Step into cover an unknown class or help out and you quickly realise the power of knowing student names. Generally, I am hopeless at remembering peoples names, so I make a big effort to learn students names at the start of the year. I wanted to share a few tips that have worked for me.
1. I make a point on the first day of telling my students that I am hopeless at learning names, they always make an effort with me to help me learn their names.
2. I make a seating chart so that the students are always in the same seats.
3. When marking attendance in the first few days I look up after each name and make eye contact with the students and try to take in their faces and create some kind of memorable mnemonic.
4. My most effective tip is to get the students to make a name card with a small picture that represents them. Then they explain in to me and I take a photo. (I explain to students that it is for my eyes only, they understand beause they know I am trying to learn their names). I have also done this with a polaroid camera and made a wall display with the photos.
Below are some tips from Edutopia.