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Learning Names

Learning how to identify and spell your name can be tricky for some students.  Some students need extra practice, while some will quickly pick it up just by practice writing it and seeing it on their desk tags.

Here's a fun, quick activity that you can easily differentiate for your students.  I like to write the students' names on cardstock and cut them into puzzles.  For my students who are just initially learning their names, I just cut the name into 2 or 3 parts.  As they become more familiar with their name, I will start cutting it into more and more pieces until they are putting their whole name together.

I provide the envelopes with their name written on the front until they can put their name together without looking at an example.  

To keep my students from getting tired of doing the same puzzle everyday, I sometimes take the puzzle out and add magnetic letters in the envelope.  You can also write letters on bottle caps, clothespins, or any other material/or manipulative you can find.

This isn't just for those Kindergarten babies either.  You wouldn't believe how shocked I was when I realized one of my 7-year-old sons couldn't write our last name.  How in the world did I fail at that as a teacher and parent?  On my behalf, the name Grimes-Graeme is long and pretty tricky.  My husband swears it wasn't hard for him to learn it as a kid, but I'm kinda doubtful.   I made a last name puzzle for my son to work on and we've been "singing" Gri ~ mes - Gra ~ eme for days.  I "think" he's pretty much got it now.  :)

Do you have any tricks for learning names?


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  2. I also use magnetic letters in working with student learning to spell their name. Sometimes I use commercial letter tiles and recently I came across some old Scrabble tiles and applied magnets to the backs of them.
    When teaching kids that really have difficulty with this skill. I fasten some of the letters in place so they only have to fill in 1 or two. Then as they get more proficient, I take the "permanent" tiles away and replace them with moveable ones;so they have to provide more of the tiles to complete their names.
    I love your puzzle idea. I haven't thought of that in ages, but I'm going use your idea and make some for my students for next week. Thanks for the great post and ideas!
    Mary Ann Reeve

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