At this time of year I am desperate to learn students’ names and personalities, as I want students to feel that I value who they are as individuals. My idea this week is to modify an idea from the World Language teachers and have students create vocabulary names for themselves (rather than Spanish, French, German or Latin name).
Not only does this help me remember their names, but hopefully gives me a clue as to their personalities and, most importantly, helps students begin to learn some new vocabulary words.
First, students should flip through their vocabulary book (or alternatively a vocabulary list or even VocabGal’s word of the week to familiarize themselves with some higher level words). Have them write down the words that in some way describe their personalities-preferably with some alliterative or consonance connection to their own first and/or last name.
Elementary: Ms. Ressler at the Center (as the teacher) Ms. Ressler the Inventor (that’s what we teachers do every day!) Ms. Ressler the Present Leader (this year, I’m your teacher)
Middle/High School: Ms. Ressler the Benefactor (I am here to give you knowledge) Ms. Ressler the Venerable Renegade (I like to flout traditions and am become respected amongst my peers)
Have the students write their finalized name (extra points/awards if they can use more than one word) on the template provided and decorate it. They can attach it to their desks, you can hang up the slips around the room, etc; you decide where they should go.
In the end, this brief activity can serve to introduce your vocabulary book, help students access previous vocabulary or simply set up the expectation that words are important for us at an individual level! Plus, you can call students by their vocabulary names the rest of the year to really drive home those words!
Please share your students’ best names and let us all know how you might modify this activity to better fit the needs of your students.