Name Practice in Kindergarten is something we always started the school year off with. Learning how to write your name is such a big deal when you’re little. Many of us still have Kindergarten students coming to school that still don’t know how to write their name or write it correctly. Here are some ways for kindergarteners to practice their names.
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Whole Group Name Practice
The first few weeks of school, we are learning our classmates names. I do a few whole group activities for us to get to know each other. This is also a good way for kids to recognize what their own name looks like.
We use my popular Fluency & Fitness to learn our classmate names, but also get in some movement. This Getting To Know You Fluency & Fitness resource is editable, so you can simply add in your class photos and names. Your students can say the name of the kid or do the exercises, depending on which slide is shown.
For a fun, musical way for name practice in Kindergarten, we sing “The Plate Song,”. All the students form a circle on the rug. We then sing “The Plate Song” and I throw 2-3 plates on the ground. If a student recognizes his/her name, they get to pick up the plate. So simple, but they love it! The song is very catchy too, so after 2 times of singing by myself, most of the kids have already learned it.
The Plate Song
tune: If You’re Happy And You Know It
If your name is on a plate pick it up, (clap clap)
if your name is on a plate pick it up, (clap clap)
if your name is on a plate, then you’re doing really great,
if your name is on a plate pick it up!
Name Practice Activities for Centers
When working on names, we talk about how to correctly form our letters and what a name should look like. I then have them rotate through some centers where they can get hands-on practice.
These alphabet beads are a fun way for kids to practice names, while getting in some fine motor practice. These beads are great to use all year long for word work. Simply add a pipe clear or string and you’re good to go. I also like keeping all the supplies in these small photo boxes.
Rainbow writing is such a easy way to practice names and they love it! I write their name on a piece of paper and they take turns using different colors of crayons to trace their name. Super simple, yet fun!
To incorporate more fine motor skills and name practice, I use toothpicks. However, you could use this for sight words, letters, numbers, etc. throughout the whole school year because the students have so much fun with it.
Each student gets a paper with their name on it. They then take a toothpick and poke holes through their name. Once they are done with their name, they can hold it up to the light and it kind of making it looks like their name is shining like stars.
Another name activity I use are student name puzzles. Each student gets a bag with their name on it and a puzzle inside. The name is on the front in case they still need help spelling their name.
It’s really interesting to see which students know how to put puzzles together and how they go about it.
Another easy center is building names with magnetic letters. Put all the letters on a small cookie sheet so that kids don’t lose the pieces.
Lastly, I incorporate sorting into our name practice in Kindergarten. This way I can work on names during reading, writing, and math! I just created this new FREEBIE for you to use your first few weeks of school. It has many activities included to help students recognize their name, as well as their peer’s names. Students can work on counting letters, clapping syllables, and sorting!
I write student names on flashcards and use pictures of each student for different sorting activities. At the beginning of the year, you may just have students play memory with their friend’s pictures, but later in the school year, they could match the picture to a name. You can easily put these activities in a center tub or pocket chart.
Handwriting Without Tears actually promotes beginning writing in capital letters. I taught my son to write his name in all caps and I remember his kindergarten teacher being upset with me! Ha! Love your plate song and I will plan to use that in my preschool classroom. We are working on names, too. (In all caps, sorry!)
Brittany Lynch says
I've heard of Handwriting without Tears, but I've never seen it in action. Your comments are cracking me up! I know it's a lot easier in preschool to write in uppercase letters, it's just hard to get them to switch how they write their name in K b/c they "think" they already know how to write it 🙂 Thanks for visiting my page!