- Marking the roll is an excellent way to get to know a group of children.
- Seek permission from parents to photograph children and write the name of each child next to their photograph.
- Use either a photograph or the roll to pray for the children by name regularly.
- When you pray with your children each week in small group time, pray for them by name.
- Learn just a few names each week (4 to 5 children’s names). Or, organise children into groups and learn the names of all the members of one group each week.
- Use the name of the children you are learning as much as possible that week. Sally, can you hand me that book? Tim, can you come and help hold up this picture?
- Get-to-know-you games: play games whereby the children have to say their name in the course of the game. Example: Children stand in a circle. One child steps in and says, My name is ………… I like to (mime what they like: sleeping, eating ice-cream, playing soccer, reading). Next child steps in, points to previous child and says, His/her name is …….. He/she likes to (mime their action). My name is ……… I like to (mime a different action). Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn. Note: if there are more than 10 in the group you may like to give only 8 children a turn one week, and another 8 a turn the following week.
- Have children wear nametags each week until you know their names. For very young children use sticker nametags that can be stuck on a child’s back (i.e. they can’t be taken off). For older children use clip on nametags. You may like to ask the children to decorate their nametag.
- Use nametags as a quick way of marking the roll. The children collect their nametag as they enter the room. Absent children are those whose nametag was not picked up. You’d need a few visitor name tags as well.
- Write a child’s name on everything. And as you write their name, put the child’s name in a sentence. That’s a beautiful picture you’ve drawn there, Sally. Or… Sam, what sort of puzzles do you like doing the most?