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I too am terrible with learning names...(awful infact - I just can't seem to
remember them....now, if they were all ABBA songs I would be albe to recall
them in a second - haha!)
I tried a new thing last year that worked for me....a bit of an expense, but
worth it by the end of the year. I teach highschool art, so on the first
day, I had my camera on it's tripod, and several rolls of film. I already
had two 'x's marked off on the floor. As the students were working on an
assignment, I had them come up, two at a time, and have thier portrait
taken. The students were told that if they really didn't want to have their
picture taken, that would be okay - no one complained. I also told them I
what I would do with them, and that they would not appear in the yearbook,
on a display board, or anywhere in public. I also said they could have the
picture at the end of the term. Once the pictures were developed - I took
them to a cheap one hour photo after school, I cut them all up so that it
was just shoulders and head. The next class they claimed thier face, and we
stuck them on cue cards. THe students then wrote some information for me on
the cards. FOr the first month I would practice looking at the face, and
trying to remember the name.....it did help, but this year I am going to put
the information on the back, so that I review them like flash cards.
Two extra pirks happened with the pictures - if I was going to be away, I
left the classes set of pictures with the information for the sub....found
out that the subs loved it - especially for those trouble makers that
thought they had the sub fooled by changing thier names....also, the first
PT night was early in the term....I pulled all the cards for the parents
that had signed up for an appointment, so that before they walked up to the
desk, I would have a mental note of who their child was....several of the
parents though the idea was great!
Again, I stress though that I did talk to the students about what I would
use the pictures for.....although they thought me a bit wierd, no one
complained, or had a problem with it.
Good luck with whatever method works for you....I am still trying to find
the perfect way to make me learn names, but this is my latest attempt.
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