Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.
In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.
Once the students are on the rug I ask them to stand and make sure they have “washing machine” space between them and the person on the next spot. If not, they are allowed to move to a spot where they will have more room.
Now I turn on the song Tony Chestnut sung by The Learning Station. I like this song because it has actions to go along with the simple names. This helps the students get their wiggles out before they have to sit through a lesson.
When the song is over I have the students go back to sitting on the rug by singing my Edge of the Rug Song.
I say “Good morning” to the students and tell the class how nice it is to finally have everyone here together. I point out that we have a full class now which means there are lots of new names to learn.
I explain to the students that we are going to sing the “Name Song” to help introduce ourselves to our new friends. I model how the song goes and then explain that they will each get a turn to say their name and shake hands with the person on their left.
Once they have introduced themselves they will become the person who leads the next verse and shake hands with the person to their left.
Name Song (sung to the tune of Make New friends)
Meet new friends at circle time
I am Mrs. Clapp
And this is Ashlyn.
Hello Ashlyn *
How are you? *
We are happy that we met you.
The italicized area is where everybody sings.
The bold area is where only the leader is singing.
The underlined area is where the person being introduced says his or her name.
The * is where the leader of the verse shakes hands with the person being introduced to his or her left.
It can be hard for some for the students to wait their turn but it is important they learn to wait their turn patiently. The students need to know there will be times when you are busy with another student or it is someone else’s turn to speak and each student in the class has the right to be helped or heard without other students interfering.
When the name song is over I tell the students that in order to be fair to everyone I have a fair jar. I tell the students the fair jar helps me make sure that I am fair when I select/pick students to take a turn at answering a question or helping me out with a demonstration.
I point out to the students that there are a bunch of popsicle sticks spread out on the back table. I tell them it will be their job to select their name off the table, come back to the rug area, show their name stick to their new friends, say their name and drop their stick in the fair jar. I tell the students I will point to them when it is their turn to go and get their stick.
I select the students who I know already recognize their name as this narrows down the choices for the students who are unsure.
Once everyone has their name in the fair stick jar, I practice the routine of how the fair sticks work. I ask students to raise their hand if they know how they will go home that day. Several students may raise their hand and I pull a fair stick out of the container and show it to the audience. Hopefully that student recognizes his or her name and tells me how he or she is getting home. I continue to pull fair sticks out and setting them to the side, until everyone who has raised their hand has had a chance to answer the question. For those students who do not recognize their name, I prompt them with a look and a nod or a prompt such as, “Oh Jo Clapp I am sure this is your name because I recognize the Jo on here.” I point to each letter as I say it.
If there are students who do not know how they are getting home I will ask another question such as, “Raise your hand if you know if you are buying or packing for lunch?” This question usually covers the rest of the audience.
Now I tell the students that I will be holding up each fair stick for everyone to see and putting it back into the container.
I tell the students their ticket to get their snack will be to get up and get hand sanitizer when they see their name stick go back into the fair stick container.
I hold each name stick up clearly in front of me where everyone can see. I repeat the prompting process from the above activity if there is a student who still does not recognize their own name.
I call the students over to see me at a busy time such as integrated work stations or free choice center time. I show the student three, four or five of the student fair sticks. I ask the student to select his or her stick and place it into the fair sticks container.
For this assessment I simply have a checklist made of the students names and check off the students who recognize their names and those who do not.
We play “Memory Name Game.” For this game I make three sets of cards relating to the students. The first set is individual student pictures with their name on it. The second set is just their picture and the third set is just the name. I back each set with a different color of cardstock and laminate for durability. We play "Memory" with the cards.
The first time we play the game I play with the set of cards with the student picture and name and the set with just their picture. The students turn over one yellow card (let us say the first set is backed with yellow) and then one orange card (let us say the second set is backed with orange). If the two pictures match then the student can see the name which relates to the picture and they get to hold onto that matching set. The next student turns over a yellow card and an orange card. If the cards do not match the student must turn the two cards back over and it is the next players turn.
The next day we will play with the cards that have the students picture and name and the set that has just the name. Now the students must match the picture/name card with a name card. This gives the students a chance to relate to their peers names.
The next day we play with name cards and the cards with just the student picture. This is the trickiest day. Students really have to relate to the name. This can also be tricky when you have more than one student with the same name. We usually differentiate by adding the first initial of the last name.
Another activity I have available is where the student’s make their name and their peers name using magnetic letters. When the students first do this activity I have their picture attached to their name on a sentence strip. The students use the magnetic letters to build the name. The next time we do this activity I would only have the students’ pictures. Now I encourage the students to use the resources around the classroom to build the selected student’s name. For example, the desk nametags, the word wall, or the lunch sticks, etc. Inviting the students to sue the resources around the classroom allows them to experience getting information from a different source rather than having the information provided for you.
Another activity I have is where the students make their own tie dye name shirts. Shirt Painting. These shirts are great to wear to specials class so the special class teachers can learn the student names quickly. The shirts also come in handy for art projects.