routine.

42 Bette V January 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm

I have my VPK children find the owl with their name on it. Then they put it on a tree that says Whoo’s Here. They then go to tables set up with Dry Erase boards and markers. They write their names, letters and numbers until all children arrive. For the ones who need help, I have already dotted their names for them to trace. The ones that are ready copy words from around the room.

43 Kathy January 27, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I teach older PreK and have used the sign in clip board before (this year we start our day with journals). I found the sign in a great way for the children to learn to recognize their names and practice writing. The first few months of school I added a small picture of them by their names (scanned & inserted) and had their names in dotted letters (font free online). After I was sure each child knew their name, I removed the pictures but kept the dotted lines for several more weeks. The final step was to leave a blank space for the child to write their name. My chart had the sign in area directly under their printed name for ease of copying for the children. Thanks for the post, it is always a pleasure reading what you are doing with the children!

44 Pat Noe January 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I like this idea. I usually implement this sign-in idea after the first of the year, when children are comfortable in my class and have practiced their name many times since September (usually on their art work). EXCEPT,,,,this year I have almost half of my 16 children still struggling with fine motor control. So, I am not doing this sign-in this year. Instead, I am working specifically with the children that need help in holding and implementing a pencil. By-the-way, I also made a decision to use a font that had an “a” that the children can copy. I use COMIC SANS font.

45 Shelli January 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I enjoyed reading all the comments. I have used a sign in sheet for the last 12 years and it is part of the daily arrival process at out preschool. I do it differently most every year thinking I have a better way. However, I do talk with every parent about it prior to starting and explain that every child is at a different place with their fine motor and writing skills so as not to panic if their child doesnt write his full name while another child does. We discuss ways to support their child signing in while not doing the work for their child. I love to see the growth that takes place over the year or two years with each child. We take a sample or two each month for portfolios. We honor every child’s attempt whether they can just scribble, form some semblance of a letter, every letter of their name, etc. I quit using a computer font and use my own handwriting. Sometimes we have each child’s picture or their classroom symbol next to their names. If needed, we have dotted letters or lines. I used to have the child’s name to the left but now have it above the line or box where I want them to sign in as it is easier for them to see the letters if it is above, as well as it helps with those who can work on spacing of their letters. This is a part of our daily routine. I have a couple of kids who need a reminder each day but not more than that. It is important to know that if a child isn’t yet capable of drawing a person, they are going to struggle with the forming of their letters as the strokes and motions it takes to draw a person are the same or similar to those used in writing letters. No matter what, it is important to have them interactions or activities with their names as often as possible!

46 Sarah Forgan January 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

At my daughters early learning centre the students are encouraged to sign in, but are not made to. The clip boards are on a small table outside the door to her room. They use a NSW foundation font (what is taught at school here in NSW, Australia). My daughter is left handed so they have found a clip board that is landscape with the clip at the top so it doesn’t interfere with a left or right handed child. At this stage my daughter (2 years) is just attempting the first letter in her name, but she does enjoy finding her name and having a go.

47 Shannon Carnegie January 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Hi! I do a couple of things. I have 2 separate classes…a 3 year old class and a 4 year old PreK class. For both classes, I have a small magnetic white board that the children use to put their magnetic names on every morning. The 4 year olds then have to sign in on our paper writing sheet (similar to yours). While the 4 year old class does both, name recognition and signing in, from the first day of school, the 3 year old class doesn’t start signing in until January (they just aren’t ready for it). The sign in sheets and magnetic board are located on the same table every morning, that way the children learn consistency and remember to do it every morning. Parents are welcome to be involved in the process. Once every one has signed in, the table is cleared for the morning’s activities. For the 3 year old class, it’s just an opportunity for them to explore the process, whatever mark they make is their mark. For the 4 year olds, it’s more focused on learning to hold the pencil correctly and to practice writing their names. I don’t have high expectations of either age class, but I do keep the sign in sheets to use during parent conferences, to show progress over time. And Debroah…Thank you for all you do and share with us! You are truly inspiring!!!

