Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Name Writing Activities and FREEBIES!

 Today, I'd like to share some of my favorite name writing activities to use with  your class.   I found some wonderful freebies to share with you, too!

Let's start in order.  Before the year even begins,  I like to have parents start thinking about working with their child at home on some important skills.  

This activity is nice to send home with families, even before the year begins, to practice writing their names.  I laminate the green cardstock name I wrote, write an explanation of how we write letters and names (starting from the top!), and draw a dot on each letter to show where to begin.  I found sponges and dry erase markers at the Dollar Store. ( I cut the sponges into smaller pieces to make them go farther because it doesn't take much of a sponge to erase!  You could also  use a pompom.)

Once we begin the school year,  here are my favorite name books to use before our name writing activities:

Each morning as the children arrive, they complete our Name Graph question of the day.  
After they complete the graph, they sign in by writing their name next to the name I have written for them on our sign in sheet for extra name writing practice.  I save the sign in papers from the beginning of the year, just to show them at the end of the year how much they have grown!

This Name Graph (with lots of variations) idea is one of the MANY ideas I shared in Dr. Jean's Reading Recipes.  We wrote the book last year, sharing our very favorite reading activities that have worked best for us over the  years.  I had so much fun writing it with her.  We wanted to put it together so it's very easy to use , the activities require very little if any preparation  or materials, and it's handy to flip through and find an idea to use to teach a specific skill.

I have magnetic letters in a bag with a magnetic name to practice spelling names on the whiteboard. This works out well for students who need extra practice with their own name, but it's also fun for the children to practice spelling their friends' names.

How much do you love these name puzzles from Totschooling?  These would be great to use for your whole class, or even just as something special for those sweeties who have a hard time spelling their name.

This is another fun way to practice name writing!  Write one letter on top of each strip of colored paper. Have students order the paper to spell their name and then practice writing those letters!  I'm so sorry, I cannot find the original link for this activity.  When I do, I will put it in here. If it's your idea, thank you and please let me know!  

If you know a sweet worker at a paint store, maybe you could get enough paint sample strips to have your students practice writing names on those!  Line the strips up and practice one letter on each strip, writing a letter in each shade!   You could punch a hole in the corner of the strips and clip them together with a book ring, so each student would have a colorful name ring!

You can find strips of color shades online, if you google "shades of color"  (well, duh!).  Here is one example at

I love this little name poem by Jean Warren.  I made some different styles if you would like one.  Just click the  picture below!

After we read this name poem, I have the children turn it over, cut apart the letters in their names from two colors of names I  printed,  and make two AB pattern names. 

We also make Chicka Chicka Boom Boom name trees with letters cut from magazines. 

You don't even need to flip through magazines anymore... I know.  That is so old school.  But it is fun for the kids to discover the letters in magazines or newspapers, like a treasure hunt!  However, you can find lots of letters online to print and cut.  MamaVonTeacher shared these FREE at her TPT store.  

Printable Magazine Letters, Black & White, Alphabet a-z: WPrintable Magazine Letters, Black & White, Alphabet a-z: W

Do you want a magic way to have your students practice writing their name 17 or 18 times in about half an hour- and to LOVE doing it?  Well, here you go!

I am not kidding. I almost felt guilty-like it wasn't schooly-enough- the kids had so much fun.  
First, I made everyone one of these homemade  fabulous clipboards and opened some new skinny markers for the occasion.  I do have some clipboards, just not enough. My thinking was that if they were all sad looking and homemade, there would be no arguing about who got what.  They all thought these were "cool," because they didn't know any better.   

You can also just use a heavy piece of poster board or cardboard  and a paperclip.  The students can decorate their own poster board and have their very own clipboard!
 After we read this story about being a friend (one of my favorites...),

I explained that each person would have a clipboard, paper, and marker.  Our job was to go around to each person, and ask each friend to sign our paper as we signed our friend's paper.  We would only be writing our own name every time, once on each paper.  We would collect all of our friends' names.  I modeled this with a few children. I said, "Would you please sign my paper, and I will sign yours?"  We switched boards, signed, and moved to another child. 

They could write anywhere they wanted, with any color marker they chose.  That was enough joy for the entire day.  I wish I had taped the entire lesson.  They were so sweet and polite asking each other for names. Of course they love to have your name on their paper, too. (And I sort of felt like a celebrity when they were each excited to have me write my name for them. It doesn't take much to make me happy...)

If you want a copy of the simple sheet I used for recording, just click the picture below.
Feel free to make a "fancier" sheet! :) I liked this simple sheet, because  I told the children that the paper would be so colorful and pretty after they each wrote their names with different color markers.  The minute they got the paper, they started reading, "I like, I like, I like..." so even that was great!

This name idea is from Teacher's Net Gazette.  What a cute bulletin board idea!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these Alphabet Anchor Chart letters from Lavinia Pop.  She's done a beautiful job with each letter and sound.  The set has a black and white version, colored version, and colored version with a chalkboard background.  She has the soft C and soft G sounds, too.   She also has a Lowercase Letters Set and a Numbers Set.

I am going to use the "K" to write  'K is for Kindergarten' across the top of the lockers.  If you click on the picture, you can see the letters better.

I use the fabulous name writing practice from ESGI.  When you use ESGI for assessments, you also get their wonderful Classroom Management package that makes preparing for what we teach SO much easier.  


Here are the printable name plates you can laminate for tables or desks! Or even for writing folders. 
Here are samples of the name writing practice pages you can print and print and print- all year long. These are great for extra minutes in the day, RTI, or for sending home for extra practice. 

You don't even have to believe me - just look what Michael Phelps has to say... (he moves quickly, don't you know!)

I posted ALL about the benefits and some examples of what ESGI offers HERE.  If you like using it and want to purchase the program, you can use my special PROMO CODE B1119 and receive $40 off your purchase for the first year. The price is usually $199 a year, but with the promo code, it will be $159 for the first year. Check with your administration because they may be able to purchase it for you. They can use the code and get it for $159 for the first year, too.  It's a great time of the year to try it out. 

AND if you sign up NOW, ESGI will enter you in a raffle to win one of ten $50 gift certificates to TpT! SO- try it free for 60 days, and when you love it, ask your school if they will purchase it for you.  Even if they can't, it is well worth every single penny for the sanity it saves you! 

Here are some FABULOUS freebies I found from TPT to share with you. 

Erica Butler shared a great Name-Graph Activity Freebie
Name Graph Activities Freebie!Name Graph Activities Freebie!Name Graph Activities Freebie!

Heather J shared this fun Name Activity.
FREE Name Activity
This great packet from Brittany Lynch has so many fun Name Sorting Activities!  They include:

Sort by how many letters are in each name

Sort names by how many syllables you hear in each name

Sort pictures or names by girls and boys

Sort pictures or names by hair color

Match each picture to the correct name

Name Sorting Activities

Tara West shared these great Customizable Name Mats. They will be great to use inside a pocket protector with dry erase markers or playdough!
Customizable Name Mats {freebie}

Angela, from The Daily Alphabet
I hope your students are writing their names correctly in no time, and that you have a wonderful school year.  I also hope summer slows down, just a bit, so we have more to enjoy.
Thank you for stopping by!  


  1. Love all of these ideas! Thank you so much for such an awesome list

  2. Do you have a copy of your coconut tree template?


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