Learning all your students' names can be challenging, particularly at the beginning of a new school year, but it's essential for positive classroom management and relationships. We share our favourite, tried and trusted strategies to help you.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020

  1. Name games. Play a simple name game: happy Holly, joking Jack, etc. Each student must create their own name. Mix the game up by students saying their name and passing it on. Vary adjectives according to age. 

  2. Peer naming. Say the name of a peer, throw a ball to them and ask a question. 

  3. Name cards. Get students to make their own name cards. Use them for as long as you need. 

  4. Style file. Make a mental note of any distinguishing features (interesting shoes, distinctive hair, etc.) and connect that with the student’s name.

  5. Quirky facts. Ask students to introduce themselves with a unique trait, unusual hobby or most prized possession.        
  6. Seating plan. Create one for every class and ask students to sit in the same place for a couple of weeks until you are comfortable using their names.      

  7. Photo guide. Print off student photos with your seating plan, and colour code for SEN/differentiation.

  8. Total recall. If you are really struggling, redraw your seating plan from memory, and try to learn the names you couldn’t recall.

  9. Rhyming recollections. Associate names with a rhyming word, i.e. Ryan/lion.      

  10. Imagery. Associate a visual image with names, based on the meaning of the name, or anything that you personally associate with it, i.e. Sultana/queen, Craig/rock, etc.       

Download all 20 tips for remembering students' names below:  

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