48 Cookie Richards January 27, 2014 at 10:45 pm

My mother has been doing this for years, and now that I am teaching I started doing it as well. I have a small welcome table right by the door with 2 clipboards. One has sign in sheets for the parents to sign in their child, as per social services, and the other is for the children to sign in. They know the routine- come in, hang up backpack, and sign in. They know that they can’t participate in the class art project, etc until they don some kids love signing in each day. Others need some reminding or encouraging. I don’t push, but I remind them that if they want to paint, they need to sign in. Some act like they don’t care but eventually sign in. If there is a child with great reluctance to sign in, I work with him on his own turf, as I am doing this year.
It is a great way to track progress, and for the kids to see improvement and feel big and responsible.

49 Dawn January 28, 2014 at 2:50 am

Hi. I use a similar idea in the last term of school but use two poster size, laminated boards and dry erase markers (2 columns on each). I put them on either side of an easel. The kids love it and they can erase if they make a mistake.

50 Sue Cappucci January 28, 2014 at 6:17 am

I teach pre-k and k, but I only have 1 k. For sign-in, I have word strips that have the child’s picture on one side and their name written with dashes on the other. Every day the child finds his/her name tag and traces his/her name and puts it in a special pocket chart on the writing desk. Recently, I have started taking out some of the traced names and letting children write their own names. For the younger children, I have left the original name tags out. The children also use the name tags to help them write their friends’ names. At the end of the day, each child erases his/her own name tag and puts it back into the bucket, ready to start the day again tomorrow.

51 Danielle January 28, 2014 at 6:37 am

We divide the sign in sheet into two blank columns. Each day, there are two items for the children to sign in under. One column may have a blue sticker at the top, the other column may have a yellow sticker. Each child chooses the column they like better that day and makes his or her mark accordingly.
It only takes an extra moment to set up each morning and the children begin to get excited to come in and see their choices each day. The choices can be related to themes you already have in the classroom (shapes, colours, seasonal pictures, foods, animals etc. At Halloween, we might doodle a spider on one side and a witch’s hat on the other. You get the idea. The possibilities are endless but the amount of anticipation and choice is provided to help bring students to the clipboard in the first place. You also end up with data that can be used during math time. We used name cards for copying instead of names printed on our sheets. I’d love to know if you give this simple twist a try and if it helps to keep your kiddies engaged in the sign in process! I love seeing all that you guys do. It’s so inspiring.

52 Carole January 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Our children ‘clock in’ by finding their laminated name on a table and slotting it in a section for their name they decorate them theirselves and they are then available to use to practise their special writing or we use them for grouping children they can see at a glance if they are participating in an activity . Love ur idea but we have up to 26 children arriving for a session at the same time so wouldn’t work for us too frustrating waiting when u can see all those activities available to play and be involved with

53 Tracy January 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm

In our Pre-School Unit 3-4 yrs we have a self registration system. The chn arrive and place their book bags in the box then find their picture / symbol card and place it on my “look who’s here board”. The card has the child’s symbol on one side and their name on the other side, it sticks on board with Velcro strips. Each term I set the cards out name side up to observe who can recognise their name without peeking at the symbol:) Aim is to cover symbols (with a plain white sticker) by last term and chn use “name cards” only. Usually all but 1 or 2 will have achieved this. The chn use the same cards to “reserve” their seat at the snack table. (We have an active snack where chn come as they wish). I then know at a glance who’s had snack and who still needs to go:)

54 Kathy L January 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I teach 2 1/2 – 3 year olds and we sign in almost everyday. I have a legal size piece of paper with all their pictures, typed names, and then a fairly good size area for them to write in. I am pretty relaxed about when they sign in – some do it right away and others will play awhile before getting to it. I will occasionally give a general reminder for them to sign in if they haven’t already done so. I am a firm believer that writing develops in a similar manner to talking. They need lots of exposure but not specific teaching. So I never have them trace letters. At the beginning of the school year, all the kids basically scribbled and that was fine. Now I have 3 of the 9 children writing recognizable letters, 4 of them make letter-like marks, and the other 2 are still scribbling. We do lots of fun interactive activities with letters and their names and when they are developmentally ready they start to try to write their letters. I do try to let the kids sign in when the parents are gone just because the parents often try to push the kids too much when they see them just scribble.

