Learn Student Names Quickly with Name Tents

When you see hundreds of students in a week, have a new roster every 7 weeks, or are brand new to a school, the process of learning student names can take months, and might, I dare to say, even take the whole year.

Instead of using my cop out trick, calling on students using terms like “Yes Dear” or “Friend” as I learn their names, try using their real names from the very start with the simple addition of putting up name tents. I will explain this brilliant method I snatched from a colleague in this video.

Using students’ names as soon as possible will help build respect and the classroom community you are looking for. Looking for more ways to learn student names quickly? Check out this article.

How do you learn student names quickly?

Any other tricks up your sleeve? 

6 years ago

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Vicky Siegel

    Students in kindergarten in first grade bring in a white art shirt (it is on their classroom teacher’s list for the beginning of the school year. I write their names large on the front and back and on the second day of art they decorate them. They use fabric markers and (bingo) dabbers. Then, they wear the art shirts to art every class, and it helps with names prevents messy clothes. I am pretty good about knowing the other students, so I do not do this with them, but some of them still bring their first grade decorated art shirt when I e-mail the teacher that an art shirt is needed that class! This year I asked for the art shirts ahead of time and wrote names on during my time and taped off a square on the front. Kindergartners listened to the book “Art” by Patrick McDonnell and tried to use his shapes and lines with the dabbers. They added a “frame” for their masterpiece with the markers. Second graders used the dabbers for bugs and markers for details for their masterpiece. (Remember to place a paper or tagboard inside so the masterpiece doesn’t bleed through to the back—I did this ahead of time, too.)

    • Vicky,
      It’s a great idea to focus just on your Kinders when you know the other students at the school already! The shirt idea is very clever.

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