Learning Students’ Names by Sue Vaughn

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Sep 2nd, 2013
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StudentsYou need to know your students’ names – it’s as simple as that.  But after decades of teaching, my “name cup” is full!  Here’s how I learn their names:

  1. Buy a cheap digital camera for school (and write it off on your taxes).
  2. On the first day of school, have every student write his/her first name on a piece of 3″ x 8″ cardstock.
  3. On day one, take their pictures. The student should hold his/her name directly under his/her chin.
  4. Develop the pictures that evening in a small format (and of course save the receipt for itemized deductions). Each student’s face with name should be about the size of a quarter.
  5. Cut out each face with its name in about a 1″ square size.
  6. Get a legal size manila folder, open it, and imagine yourself facing your classroom. Tape the pictures into the folder as a seating chart. Their names are already attached.
  7. Typically, you will leave this chart on your desk at the front of the room. If you teach multiple classes (middle school, high school, college) use a separate folder for each class. To take roll, have a pad of 1″ x 1″ Post-it® notes ready – just stick one over the absent student’s face.  (Meggin says, “I love this idea!”)
  8. Use these seating charts daily, and always call on a student by name.
  9. Never change your roll-call seats (I have my students sit alphabetically). However, once you’ve taken roll, feel free to have your students move for various activities. My students rarely sit in the same seat for the entire period. We “move about the cabin.”
  10. When you collect your first assignments, take the work home in the roll-call folder and LOOK at each student as you grade his/her work.

P.S.   Substitutes will love you for your seating charts.


© Sue VaughnShared by Sue Vaughn, M.A.

National Board Certified Teacher

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