In a message dated 3/2/01 1:12:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> ( I try not to let them know I don't know
> it - in other words, don't make it obvious you're checking their tag.)
> The kids I learned first seemed to be the "trouble makers"
> charts are a simple map of the tables in my room, with kids
> names written in at the appropriate table.
The above statements were true for me too.
When I first started, I had K-8, 540 students a week, and instead of listing
the names in alphabetical order in the grade book, I put them in by how they
sat at the table. I made seating charts and shrunk them to fit in the grade
book to "cheat" from. I also told every student that all artists sign their
work but because students often forget to put their names and class on their
art, its the first thing they'd have to do. "No name, no grade!" I would
say, as I walked around checking. Usually that statement prompts them to put
their names on... (They didn't have to know that it was so I could know who
they were!) There was no way I could remember over 500 students. As I made
my rounds, I'd see their names, and I got to know many of them after awhile.
I also graded them walking around the room, rather than collecting all that
work! It didn't matter if I knew their names or not, I would check the chart
quick before I corrected them, or would walk over to them and discreetly note
the name on the project before saying whatever I had to say. They thought I
knew them. And after awhile I did!
Now in middle school, I see them every day, I made a "map" of the table
set-up in the room on large index card sized seating charts for each class.
In the beginning of a term, I call their names but now I try to take
attendance silently with the cards, visually linking name & face. I have new
students, and I still don't know most of them. (Its true that whatever
system you devise, you always learn the disruptive kids' names first!)
Today, there were quite a few students not in their assigned seats. I told
them they'd better get in their correct seat or I would mark them absent even
if they were in the room. That worked, and my school's kids can be apathetic
about such things.... If someone comes to you & asks a question about their
grade or something, I ask them their last name. They often assume that you
know them only by first names! If they ask for a pass, I ask them to spell
their last name or even their first, cause where I teach , most names are
When you don't know the names, it makes you feel helpless, and the kids know
it and take advantage! Do whatever works for you to learn the names. Once
names can easily roll off your tongue correctly, everything in the room seems
easier! Til then, CHEAT! LOL