- Names of classmates, step out of the comfortable world of ‘me’ to realize that others are around
- Encourage your child to learn names
- Teachers have various ways of introducing kids to each other, reinforce this when your child gets home
Kindergarten and First Grade students have been in school now for 3 weeks or more. How many friends’ names from class has your child learned? 1, 2, or hopefully more. 5 and 6 year olds live in a very ‘me’ world and do not often realize what is going on right around them, especially in a classroom Kindergarten and First Grade teachers spend a great deal of time in September helping the children to learn their new classmates’ names but no matter how hard we try, it is hard for many children. They will refer to another child as ‘that girl’ or ‘that boy in the red shirt.’ When this happens I stop them and make them go to that child and ask what his/her name is and then come back and repeat it to me. Sometimes, by the time the child returns to me with the name, he/she has already forgotten it and we have to start the process all over. Kindergarten teachers will sing out names of children, dance to names of children, and play I Spy with names of children all in an effort to help our new little class family get to know one another. It is a challenge but we work on it every day. You could help at home by asking your child to name a few class friends each day when he/she arrives home from school. Write the names on a piece of paper and continue to add to the same list each day when you talk about the school day with your child. You could reward your child with a sticker for new names learned and you should continue until the list is complete. You might check with your child’s teacher to find out how many children are in the class and make a pretty big deal when your child finally completes the list and has learned the names of all of his/her new Kindergarten or First Grade friends.