Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Name Games {Back to School}

I am looping to 2nd grade this year.  As I began to prepare for the new school year I realized that some of my tried and true first week activities weren't going to work since I've had this group already.  They're a quick bunch and they would look at me like I had 3 heads if I did some of the basic name stuff again.  I always ask them when they're confused why they look at me like I have 3 heads and children are so literal.  They always respond with "Ms. Fleming you don't have 3 heads." - to which I say, "I know! So get to work." 

Back to my point.  I had to dig deep and come up with some name activities and first week activities that go a little deeper.  I am sure I will have 1 or 2 new kiddos added to my roster so I couldn't leave it out all together.  I created a new mini unit to incorporate all of the things I want to do. 

I found a great book that I've never used before called "The Name Jar" by Yangsook Choi. I realize this is not a new book but it's new to me! I will kick off the week using this book. The activities in the unit were inspired by the book but you don't actually need the book to do any of the activities in the unit. 

The first week, I have a letter going home to parents asking about how they chose their child's name.  I'm really excited to get some good stories back on this one.  I also have created an activity to do using student initials.  I plan to take some time to teach them about their initials and the purpose of them.  I'm changing my last name this year which I'm pretty sure is going to be impossible since I'm looping and the kiddos already know my name...I'm hoping the name and initial lessons will help them understand why in the world I'm going by a new name now.  I'm hoping it won't backfire and they won't all suddenly declare that they too are changing their name...

I definitely have some unique names in my class that I really want to embrace.  From personal experience, I can say that it would be nice if some people I've met in life could have embraced my name a little more kindly! My first name is Randi - different I know, but nonetheless, it's my name.  I have heard all kinds of comments about it from people over the years.  It's usually the worst at doctors offices.  For whatever reason, people feel that they can give me their opinion {good or bad} about my name since it's unique.  It's made for some awkward conversations especially when people are expecting a BOY.  It does come in handy though whenever I need to call somewhere like Verizon.  I just have my fiance call and handle stuff like that.  Since it's a boy's name, they never question it.   

I would love to hear any suggestions or tips for looping! 

Here is the preview of my Name Games unit for those of you that are still searching for just the right activities. 


  1. I love your name! I had a friend years ago that I have since lost contact with, that had your name - spelling and all. Every time I see your name I smile.
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  2. The Name Jar is a great story-I had forgotten about that one. I often wonder how people come up with some of the names they do-I love old-fashioned names! I am also struggling with coming up with new first week activities as I am looping as well.


  3. I love new name games! And I love the book The Name Jar. I usually have a very limited amount of typical American names, as the majority of my students come from families who have recently moved to the US from other countries. I like encouraging the kids to say their names so that I can be sure that I am saying them correctly and of course for classroom community building, but kids can be very shy about saying their names at first so anything that makes it fun is valuable. :)

    Lindsey at Forever First Grade



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