3 Easy Steps to Write your Name
The first stage of learning names occurs when children start to recognize them! Young children begin to recognize the shape of their initial letter and often identify that first letter as “MY NAME!” They might find that initial letter in other places (separate from their names), point to it and say, “Look! There’s my name!” even if it is just the one letter.
In preschool, we can do lots of things to foster children’s recognition of their names. We label everything (lockers, change of clothes cubbies, snack chairs, carpet squares, folders, attendance chart, helper chart, and the alphabet wall) with their names and pictures, so that they begin to claim ownership of that very important word!
We use circle time as an opportunity to practice recognizing not only the child’s own name, but the names of all the classmates as well. With repeated exposure and practice recognizing each other’s names, the children begin to identify letters.
The next step, after children can recognize their names is to begin to spell them orally. We practice this in many ways. A child might be able to recite, “E-T-H-A-N” without seeing it written down. Then they will notice each letter. We provide a name activity like this one each morning for our students to practice. We practice with both capital letters, and we also practice matching capitals to lower case.
When the children are comfortable with recognizing and spelling their names, the next step is to work on writing them. Often these steps overlap and work in conjunction with each other! We give our children lots of opportunities to write their names with sidewalk chalk, paint, markers, in salt trays, etc. They are also work on strengthening their hand muscles and refining their fine motor skills. Our older Pre-K students (less than 1 year to kindergarten) also sign in their names each morning. It’s such a rewarding way to keep track of their progress. When children begin to write, they often use what they already know about names.
Ms. Nora Sierra
EC Assistant Principal