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 is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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