Our Name Project continues in full force. Over the last week, the children have started to read each other’s names with greater accuracy and many of them are even spelling each other’s names from memory. It is exciting to see their enthusiasm and interest in each other. I hear them referencing similarities in their names throughout the day. For example, “hey, we both start with the same letter” or “You have two syllables in your name too!”

Every day one of the children is the class helper. In the first round, we make an “All About Me” chart about each child. The children learn the pattern of the chart and can read their charts and those of their friends.

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My name is Meredith. It is also Mama (to my son), DeDe (to my nephews), Mere (to my husband, parents and friends) and Mrs. Burton (to my students). My name is part of who I am and shares part of my identity in a given moment. I like my many names and emotion and relationship is associated with each one.

The same is true for children. A very young child often calls himself by his own name (in the third person) for a period of time after he learns to say it. It is special and valuable. Children like to hear how it sounds.  For preschoolers, it is often the first word they can read and write. A sense of pride comes with recognizing and forming the letters to make our own marks. This summer, my son was old enough to get his own library card. One of the most important parts of having his own card was the act of signing the back in his own printing – carefully displaying ownership of that card.

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