Learn their names!!

Learning the names on Day 1 of my first day as a private school teacher. My middle son attended class with me :)
Learning the names on Day 1 of my first day as a private school teacher. My middle son attended class with me 🙂

Just checked out my class rosters, and in addition to my three classes of returning students, I have 72 new faces that will walk through my door next Wednesday. I posted this in my first day lesson plans, but I want to make sure you all catch it because it has helped me immensely!!

Have each of your new students write their names–in BIG, LEGIBLE LETTERS–on this Name card. Before class lets out, have students stand in short line-ups of two, three, or four students and flash a smile (or not) while holding up their name cards. Put the pics on your computer (or keep them on your phone) and study their names and faces until you have them. Every year that I’ve used this strategy, I have learned all of my students’ names by day 3. There is no better way for you to instantly connect with your students and make them feel welcome in your classroom.

But you have to study. Do your homework!!

19 comments

  1. Your idea is great! For those of us less studious…I really like Ben Slavic’s Circling with Balls activity to learn names. And a bit about the students.

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  2. I have my cards printed! I also like to play the name game where students have to introduce everyone before themselves. This helps them memorize each others names as well (though a bit time consuming). Hearing all the names repeated several times helps me to memorize the names. I like the photo idea. This would also be useful if I wanted to have a student of the week.

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  3. I love the idea of taking the pics! It would be fun to put the pics into a quick PPT and review What’s her name?
    I re-use old manilla file folders-I cut about four inches above the fold and then cut it in half. Each folder gives me two labels. The kids write their English name on one side and their Spanish name on the other and decorate it with information about themselves. I like the fact that the labels stand up and I can use them to assign seats.

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  4. I use manilla folders too–4 folded name tags per folder. During day one they write their English names and where they are from on one side, and then the second day, they choose a Spanish name and I randomly assign them a country to be from and they write that info on the other side. We all stand up in a circle and they say “me llamo Paco y soy de Cuba” The whole class then says “Mucho gusto Paco” It is a great way to go over pronunciation of names and countries.

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    • For the first time this year, I used the rhyme:
      Manzanita del Perú
      díme ¿Cómo te llamas tú?
      (said with a pat/snap/clap or something to make a rhythm)
      Then I indicate a student, who reads off the board to complete the sentence:
      Me llamo __________.
      And the class reads off the board:
      ¡Mucho gusto, _________!
      Then I started the rhythm again. As they get comfortable, I gradually speed it up until at the end we are going really fast.
      Apparently this rhythm is typically used in LatinAmerica as a jumprope rhyme, except it is ” cuántos años tienes tú…1…2…3…4…).

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  5. You would do your substitute teachers a HUGE favor by making the pictures available to them; ideally in a seating chart, once you have your “permanent” (cough, cough) one. Even if you don’t put the pics in the seating chart, just having them available would be helpful, especially for a sub who will be there more than a day or two.

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  6. I know someone who has the students make name cards like yours (though without the vocab; he doesn’t teach foreign language), then takes a video while students hold up their cards under their faces. Students remain seated, he moves around the classroom.

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  7. Do you have an editable version of your name card you’d be willing to sell? I’m doing your Dice unit with a homeschooling co-op this year and the idea of having something with high frequency words on the back sounds awesome! I am thinking though that all the vocal on the back is too much for my students who are 3rd-5th graders.

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