Are your students too old for the traditional desk plate name tags?
I want my students to have name tags but they feel that the ones with the number lines and other reference items are too young for them. Because of this I have my students design their own name tag.
By having them design their own, they take ownership of it and take pride in displaying it all year long.
There is very little prep involved to have them ready for your students to design. All you have to do is cut a 8.5 x 11 inch piece of card stock in half and write your students’ names on them.
I usually draw a bubble around the name but you can be creative in your design. Do you want a straight lined box? Go for it. Do you want pointed star bursts? Go for it.
I only have 4 criteria for the students to follow.
- Only use light or bright colors around their name.
- Fill the entire paper.
- Use only markers or pencil crayons. Regular crayons will make a mess when you laminate the name tags.
- And lastly, color and draw neatly. Who wants a messy name tag.
I put this criteria on the Smartboard to reference as I go over the criteria and so that as students are working they can have a reminder. If you would like a FREE copy of my criteria page you can get it here.
I always emphasize that they should take their time and do a neat job because they will be on their desk for the ENTIRE year. It is always great if I have students in my class who where there last year (this usually happens because I always teach split grades) who can confirm that the name tags will indeed be used ALL year.
I love seeing how each student works on their name tag. It tells me a lot about them at the beginning of the year.
- Do they rush through their work?
- Do they plan things out or jump right in?
- Do they like to draw or do they prefer color designs?
- How thoughtful are they when they are choosing their color combinations?
- Do they copy someone else’s design? I don’t care if they do. I just take note of this.
- If they make a mistake, do they ask to start over or try and make it work first?
- Do they like to work with others or by themselves? I let them choose when we do art projects.
It is amazing how much information about your students you can get from just simply having them make name tags.
Once the name tags are complete and I have laminated them they go on the front of the desks.
If students are in groups where the front of the desks are not showing, then the name tags go on the side or the top.
The name tags come in handy when students are handing out work, when hot lunch is being delivered and the students aren’t in the class yet, or when we have a guest teacher.
Just because your students are not in primary grades, it doesn’t mean they can’t have a name tag on their desk. It is all in how you frame the activity in their minds.
Talk to them about showing their creativity and they will be happy to display their name proudly.
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