Memorize Student Names in a Hurry with Your Cell

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Record the Students Saying their Names

This seems so obvious, but it never occurred to me to record a 30-second video on my phone of the students saying their names. I recently began teaching part-time at a middle school and my phone helped me learn about 45 names in a few days.

What I Did

  • Created name tags and hung them on each students’ chairs. The backs of the name tags had a short questionnaire for them to fill-out while they settled into their first class with me.
  • When students were lined-up for dismissal, I whipped out my cell phone and took a video. I started at the front of the line and had each child say their name. This also helped me learn nicknames and name pronunciations.
  • Every day, I watched the video on my phone several times.
  • I would mute the video or pause it to see if I could guess their names before they said them.
  • I also read their questionnaires and tried to mentally match their faces with the fun facts they shared about themselves on the survey.


IOS Apps

You could also try apps that have been created to remember names, such as Name Shark or Namerick.
  • Name Shark (free) allows you to create groups and share them with other teachers. This would be great if you become friends with someone like the P.E. teacher, who may have the same students.
  • Namerick ($0.99) can also create groups of names but is unique in that it will create a mnemonic device for each name. The video below uses the example of Fred. The app will populate a mnemonic such as “Fred Floats Felines.” The mnemonics could be fun to set to music or use as a vocal warm-up!
Hope these quick and simple tips are helpful or inspire you to create a fun way to get to know your students! Have a wonderful year!

Hello Music Teachers!

I'm Jane, and I'm here to help make teaching more fun and less stressful by sharing ideas for the general music classroom! I've taught general music since 2009 and now focus on early childhood music.



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