2 Tools to Help You Learn Students’ Names

“A name represents identity, a deep feeling and holds tremendous significance to its owner.” – Rachel Ingber

Many of us are headed back to school. Within the first days you need to cultivate relationships and create a community. Learning each other’s names correctly is significant to forming a strong bond with your students and for students to form strong bonds with each other. This can be especially tough, because parents nowadays are very creative with spellings and pronunciations of names. Also, many of our students are from diverse backgrounds and countries. More than likely we will encounter names we don’t know how to pronounce or are completely new to us. Recently, I wrote a post for ESL Library, Let’s Learn Each Other’s Names, with plenty of activities, web tools, and apps for learning students names. Below, I’ve listed two of these resources and a slideshow.

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  • Name Shark is a free iOS app, which helps you learn names. First open the app on your device. Then pass the device around and get students to take selfies and type in their names and details. I remind them to type in the names they prefer to be called. After that you can learn their names through 4 types of quizzes- self practice, a face quiz, a names quiz, and details quiz.
  • Pronounce Names is a website and Android app which allows you to type in a name and learn the pronunciation. Students should first check to see if their names are on the website and pronounced correctly. There is also an option to add their names and provide different pronunciations.

Challenge: Try any of these resources to learn your students’ names quickly and help your students learn each other’s names!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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