Saturday, January 11, 2014



This activity is designed for Day Two.  This quickly answers the question, "When will my teacher know my name?"

Students get it.  They HAVE to go to school.  And once they enter middle school, they experience many different teachers.  After elementary school, where students had one or maybe two teachers,  middle school presents a mosaic of teachers.  Students take some getting used to having different teachers for different classes.  In classes of 25-40, it gets challenging to stand out in the crowd, let alone get acknowledged in classes that size.

Many teachers are so anxious to get into the content of their studies, they often forget how important knowing and remembering their students names is.  This activity achieves the following objectives.

Acquiring more social information about the dynamics in your classroom.

Identifying the leaders, followers, 'in crowd', outsiders, in your class.

Validate the person and the name given to us by our parents as the first sounds of our identity.

A safe public speaking environment is reinforced.

The skills of 'active listening' and 'short-term recall' is modeled and practiced.

The Name Game quickly builds emotional-brain bridges in the teacher-student and student-student dynamic.

On a more deeply felt level of identity validation, everyone now knows and has said the name of every other student in class.

The teacher, as leader, models and guides appropriate classroom interaction.

The teacher will have verbalized and made eye contact in learning every student's name and what they like.

Here's how the Name Game works.

Approximate time depends on size of class, 20-25 minutes is an average.

Seating Arrangement: Chairs/desks are arranged in a big circle.  Set up the seating arrangement on Day Two before the students come to class.  Instruct them to sit where they would like, no pre-assigned seats.

Make a mental note of how students gather, what the groupings appear to be, who's in, who's out, and hypothesizing about the barriers to a healthy class that need to be addressed.

Name Game Directions

From their seat, each student is going to introduce themselves and tell the class one thing they like to do in their free time or share the name of a hobby.

Before they introduce themselves, however, they must recall all the names and likes of the students who have already introduced themselves.  It gets progressively more challenging.

That's why the teacher, yes that's you, goes first AND LAST.

The teacher models the sentence each student is requested to say:

"Hi, I'm Mr. Becker and I like to play guitar."

Start with yourself and then proceed clockwise, starting with the student to your left.

The student will model the following sentence for the others:

"You are Mr. Becker and you like to play guitar.  I'm Janey Rogers and I like to dance."

The next student says, "You're Mr. Becker and you like to play guitar.  You are Janey Rogers and you like to dance.  I'm Scott Smith and I like basketball."

Continue until the end, where it's now the teacher's turn to recall the name and likes of every student.

Finally, invite any one else who would like to try to test their memory and recall everyone's name and likes.

Now, return the desks and chairs to their pre-Name Game positions.

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