I asked Stacey from Letters from Leaping Legs to share a name game idea for the first day of class. Enjoy!
One of the hardest things for me when I begin a new year of teaching is remembering all the children’s names . I like to use name tags on the first day. I want the children to feel like a know them and that they are welcome in the class. It is also easier to keep order and class flow when you are using names from the get go. (There is nothing worse than pointing to a child and saying “you.”) When I don’t know a child’s name I ask. I want everybody in my class to know that they are getting personal attention.
I have a name game I use the first day I teach a new class as well. I use this game with preschoolers all the way up to adult classes. (The adults are the most shy but they get into it as the game progresses.) This game is fun and is a lifesaver for me because I am notoriously bad at remembering names but am great at remembering movements. This game makes it easy for me to remember names because I attach the two together. It is a great way for kids to learn each other’s names as well. (Which is equally important.)
Here is the game:
1. Have your class stand in a circle. Start by saying your name and doing a movement along with your name. (It can be as simple as raising one arm in the air.) Then have your class repeat your name and gesture.
2. Next, have the child to your left say her name and do a movement. Then go back to the beginning. Have the class say your name while doing your movement and then the child who just went.
3. Each member of the class gets to add his or her name and movement to the class. Each time go back to the beginning and do the names and movements from the top. It can get pretty silly especially as you keep adding on.
4. This is a fun activity to break the ice. You might need to help a few children come up with movements. It doesn’t matter if the movement is a shoulder shrug, jump or a wrinkle of the nose. Let them know all movement matters.
5. When you meet for the second class start by doing this exercise again and see if everyone remembers each other’s names and movements!
What tools do you use to remember the names of your students? Please share your ideas!