Learning Names!

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    • #2157
      Zoe Cohen
      Participant

      I remember as a student how cool it was when a professor remembered my name…both in the class (which was cool, unless I was in trouble!)…but also when I was walking outside on campus. Because of this, I try very very hard to learn and remember my student’s names as well…but the trouble comes when I teach in classes with about 200 students! I do my best by looking at the class lists and at least learning the names of students who come to office hours…but I’d love some insight into how others are able to learn names!
      Thanks!!

    • #2168
      Patricia Akhimie
      Participant

      With classes of up to 40 students it can work well to make a set of flashcards. My university provides a roster with photos of each student and I print out a copy and make a set of flashcards for myself. If flashcards work for you you may be able to make this method work to memorized even more names!

      • #2220
        Fred Gonzaga
        Participant

        The picture roster sounds like a good idea. In my case, I go over the list of names in the roster, and ask each student questions such as their program, how long they have been in school, how much longer before graduating, etc., and I write notes to myself. By the second day, I have a lot of names and faces associated. Also, I have a sign-in sheet, and when students come in to sign I look at the sheet trying to remember the name of the student that just signed in.

        • #2417
          Nathasha Brooks
          Participant

          Hi Patricia,
          Your flashcard idea is spot on! It’s simple and do-able. I hope that some of us will incorporate it into our teaching practices.

          Best,
          Nathasha

    • #2206
      Zoe Cohen
      Participant

      Great idea!! I just printed my photo roster and will work on names…I’m not sure about flash cards…but I’m going to try and learn maybe 5 new names each class period!

    • #2258

      The first couple of classes in the semester I have students write name cards that they leave on their desks, which makes it easier for me to address students by name and learn their names. My classes only have 21 students each, so I usually draw a diagram of the classroom setup with students’ names on it. I’ve found students usually sit in the same seats almost every class, so the chart usually comes in handy.

      • #2418
        Nathasha Brooks
        Participant

        Hi Julieanne,
        I just love your diagram idea. It’s true that students usually sit in the same seats over and again. It baffles me, though, why some of them run to the back as if they think we won’t see them. That was a great idea.

        Best,
        Nathasha

        • #2448
          Jamie P
          Participant

          Nathasha,
          I understand your frustration! One of the ACUE videos mentioned “floating” while teaching, so that students are aware that if they sit in the back, the teacher is aware of whether or not they are committing themselves to be fully engaged!

          • #2480
            Nathasha Brooks
            Participant

            Hi Jamie,
            What a novel idea! I am definitely a floater and will walk around the classroom. I dothat to keep the students engaged and “on their toes” because they never know where I might end up. Also, no matter how many times I told them about texting in class, there’s always that one who will try it. So…I walk and I found it helped a lot. I pay special attention to the back because I know they’re there for a reason–and it’s usually to sneak in a text, sleep, or goof off in general. Sleeping is not allowed, so I do as much to keep them engaged as possible. They know my no texting or phone call policy, and I allow them to eat in class of they need to. So why should they feel a need to sneak anything? I find that floating works very well. What is your experience with floating?

            Best,
            Nathasha

            • #2547
              Jamie P
              Participant

              My experience with floating is that it does tend to put students on edge, which can be a good thing for the less serious students, but I also like to reassure them that I’m there to make sure they are having an enjoyable learning experience, so I ask follow-up questions on the material!

    • #2269
      Zoe Cohen
      Participant

      In my smaller classes, I use name cards too!! I actually have a rule in the syllabus that the students lose points if they don’t display their name card! I use this in my 30 person colloquium…I explain to the students that saying “I agree with him”…doesn’t really lead to a great discussion…but saying “I agree with George”…means more!
      Plus…I make my own name tag using glitter glue…So I have fun with that!! 🙂

    • #2275
      Jamie P
      Participant

      These are all great tips. In past classes, my professor has done a first-day activity where the student to their left gives their name, the next student recites the previous student’s name and then gives their own name… until everyone in the circle has listed previous students’ names, and then the teacher lists everyone. It is a fun ice-breaker activity for the first day!

    • #2409
      Taja-Nia Henderson
      Participant

      Each semester, I arrange to have “name tents” for each student printed on foldable cardstock. I distribute the tents and ask students to bring the tents for each class. I then work on learning their names based on seeing their faces / associating with the printed names.

      It sometimes takes a whole semester, but eventually I get it (up to 100 students).

      • #2548
        Jamie P
        Participant

        Wow! So many names!! This sounds like a reliable enough technique. Do you have any other ways of memorizing students names, especially with that sheer volume? I would think that getting to know students during office hours would help in learning names, but I also wonder how you are able to manage meeting so many students’ needs in such a short timeframe of the semester!

    • #2561
      Geoff Decker
      Participant

      Hey all,

      First time poster, long time reader. I’m putting together this week’s newsletter for the ACUE Community (Sign up here! http://eepurl.com/bSNHQX) and came across this article about how mispronounced names affect students:

      Mispronouncing Students’ Names: A Slight That Can Cut Deep http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/05/11/mispronouncing-students-names-a-slight-that-can.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1

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