How to get students to write their name on their paper EVERY TIME

9:51 AM

I used to feel like a broken record. "Put-your-name-on-your-paper. Put-your-name-on-your-paper. Put-your-name-on-your-paper." Yet somehow, I would go through that stack of papers to grade, and find 4 papers that didn't have names on them.
Does anyone else have this problem? I couldn't be the only one! But then I tried something that actually worked. I learned it from this awesome lady named Salonna.

She was my mentor when I started teaching, and I have to admit, at first I was a little scared of her. She was one of those teachers with a really stern face, and when I was interviewing for the job, I thought for sure she hated me. If a student got sent to her office, it was bad news. She was not afraid to tell it like it was. But after working with her for a few weeks, I discovered she was a lot of fun, and she was a very kind, very passionate, very talented teacher. She had so many tricks up her sleeve from years of teaching. 

I had been teaching for a few weeks and was having trouble getting my students to write their names on their papers. Over and over again I would remind them, but it was no use. I asked Salonna, and she had the most simple trick. It was a song, and it was to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know it." She told me to sing the song every time I passed out papers to the class. As they got their paper, we would be singing the song and they would write their names. It goes like this:

The first thing on your paper is your name.
The first thing on your paper is your name.
Mrs. Beckstrand needs to know if you did your work and so,
The first thing on your paper is your name.

Sometimes the simplest things can be the biggest life-savers. My students loved to sing this song with me, and it really helped cut down on no-name papers. 

However, sometimes you have a super stubborn class that just cannot seem to remember. If this sounds like your class, here is another trick you can try:

I thought this was a great idea, too! When students turn in their paper, they have to highlight their name. This is a surefire way to get them to write their name if the song didn't work. 

Try these ideas out in your classroom and let me know how they worked out for you! Hopefully you will now be able to toss out that broken record and get on with class. : )

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  1. I think this is a fantastic idea, especially for teachers who have their own classrooms (I'm in a middle school in which each class of students has "their" room and the teachers change classes each hour). The song sounds like it could be a good thing to implement! Thanks for the idea!

  2. Great article, love your sharing so much, thank you!


  3. I do a "name check" with my students after I pass out papers. When I say "name check", they have to put a check mark by their name - (or write their name)!


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