Monday, August 3, 2009

What is in a Name? or It's All in Their Name!

According to, a name is:

"A name is a label for a noun, (human or animal, thing, place, product [as in a brand name] and even an idea or concept), normally used to distinguish one from another. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context.

A personal name identifies a specific unique and identifiable individual person."

Let's stop there.

School is starting shortly and teachers need to quickly and correctly learn their students' names. It is one of the first things that they do to welcome children into the classroom and make them feel part of the class. It doesn't matter if you are teaching kindergarten or at the college level. Using names is a basic way to connect with a student.

Here are some resources to help:
  • KinderKorner - This site is geared towards teachers of younger children, mostly pre-school through primary. Includes songs and fun names activities for the entire class.
  • - This site is nice for elementary teachers, as it contains many activities reinforcing phonics, literacy and graphing for learning names.
  • - Quick tips to learn names quickly, adapted from the 'First Year Teacher's Survival Guide'.
  • TeacherVision from the Family Education Network has a huge resource page for Personalizing the Secondary Classroom.
  • The National Teaching and Learning Forum discusses the importance of learning names in the higher grades and has activities for the classroom. There is also a focus on peer-peer interaction to foster a learning environment in classes that may be very large and the student may just feel like another "number".
Hello, Andrew. My name is Mrs. Brooks. Welcome to YOUR classroom. We are going to have a wonderful year together.

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