While many preschoolers can identify their names by January, my little learners were behind the eight ball with name recognition at this point in the year. We started our preschool program in January so we had to play a little catch up in the area of name recognition.
So what is a preschool teacher to do when her students can’t recognize their name in print?
Well, spend oodles of time providing opportunities for your kiddos to interact with their printed name in fun and meaningful ways of course!
One way I did this in my classroom way by making Name Recognition Name Puzzles for my little learners using card stock and clothes pins.
A super simple way to let little fingers get moving on motor dexterity while working on name recognition at the same time. Yippie! Two skills for the price of one!
Simply print out each name on a strip of card stock or sentence strip.
Add each letter to a clothes pin. I like to put consonants in blue and vowels in red.
Then let your little learners pull off their clips and clip them back on as they match up the letters in their name.
Modification – If you find your little ones can’t manipulate the clothes pins yet (my little ones couldn’t in the beginning) simply let them place the clothes pin on top of the corresponding letter instead of clipping it on. Eventually their little muscles will develop and before you know it they will be clipping away!
After the first few times of doing this activity in small group where students would come to our table and find their names (with assistance), I began putting them out at choice time in the mornings.
I would spread all 15 Name Recognition Puzzles out on our big carpet and the kiddos would have to find their name. Often times we found that this sparked team work as students worked together to help each other find their names.
We also found as the year went on, our little learners started exploring their friends’ names as well as.