In my room, our year is split up into four marking periods. During each marking period we are given a topic of study, and we spend the entire marking period on that topic. Our first marking period is called 'Great Beginnings' and we spend time learning about the rules and routines of the classroom and the school. We also spend a lot of time learning about each other. One of my favorite things to talk about is our name. We do so many fun activities learning about our name, as well as the name's of our classmates and our teachers. During the first few weeks of school last year I chose a name of a student and that student came up to the front of the room, we chanted their name, looked at it, an counted the letters. My littles seemed to enjoy working with their names, but I felt like I wasn't doing enough to help them learn the spelling of their names. Since I knew I wanted to change up how I completed those beginning of the year name activities, I decided to do some research to see what ideas my fellow educators had to say about this. I found some wonderful ideas, so bear with me!!
While flying along through the amazing world of blogs out there, I stumbled across a link to an amazing little gem, the Meacham Name Game. I am sure there are quite a few people out there who already know (and use!) Mrs. Meacham's awesome name activities, and I would love to hear how you use name games/student of the day/etc. activities!! I'd like to share with you my thoughts for using this awesome activity! I'm definitely starting with Rounds 1 and 2, and will be making sure to post about how this works in my classroom! Here's my plan:
Round 1: I will start with having a small bucket with each student's name on a stick. The fist stick I pull (on the day before, I will secretly choose who I want to be the Dragon of the Day so that I can get their portrait papers ready) will be the first person to participate in the Name Game, also known as Dragon of the Day. This student will be asked to come to the front of the room while I write his or her name on a sentence strip, then cut the name apart by letter, placing each letter in the correct order into a pocket chart. We will chant each letter of the name as if we were at a Raven's game: (for 'Gary') "Give me a G" and they would chant back 'G!' When we chanted the last letter, I would ask them, 'What's that spell?' and they would shout back 'Gary!' I don't know about y'all, but my littles LOVE to be allowed to shout in the classroom. I would then introduce the best part, that they are going to get to draw a portrait of their Dragon of the Day. First, I will model for them how to draw the portrait using shapes and the colors to match what the Dragon of the Day is wearing. This helps me to show them how they should use shapes to draw a person. For the first round the name of the Dragon of the Day will be printed on the bottom of the paper (which is why I need to secretly choose the Dragon of the Day before the grand ceremony of the stick-pulling) with lines so the students can attempt to copy the Dragon of the Day's name. Even if they can only trace over the letters of their friend's name, that's fine. I would model this during Whole Group Time so that they could complete their portrait's during the beginning of their Independent Group Time.
Round 2: This round will require some prep-work. Each student will need a small pocket envelope with their picture on each and their cut-apart name inside. We will also need to create a large class graph with a photo of each student and the numbers 1-10 across the top (though probably less since I don't think I'll have anyone in my room with 10 or more letters in their name, but ya never know!!) This round starts the same as the first round, choosing a stick, then putting the letters of that student's name in a pocket chart and chanting. We will add introducing the name puzzles and then place those at one of the ELA (English Language Arts) Centers. Next, we'll count the letters of the Dragon of the Day's name and then place a dragon picture under the correct number for the amount of letters in that student's name. As we complete this round, we'll compare the letters in our names to see who has more/less/same. Please stay with me through the first few weeks of school so you can see how this looks in my classroom!!
Outside my classroom, I spent Friday at the County Fair with my nephew. He is old enough, and tall enough, to get on all of the rides by himself now. He was determined to ride every ride there, and he did a pretty good job of conquering each ride! I think the only one he didn't do was the Loop-the-Loop roller coaster, but everything else he ROCKED!! His mom and I weren't thrilled with how HIGH up he went on some of the rides, but he did AWESOME!! Hope you're enjoying your summer with the ones you love!!
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