Friday, November 06, 2009

Same or Different

My first graders sign in every morning. This was a recommendation from my fabulous reading co-teacher and I love it.

The kids:
  • see each other's names everyday
  • practice writing their own name (neatly on lined paper) everyday
  • practice writing with an upper case letter followed by lower case letters
Plus, it makes it easy for me to see who is absent.

Today, I changed it up a little. For those kids who are consistently writing their names correctly , with upper case and lower case letters I added their last name to the sign in sheet. Many of these kids don't know how to spell their last name and some can't even tell you it. So, this is good practice for them. Also, we're hoping those who aren't consistently writing their first name properly will focus more on it in order to add their last name.

I overheard one little girl, as she was signing in, say to a boy, "Hey, we have the same last name!" I thought, "How fabulous that they'll make these connections now."

Later, when looking at this with my amazing co-teacher, she pointed out to me that I put the wrong last name for this little boy. They do not have the same last name. Thank goodness she caught it early so that he doesn't write the wrong name for weeks! He didn't seem to notice that it wasn't right. Ah, first grade.

Update: When I picked my students up from art this afternoon this boy was so proud to show me that he had written his first and last name on his work. It was not the correct last name. Ugh. On Monday he and I will have to look at the new sign in sheet and talk about my mistake.

I can't decide if I should be so impressed with how quickly he has taken on trying to write his last name or depressed that he doesn't realize it isn't his last name. (They do start with the same letter and are similar, in his [and my] defense.)


Anonymous said...

I expect my kindergarteners to write their first and last names by Christmas Break. On the other hand, they generally have NO idea what their address is or phone number. For some, the phone numbers change so much that it's problematic. I've been thinking about having their parents teach them any stable phone number with area code for a relative. I asked what they would tell the police if they were lost... "I live in the house on the corner."

ya ya's mom said...

where do you put their names after they sign in? i've wanted to try this, but wonder about you just have a sign in sheet and have it on a table? sentence strips? help me please :)

Jenny said...

ya ya's mom: I've got two different sheets to fit all the names. Each sheet has the names down the left hand side in 'Penmanship Print' font and then just blank 'Penmanship Print' beside that so they can see their name in order to write it correctly. It's evolved throughout this year and this is where we are now. I'm pretty happy with it, at the moment at least.

ya ya's mom said...

so you post it? Is it just stuck on the wall?

Jenny said...

ya ya's mom: I'm so sorry I didn't really answer your question! I just put the paper out on a table. Actually, I've now moved to putting the page with just first names on one table and the paper with first and last names on a different table to spread the kids out as they get ready in the morning. I've kept the pages as the year has continued so that I, and the kids, can see the progress.