Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Name Tags for Dummies

I know what you're thinking, "Name tags, really?" I have had a love-hate relationship with name tags for almost a decade. They can be an awesome tool or a straight up pain! I am the type of teacher that when something doesn't work how I want it to, then I continuously try new things until it does. Trust me when I say that I have tried every name tag out there. I have tried dollar section ones, nicer paper ones from the teacher store, self-stick tags, plastic tags, plastic self-stick tags, and pretty much any other version you can think of.

No matter what I tried there were always problems:

1. Students love to pick and destroy them all day long (I have tried bribing).

2. You inevitably run out of them (5 kids don't go by their given name and you had 4 come into your class throughout the year).

3. They all leave sticky, obnoxious residue at the end of the year that you have to hand scrape and rub with goo gone until you hand goes numb

4. Unless you got the ones from the dollar tree (which are junk) they weren't cheap.

 I finally realized that I wasn't going to be able to find exactly what I wanted, I was going to have to make my own. To me, the most important tools on the tag were the hundreds chart, number line, alphabet, color words, and of course their name. I made them so that I could print them out, laminate them and then tape them onto their desks.

Here are a few tips and tricks:

1. If possible use a home laminator. The laminator itself costs about $25 and you can find lamination sheets on Amazon for about $22 for 200 sheets. It is MUCH better quality and will not get destroyed over time (unless you have one of THOSE kids who likes to cut everything for fun).

2. Laminate the tag first THEN write each student's name with a permanent marker. If a student moves or leaves for no reason, just take nail polish remover and remove the name. Re-write your new student's name.

3. Use the GOOD clear packing tape. You know what I'm talking about. Not the stuff that is cheaper than cheap and costs $1 for 2 rolls. You need the stuff that costs $3 for 1 roll. Believe me, it is much easier to get off at the end of the year and rarely leaves behind sticky residue.

4. Print and laminate a few extras just in case your principal walks in at 7:00 am one day and tells you that SURPRISE you have a new kid and they'll be there in an hour.

5. If you have students who are super pickers, put magnetic tape on the back of the name tag and "stick" it to the front of their desk (this is great for a sub). This way they are still able to take it off and use it but it is not a constant distraction.

Click below to get the name tags that I made. There are 11 different color choices with a chevron pattern. Only $1 and you'll never have to buy a name tag again! Just print more for the next year (:

Any tips or tricks of your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep On, Teachin On!


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