This tip is a great way to break the ice with your new class.
Tell your students that you will do something special for them if you don’t know all of their first and last names by the end of the first week of school (or first half-week, if you start midweek). I like to promise treats: simple snacks, for example, that I can give to my students at snack time.
Suddenly, the kids don’t care so much when you mix them up!
Practicing their names is a good activity to kill time and help with getting-to-know-you. Perhaps you finish teaching your going-to-lunch procedure, but there are still five minutes until lunch. You can go around the room and try to say the names, or you can have the kids introduce themselves again.
Be ready with whatever you promised on Challenge Day. You’re giving it to the students regardless—they just don’t know that yet.
You can’t let them down after promising a treat! Besides, if you give them the treat even after saying everyone’s name correctly, you come off as generous and cool.
At Challenge Time, close your eyes and have the kids move around so they are sitting in different desks. Now their name tags won’t help you, and the challenge is much harder because you used location as a way to fix names in your memory.
Don’t worry if you mess up. The kids win either way!
Wasn’t that fun?