At the beginning of every school year teachers are gearing up to learn the names of their new students. Even before the kids walk in the door, most teachers have name cards in place and display boards with student names waiting for art work to be added.
Here are a couple of fun name activities you can use in the first week of school.
Name Scoot: Students are given the Name Scoot paper and asked to write their first and last name at the top. (You can write it for them if they don't know how to spell their last name.) There are also two statements they complete about themselves. During the scoot other students learn a little bit about their new classmates and write a word that can be made with the letters in the name.
Click on the image to download the scoot page.
All About my Name
Behind every name is a good story. Do you know why your parents chose that name for you? Do you have a nick name? How did you get that nick name?
Sharing stories about our names is a fun and interesting way to get to know your students. During the first week, send home this What's in a Name survey. When students bring them back share a few every day a you get to know your students.
Click on this image to download the survey.
Names are also a huge part of your classroom management system. It seems I was always needing a list of student names--check lists, tracking participation, arranging groups, etc.
Here are a few tips for managing names in your classroom.
-Full page check lists with data columns. Good for tracking assignments turned in through one week or homework turned in for the month or grading period.
-Single column check list. I used these to attach to a set of papers to track who had turned in their work. I could fit 3 on one piece of paper then cut them apart to use one list at a time. These also work well when the office or another teacher needs a quick student list.
-Name sticks. Love, love, love name sticks! They are a great way to keep kids accountable and focused on lessons because they never know if their name is going to be called. Depending on the discussion or situation you can always allow students to pass if their stick is called and they prefer not to participate. I would make up several sets of sticks and have them in cans around the room. That way there was always a set of sticks no matter where I was standing or having a class discussion. If you meet with small groups I would suggest you have sets of sticks for those groups as well.
-Name tags. I suggest you have a set of name tags ready to go the very first day of school. I've seen them made with the plastic sleeves that pin on a shirt, or on a lanyard that hangs around the neck. Name tags are wonderful to use when a substitute is there for the day or on field trip days, too.
-Name Labels. You just never know when you need to stick a student's name on something- folders, projects, mailboxes, supplies, books . . . I learned it was very helpful to print sets of labels with student names. I usually had sets printed on the small return address label size (30 per sheet) and the larger address label size (10 per sheet). That way when I was putting together literature or writing folders I'd add a label to the corner and each student had a folder, ready to go.
-Mini Cards. Small name cards can come in real handy. I kept several sets in my desk drawer. I'd use them to make new desk arrangements, sort students into project groups or set up partners for field trips.