I am about to start a new teaching position in which I will work in a computer lab in a large school where I will be seeing a few hundred students every year. Remembering names will be a constant challenge.

Do any of you have any suggestions or success stories as far as creating name plates that can be easily viewed in front of the computers but also quickly switchable throughout the day as classes rotate through the lab? Thanks for your ideas.

Tags: classroom, lab

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Hi Andrew,

I am the elementary computer lab teacher at my school. I have 400+ students and two years ago, I shared your concern. Here's what I did and it works out nicely for me:

Instead of buying nameplates that you would affix to a desk, I bought packages of larger cards that teachers use to hand write words for their word walls. The ones I bought came in packages of 96 cards, so intitally, I bought 5 packages so I'd have extras. Then I wrote my students' names on them using a black marker. These cards were large enough to be seen from a distance, as opposed to the traditional nameplate.

Then I bought little plastic hooks (I think thet are manufactured by 3M) that have a sticky tape on the back. In my computer lab, the computers are set up so that all my students face the front of the room. So I stuck the hooks to the back of each of the computer monitors. Then I hole-punched each name card, so I could put them up and take them down in between classes.

Another good suggestion is to use a seating chart. I created a seating chart for every class and assigned seats on the first day they visited the lab. By having them in the same seat every time, I got to know them faster and could hang their name card each time before they came to class. At first I assigned seats alphabetically and alternated boy-girl. But when I started my second year, I already knew my students in grades 4-6, so I used that knowledge of personalities and assigned seats accordingly.

I chose to save the kids' name cards each year and reorganize them by new class assignments. In that way, I only have to create name cards for incoming 3rd graders and new pupils.

This system works out really well for me. I hope it will help you, too! Good luck!
I see about 300 students per year in grades Kindergarten through eight. I didn't use name plates. I did make sure to have the students sit in the same seat every class. That way, I could use the seating chart to remind me of the student's names. Some names will stick with you right away and others will take more time. After completing my sixth year, it's now only the Kindergarten class and any new students whose names I have to learn. So, it does get easier when there are only 50 or so names versus the 300 the first year. I just didn't want to figure out how to juggle getting the name cards handed out each class and take time from getting into the lesson. I'm sure you'll find a solution that works for you. Let us know when you do.
Make an effort to memorize each student's name and face. I have taught for over 35 years. I've found over the years that you will get a better response from the students and they will take better care of the equipment, if they think you know them. I know I feel better when I am addressed by my name.
I have found like Ann in the response above that assigned seats and a seating chart are the mandatory tools to accomplish the task of learning their names.
Take this advice for what its worth and good luck :))
Hey, This is my first year teaching computer lab also. I made a seating chart for the lab (squares depicting computers) I made a chart for each class that comes in to the lab, students sit in the same seat every time they come in. So, each computer square has the student name that sits there. Get it! I put the chart in a clear cover and also the class list, opposite (for all classes) in a binder. Great for a sub!
You will learn the students this way, and you can place students where YOU want them.

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