Friday, January 11, 2013

No-Fail Trick for Getting Names on Papers

I have a confession: I really love Crayola products! Even though I really never need any MORE Crayola things for my classroom, every time I am in Target or Walgreens, I can not help myself from meandering down the supply aisle just to see what cool new thing they have. 
The Mini Expressions Stampers Markers are not new, but I have a new idea for how I am using them in my classroom and I would like to share it with you. Did you know they take away headaches?

Ok, not really. However, how many times have you told your students to write their names on their paper TODAY alone, only to pick up the stack for grading to find at least 3 children STILL missed the boat? In my case, every year, I have "the one" I can count on not to put their name on their paper and I can easily identify who it belongs to. However, when you have 3 to compare, the headache begins and I stand in front of my kindergarten class and try to convince them to tell me.

"Who colored their dot-to-dot ice cream with these really cool rainbow colors?"

My theory is, if I advertise the paper as if it is something EVERYONE wants, I MIGHT get the true owner to pay attention long enough to tell me it belongs to them. 

However, this ploy doesn't always work, and rather than heading for the ibuprofen, I toss the nameless paper into the recycle bin.

This week, I came up with a "haven't-failed-once-in-three-days" trick! I told the students on Monday that if they put their name on their paper, they get to put a small happy face next to it (like I do when they do a great job on their paper)! They were so excited, they even started to do it next to their names on their homework sheets. 

Now, I upped the excitement by putting a small can with a few Crayola stampers at each table. After each student writes their name, they get to choose their own stamp to put at the end of their name. I like this option better because the size of the mark is controlled (unlike some of their rather large happy faces they drew) and the element of color and different designs really get the kids excited about doing this.

Do you have any great ideas for getting students to remember to put their names on their paper? I'd love to hear from you!


If you can not find the Crayola stampers, you can order them from Lakeshore Learning HERE


  1. Love it! Kids LOVE markers, color, and anything they can stamp, great idea!
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

    1. Thanks so much, Shawna! Also thanks for leaving your blog link, I'm coming over to check it out:)

  2. Cute idea!

    I have a collection of smelly markers at each table. You know have EVERY CHILD LOVES SMELLY MARKERS. Well, my rule is the ONLY time they can use a smelly marker is when they are writing their name on their paper. If I catch them using them any other time, they loose the privilege of using them.

    Amazingly, I have very few papers without a name. As a matter of fact, they now write their first and last names just because they get to use the smelly marker for a longer amount of time. Little do they know, I wanted them to learn to write their last names as well. LOL

    Have a relaxing weekend and thanks for the great idea. I may have to go hunt down some stamper markers.

    Happy Blogging!

  3. That's a great idea too! You did give me a great idea for how to motivate them to write more during journal time. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the idea to use the stampers. I really need some new ones and hope I can find them at Target...

    If any of my students forget to write their names on their papers, I have them write it where it was supposed to be, and then 2 more times on the back. Repeat offenders get to increase the number of times on the back of the page. I have never gotten up to 5.

    I think it works and I like the extra practice.


  5. So, recently, I haven't had luck in seeing new ones in the store, so I put the link in to Lakeshore Learning where you can order the mini stamp markers. The extra writing practice is good and does probably make them pause and think before missing it next time.

  6. Christina, I really love this idea. How smart! I can't wait to use it. I am subbing now but am going out tonight to buy a couple boxes of these to put in my sub pack so that I can make sure names are going on papers and with pizazz too. Thanks for the idea!

    The Convenient Teacher

    1. Thanks! I bought 2 sets of 8 markers and put 4 at each table. The students really loved them. They were super tempted to put more than one stamper on their paper. I could tell they really wanted to, so I told them if they wrote their name VERY neatly, they could put one on each side of their name, using two different stampers if they wanted to....they were super happy about that. The stamps do go through to the other side, but since it was up by their name, it wasn't too bad:)


I would love to know what you think!

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