At the beginning of the year we really emphasize the importance of being able to both recognize and write your name. I read somewhere once that a student should see their name in print in at least 5 places in your classroom. We have students’ names and photos at their cubbies, on our birthday wall, on our superstar work wall, on our portable name word wall (and word chart), and on blocks in our block center.
For students who do not yet know how to write their name, they spend a few minutes each day after lunch working on a dry erase sheet that has their name to trace 3 times, space to write their name once and they find and circle their name among 6 others.
Other great ways to encourage name writing is to put name cards out in your writing center and/or playdough center. Students love creating each other’s names!
One way that we track how name writing is coming along is by doing monthly self-portraits. We start school in September. In September during a whole group lesson we discuss self-portraits and what they are. I will then do an example of my own self-portrait with the class. Later we meet in small groups and students get to do their own self-portrait along with a chance to write their name. We let students utilize our name card tags to copy if they don’t know their name yet. If the student can not copy yet, we will write it in yellow and have the student trace. We don’t give any instructions otherwise. Students can use as many or as few colours as they would like.
We keep these self-portraits each month and at the end of the year we have an amazing set of data to show the growth the student has gone through. We then gift these booklets to the families in June.
Check out this fun product for your classroom!