Friday, July 6, 2012

Ending the nameplate dilemma

Over the years, I've struggled with the best way to label kids' desk spots. I love those huge 18" nameplates that have space for the name plus all the reference information (letters/pictures, number grid, shape words, blah blah blah). So I usually would go buy something like this:

In a feeble attempt to get it to stick down for more than two seconds, I tried masking tape, contact paper, packing tape... You know the drill. But at least the kids were stuck with their own peeling nametag if they chose to destroy it.

Then a couple years ago, we got tables. They are FABULOUS! No room for my hoarders to stuff random papers. However, NOTHING stuck to them, until I found these at Lakeshore:

(So apparently, they're discontinued now... Oh well!)

They worked okay... They stuck down alright, but the kids would peel up the top clear plastic layer. You could slide nametags out, which was nice for moving kids at tables, but then kids who destroyed their nametag sleeve left behind a peely mess for the next kid.

I racked my brain for what to do for next year. Then I realized, why not make PLACEMATS, not nameplates, that could a) have the kid's name and b) all the important reference info but c) be moveable - kids could grab it if they need it, put it away if they don't, and - get this - keep the tables NEAT, CLEAN, and PEELY-FREE!

So I made this:

(Okay, so ignore my lame-o fake name... I didn't want to use a real name of a kiddo. I am so uncreative!)

The file is two pages. On the left, there's a nametag-looking space for the kid's name and number (if you use that). There's also an alphabet chart with letters and sounds.

On the right, there's a page with basic key info... Color words, number grid to 120 (love Common Core!), left/right hands, 2-D shapes, days of the week, months of the year, and number words 1-10.
I used a file folder, but you could also use 12x18" construction paper. Because I am a little Type A, I trimmed down the margins on the paper a tad so that each page would fit entirely into the folder. I also put a blank address label on the tab for the kid's name. I'll laminate these without a name written on them, then write the names on them after the fact with Sharpie. That way I can hopefully reuse them year after year by just using dry erase marker over the Sharpie to erase the permanent marker (love that trick!). My plan is to have a small file bin with one hanging folder per table. The table captain will pull those out at the beginning of the day, and kids can get them/put them back in their table's hanging file folder as needed.

If you want a copy of this for yourself, go ahead and click {HERE}. It's only $1.50 in my TPT store! But because I want to spread the love, the first two comments on this post (with email addresses) will get a free copy!

Have a great night!


  1. I struggle every year trying to think of a better way... It looks like you might have a good idea going. I'm also a new follower. :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Check your email for your free copy of the placemat. :)


  3. I love this! I'll make sure to follow you on TPT! :-)

  4. Thanks Beth! Check your email for your freebie!


  5. Sooooo feel your pain! I loved the big name tags too..until of course we got tables! I hate them. And you're right..nothing sticks to them. It's so weird!! I actually hot glued those clear plastic name tag holders last year to the tables because they wouldn't stick down, and of course had quite the mess to clean up at the end of the year. But I just found these from Really Good stuff and am going to try them this year. Hopefully they will work better! I love your blog design by the way... so cute! I'd love for you to check out my blog too! Simply SWEET TEAching

  6. What a great idea and I love that the number grid goes to 120! Those are hard to find.
    The Common Core Classroom


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