A core skill at the beginning of the 3s/4s year is being able to recognize your own name. It helps the kids move through day and also builds classroom community.
This year, I decided to make it into a week long “celebration of names.” Each child had their own name puzzle (happy to give more details on how I made them if you are interested). We put them together and compared and contrasted different names. It was a chance to look at how different and special each name was.
The next day we celebrated the names of teachers in our school. We looked at pictures of all the teachers and shared the names we knew. We essentially treated them like “flash cards” practicing everyone’s name. Now the pictures are on the science table with magnifying glasses for closer examination.
Today, we shared who was in our family and wrote it on a big class family tree. This was entirely child directed. Some put in just the people who lived with them, others included pets, extended family or friends. There was no wrong answer! The tree is now up in our circle to look at by anyone in the class.
While they were sharing about their families there were a lot of comments about different family structures, pets and family members who have died and who has recently come to visit. Each child had a chance to share anything they wanted to.
I also encouraged them to look at the family photo wall in the hallway and ask their friends to show them people in their family. After meeting a little group was out there exclaiming over brothers and sisters and pointing out their families.