Working with Children’s Names
Young children love their names. It is often the first written print that they identify with, and the first word they learn to write. All Writing Centers should be equipped with children’s names; initially with pictures, so that they can begin to identify their own and peers’ names in print.
Children’s names are a vehicle for letter and phonics teaching and learning. When teachers engage in public writing they will often begin writing a word and hear a child say “that’s my name!” as they write a singular letter. This is a teaching moment to acknowledge that the letter starts the child’s name. Children should engage in many opportunities to manipulate the letters in their names, while teachers help them identify the sounds each letter makes.
Stages of Name Writing
Children benefit from many opportunities to trace their name before they are expected to write it independently. When children do begin writing their names independently, they should be given a model to copy from.