The value of name recognition in preschool

One of the best places to start when it comes to teaching young children how to read is to begin with their name. Young children are highly interested in their own name. It has meaning and value to them – it is personal…

Because my wall space is limited, I don’t have a traditional “word wall” like many classrooms do but I do have space for smaller charts throughout the classroom. I have two charts on the wall that display each child’s name at all times. One of the charts is an attendance chart and the other is simply a name chart. The charts are down low so the children can  see and touch their names whenever there is a desire or reason to do so…

Rather than just printing the children’s names on a list to hang on the wall – I like to print each child’s name on a sentence strip and then laminate it. I want the children to be able to interact with their name by looking for it, moving it and using it…

The children also find their names through other activities in our classroom like through different graphs and charts we explore…

We also keep our names handy in our crayon bags so the children can take them out anytime and use them to try and write their own names…

And we play games that invite us to examine our names even further like this sensory name game I have previously shared with you….

In the past few weeks, I have been amazed at how much progress the children have already made in recognizing not only their own name but the names of their peers.  We have a lot of names that start with the letter K this year. It has required my “K” children to look for more than just the first letter in their name….

Name recognition can happen naturally over time. It just takes keeping those names visible and an interactive part of the children’s day.  Everyday our students are looking for their names – on walls, hooks, charts, papers, and in the games we play….


That name up there on the wall

Isn’t just for decoration.

It has meaning, value, and is very personal

in early childhood education.


By |2011-10-31T10:43:16+00:00October 31st, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kristah October 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    So true! I’ve also made it so they could put their names in the poems we say.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 1, 2011 at 12:31 am - Reply

      Cute idea – poems are a great way to help them remember!

  2. Tina October 31, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    I made placemats for each child at the beginning of the year. It has their name framed in numbers and letters. We stamped the handprint n the back and we keep them handy at all times,. We use them at snack time so we know where each child is sitting. I keep them available for whenever they want to use them, and although my kids are only 3 somoe of them can already find theit names! Oh, and i found our parachute today and it was a huge hit for my kids and staff alike!

  3. Tina October 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Oh and they are laminated so we spill things on them all the time and theynjust wash off.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 1, 2011 at 12:30 am - Reply

      It’s always so fun once you see them start to recognized their names. What a great idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 1, 2011 at 12:32 am - Reply

      Love lamination!!

  4. The Mommies Made Me Do It November 1, 2011 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Oh yes! I absolutely agree on this 100%
    My son has been surrounded by his name since birth when I hung the letters from the ceiling in his bedroom.
    It’s the first word he was able to spell verbally and in sign language.
    And it was the jump-off point for his grasping of the alphabet and being able to spell other words… especially words that have the same letters in it as his name.
    Thanx for posting this!

  5. Pamela Spann November 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I have the students names on a home/school chart, cubbie holes, birthdays, word wall, and to manage centers. I have the child’s picture with each name now but will take off the picture in some locations and add last names before the end of the year. They all love finding letters that are in their names.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 5, 2011 at 10:41 am - Reply

      You have a name – rich reading environment!!

  6. Debi February 25, 2012 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Im curious how youve attached your charts to the wall, I couldnt tell by your pictures.
    I just purchased a similar one only for a calendar type. I dont have the stand or easel so Im looking for something I can put up and take down easily since Im doing this from home. Any ideas you have would be very much appreciated!
    Loving your site and getting a world of info and ideas!
    Thank you

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 25, 2012 at 2:14 am - Reply

      I have used removable sticky back wall hooks which are available at most department or hardware stores…

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