Tips on remembering the names of 240+ students?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Cicero, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Aug 26, 2012

    At my middle school, mine is a required subject for all students so I will be teaching all of the students in our school for the entire year. This is my first year here, so I don't have the benefit of already knowing my 7th/8th graders.

    I was thinking of having them make name stand-ups (we did this in some of my education classes in college, one professor made them with halves of old filing folders which, boy, do I happen to have a gross of). Would this be a good idea? I would take them up at the end of the period since I would imagine that some would never make it back.

    I did my student teaching a high school on block schedule, so I only had 3 classes of students to remember then. So, needless to say, I am a little concerned about how difficult it is going to be to keep up with so many kiddos!

    If you know of any other good systems, I would love to hear them! Thank you :)
     
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  3. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I don't like the nametags. They usually only last a day. I don't learn names until I see handwriting/assignments. I pair the handwriting with the student's picture and that works for me.
     
  4. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Name stand-ups sounds like a good idea. Also, have a seating chart and keep it in your hands during class. That way, if a student raises his/her hand to answer a question, you will have the name available to you. I rely on my seating chart quite a bit at the beginning of the year, and I learn my students' names in no time. (I have half the number you do, though.) I really start learning names when I pass back papers.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2012

    Have a seating chart. The simpler, the better. I just go alphabetically at the beginning of the year. It will help you learn their names as you take attendance. Don't be afraid to refer to it when calling on students, and don't be afraid to ask students their names as they enter the room or if you don't have the seating chart handy. They want you to learn their names, and most of the time they'll give you a break if it seems like you're trying.

    You'll learn their names as you return their papers. It might take a few weeks, but you'll get there.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 26, 2012

    I only had to learn 80, but if I had to learn 240, I would seat them all in alphabetical order for a few weeks.
     
  7. treefrogs

    treefrogs Rookie

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    I'm horrible at remembering names, however I want my students to know that I care enough about them to learn their names. I tell students I'm not talented at learning names, and the way I learn names is by asking a lot. Also, I say their name repeatedly when I call on them.

    For example:
    "Alright, I'm going to call on John. John, please read your example."
    "Great use of precise language John, thank you for sharing John."

    Students don't mind; people generally like to hear their name. That combined with a seating chart really helps.
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I went from 32 students last year, to now having about 1,100. The students in my school all wear clip on name tags, so that helps. I also have assigned seating. The last thing I did was take pictures of each of the classes, in the order they sit. I study the names before I have each grade level.
     
  9. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Aug 26, 2012

    Thanks for all of the input so far everyone! My memory is really going to get a workout for a little while.
     
  10. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    You'll get the names down quicker than you think. When I used to sub at an elementary school of 800+, I must have known 600 of them by name within a couple of months of subbing.
     
  11. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2012

    I don't know if you can do this in a school setting, but I had a professor in university that created folders with our pictures on them that we put all of our homework in.

    I'm sure when he would go home he would study the pictures and make sure to use the name a lot in providing feedback (e.g. Good job here Name, I like your point Name, etc.).

    It only took him 2-3 classes before he was calling us all by name.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Pictures definitely help. If you seat them alphabetically, you could take their pictures in rows. Have the whole row come up and stand in a line for the picture.

    Or you could have them make a name card just for the picture. That way each person is paired with their name.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It is the hardest thing about a new school year for me.

    For me, the typical number is probably around 200, since I have 5 classes of about 40-- no homeroom this year, and a few hundred in Study Hall (with 3 other teachers) so that's not really an issue.

    I get most of my learning done while they're testing. (I try during quizzes, but mine tend to be fairly short.) I warn the kids ahead of time so they won't get paranoid, then memorize them by rows. I take my seating chart, look at row 1: Mike, Chrissy, Tim.... and look at each face as I go. Once I have a whole row down I move on and do all the kids I have so far, or go across instead of down.

    It does take me a while. The kids know that and are patient. And honestly, when one looks up and finds me staring at him/her, it's always good for a private chuckle between us.
     
  14. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2012

    Last year I was new and took pictures of all of my classes together, printed the pictures out, cut up white labels and wrote the names underneath each student. It helped me a lot - seating charts help as well.

    This year is much easier since I know many of them already!
     
  15. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    From someone who prides himself on learning the names of a different classroom of kids every single day, this is a good strategy.
     
  16. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Learning names is not one of my talents, so when I was subbing I set a daily goal of a number of students' names to learn. Use them frequently! Greet students in the hallway by name. They love it!
     
  17. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    For the first few weeks I seat them alphabetically by first name. It works for me.
     
  18. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Alice, where are your study halls located? Are students allowed to talk? Ours are in the cafeteria in the periods before lunch, and in classrooms during the afternoon periods. We have maybe 80 students or so at a time in the cafeteria during study, and they are allowed to talk and purchase food. I'm lucky that I have a classroom study hall this year with only 15 students. Classroom study halls are quiet.
     
  19. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 28, 2012

    Like Alice, I have a diagnostic on the first couple days and I just sit and stare at them while they are testing and memorize names. I usually have it after that. But I also tell them what I am doing. lol.
     
  20. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Aug 28, 2012

    I've done several long-term sub assignments, which requires learning about 100 names every few months. The best method I've found is to take a 3-prong folder and put a clear protector page for each class. In the clear protector page, I put a seating chart and on it's backside, a roster.

    Then I use dry erase markers to check for attendance, homework, etc. Because it's set up in a similar format for each class, it makes it easier to think what student sits where.

    I definitely carry it with me all day over the first few days. I usually have their names down by the end of the 2nd week.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Well, remember, we have 2650 kids in my school.

    During the lunch periods, silent studies are in classrooms.

    But before and after lunch they're in the cafeteria. They're still silent, and the kitchen area is closed. We seat 2-3 kids at each of 97 picnic-table sized cafeteria tables, and they study silently.

    Those names I don't have to know, though I'll learn the ones who sit in my section.

    This year I'm in charge of the 8th period study hall. I'm there with 3 other teachers, so "in charge" basically means I set up the seating chart. I have 9 different groups of kids on different days, so it's one of those jobs I have to do when I have time to just sit and organize.
     
  22. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Aug 28, 2012

    I definitely am going to be trying this as well as using their names as much as possible.
     
  23. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Wow! That sounds like a good system. I'm sure that students who have cafeteria studies at my school have a hard time concentrating since students are allowed to talk and eat. The food service company would probably revolt if the school stopped letting them serve breakfast, so they have never even attempted to fight that battle.

    Sorry, OP, for the thread hijack! :hijack: LOL
     

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