Rules & Routines: Lining Up



During the first few weeks of Kindergarten, it is SO essential to establish rules and routines for the kiddos in your classroom.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about some of the rules and routines that I teach my kiddos. 

One of the hardest things (I think) to teach Kinders is lining up and walking in the hallway.  For those that have never been in a school setting, it could be a new experience – especially doing it independently! Usually they’re with mom and dad while waiting in a line, right?

I use a drive through analogy with them.

Most have been through a drive through, right?! We talk about how cars can’t pass each other, and they have to wait patiently for the car in front of them to move.

My smarties made a connection to the line at the gate to the base.  They have driven through the gate SO many times, and know that cars can’t pass each other.  SO SMART.

This year, I also incorporated THE MOST AMAZING new product into our lining up routine.

Introducing…..Sit Spots!


I first saw these at the I Teach K conference this summer in Las Vegas.  They were created by a teacher! Joyce is the owner and has been a teacher and principal for 25 years! She knows her stuff and she is absolutely the sweetest person!

These colorful shapes (she has them in all sorts of colors and shapes – check them out on her website) Joyce uses them as a classroom “rug” in her classroom (one for each kiddo to sit on), but since I already had a rug, I immediately thought about using them for lining up.


They are a hook and loop type product and they’ll stick great to industrial carpet (low pile).  Here is the most awesome part – they can be vacuumed right over!!! No mad custodians!!  Once they’re down, they are stuck – kids can’t peel them up!  At then end of the year, you can pull them up – put them away for next year, and your custodians can clean your carpet like usual.  Joyce even lets you order a sample so you can try it out to see if it will work on your carpet. (Psst….  They’re only $1 each!!)

Okay, back to lining up – here’s what I did with them….

Since I want to incorporate learning whenever I can, I numbered one row (1-13) and wrote the letters A-M on the other set. It’s still a little tricky for kids to remember their number/letter when we are OUT of the classroom, but they line up so quickly when we are in the classroom – and there are NO arguments about where kids are in line.


I have personally found that it is easier for ME to walk in one very LOOONNNGG line.  Two lines were confusing for my kiddos.  So, I’ve trained the letter A walker to watch for the number 13 walker, and follow him when we leave the classroom. (I picked a very responsible kiddo!).


Lining up and walking in line is ALWAYS a work in progress – with a large class it takes a while to get this mastered :) 

I also use some fun songs and chants to help kiddos get ready for the hall.  Check out What the Teacher Wants for this collection of line up chants/songs.

Here are some more fun chants from First Grade Owls – LOVE the shimmy shimmy coconut one!

I also adore this idea for lining up:

From Mrs. Kopacz at Artistic Geniuses: At the end of the class a student from the helper table puts up the tables (named after shapes this year) that are clean and quiet first, this is the order we line up in. Boy do they clean up fast and you can hear a pin drop!

Here is another fun idea for walking in the hall from What Happens in First Grade.  She labels these poker chip type pieces with students names, grabs one as she walks out the door.  If that person is doing the right thing in the hall, he/she gets a little prize/treat!

This is super similar to my Mystery Person idea that I blogged about waaaay back in 2011!  I use the sticks from my lucky duck can, but I like having a dedicated “mystery walker” can!


Of course when we’re in the hall, we either have a “bubble” or a “marshmallow” in our mouths! 

So, What are your best tips and tricks for lining up and/or walking in the hall.  Please share! We can all add a few ideas to our bag of tricks!


  1. Ha, we must serious be on the same wave length! I just posted about lining up too! You analogy was a little nicer than the one I used though ;)
    Pocket Full of Kinders

  2. I just love you and all of your amazing ideas! Thank you for sharing with us all!

  3. I told my work colleagues that I was waiting to see how you did lining up after your last post. I love it. Simple and sweet. I even like your drive through explanation with no overtaking. It made me laugh as I read it. I'm going to try it tomorrow...with some temporary shapes I have already.
    With thanks
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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  5. Just wondering if the dots that you stick to your carpet will also stick to linoleum? I love this idea but wonder about mopping over them? I want you to know how much I enjoy your ideas. I was lucky enough to attend your session at I Teach K. Judging from the number of people sitting on the floor, they need to put your session in a much larger room! It was great!

  6. yea, walking in line is an important one. Today was my second day of kindergarten and they are doing pretty good. We have blue lines in the hall on the carpets and I call them the road. The only trouble I have is the bathroom and staying quiet.


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  8. I'm in love with Sit Spots! Thank you for sharing that!

    I also do something similar to the Mystery Walker Idea... and there is a fun poem to go with it. I blogged about it HERE and you can get the poem as a freebie.

    Thank you!
    Crayons and Whimsy

  9. My daughters pre-K does the Shimmy Shimmy Coconut song! She's been singing it all week! I'm adding it to my file. :) Love how you used a drive-thru analogy! So smart!

  10. Love your ideas! Do you have any tricks to get my chatty kiddos to stop talking?

    Carol T.

  11. Great ideas! I want to try the mystery walker idea! :)

  12. Very creative idea using the drive thru analogy! Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas! I just ordered some sit spots and can't wait to use them for lining up! You are inspirational in your practices and you make me a better teacher!

    Thank you!
    Lacey Bowder

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