55 Lorie January 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I haven’t implemented a sign in procedure for my kids, but I like the idea since they always want to sign themselves out on our official sign in/out sheet required to turn into the state. As far as the “a” not being the right font, I understand and try to find font that has a traditional A. However, an observation on our kindergarten screening for my own children’s elementary school is they also know how to recognize the font sensitive letters “a” “J” and “I” so I try to teach those to my pre-k class. Just thought I would mention that from our perspective here in NC. :) Thanks for the inspiration of the kid sign in sheet though :D

56 Phyllis January 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm

My sign in varies throughout the year. At the beginning of the year they trace their name or move some type of marker from “home” to “school”. Right now we have a clipboard and an estimation jar. The jar changes every day. They write their name and have to write down their estimation of how many items are in the jar (I have a number line right next to the clipboard). At circle time we use the sign in chart to take attendance, and then we count the items in the jar, record how many items were in the jar and who had the closest guess. It took a week or so to catch on but the kids LOVE it.

57 Sandy Goodspeed January 28, 2014 at 10:42 pm

I make a weekly sign in with each child’s name and 5 spaces, One for their written name 4 spaces for signing each day. I tried having all the names on the same page but it kept kids waiting and late for breakfast.

58 andie jaye January 29, 2014 at 12:42 am

wow! I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of this, but I love it! What a great way to give them some autonomy and responsibility.

59 Mrs. YOung January 30, 2014 at 3:06 am

we sign in to preschool too, we have a picture of them next to their name, and we laminated the paper, so they can use erasable crayons to write or white board marker, so each day I erase it and start over, not wasting paper. I teach preschool
3 &4′s. :)

60 Kim McFall February 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm

I have my children sign in on the white board with dry erase markers underneath their names. I have them attached on sentence strip with contact paper.

61 Dawn February 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

I LOVE the kids signing in. I have a binder, and I made orintable worksheets with all of the kids names- they start out as block letters, then go to dots, then blank spaces to write. I have changed some of them to only have their name, and blank lines. I put these in page protectors, and when the kids come in, they sit down and sign in using a dry erase marker. They also recognize others names now!

62 Cyndi February 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

“Sign-in” has always been a part of my daily schedule. It is the first thing students do when they enter the classroom. Like everything else, it is a process, and children begin school with a wide range of experiences!
Each child has a name card; their photo is on one side, and their printed name is on the other. We start the school year putting the cards at the tables, photo side up, along with a strip of paper and a pencil. Students find their photo, write their name on the strip (at whatever ability level they have) and place both in a pocket chart.
We can quickly see what the ability levels are and work with children as needed. This may be how to hold a pencil or how to form letters.
As the school year goes on, we challenge the students in different ways. We put the name cards on the table name side up or we remove the name cards completely so they can write their names on their own.
Students quickly become confident at writing their names. Some write their peers’ names. Many also begin to read their peers’ names.
We also save them writing samples on a periodic basis. It is really a fantastic way to measure student growth during the school year.

63 Yianna May 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I teach 3′s and this is the second year that I’ve used a sign in clipboard with my class. When I introduce it to the children, usually in January, I have two columns…one column has there name and the second column also has there name, but the letters are faded so the children can trace the letters in their name to sign in. I remove the faded letters once a child is able to write their name without it. The children seem to like it. They see their parents signing them in and out everdday and I think it makes them feel like a big kid.

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