Posted by: jockmackenzie | August 22, 2009

Classroom Management – Learning Students’ Names #2

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SO MANY FACES, SO MANY NAMES

To suggest only one method for learning names would be like offering only one way to teach any concept. So here’s another one – and I will suggest a third method in my next blog. The Billy Bang method is one I liked to use in my drama classes – the room had lots of open space (although I created the needed space in a regular classroom) and the game offers the chance for expressive “deaths.”

Billy Bang

• divide class in half

• line up facing each other

• number off (1st two are #1’s, next are 2’s, etc.)

• note dual set of numbers on teacher sheet

• practice naming each row

• have each line face away from one other

• teacher calls out 2 numbers (take turns which side is called first)

• appropriate numbers turn and attempt to be the first to say the opponent’s name and BANG!

• loser sits, teacher notes death on list, game continues

The list above is the point form explanation I include in a handout from one of my sessions. A bit more explanation may help as there is no accompanying session to fill in the gaps.

Initially, I might have called 2 – 14. Person 2 from the row nearest the door would have turned, arm extended and hand forming a gun. Person 14 from the other row would have spun in a similar position. 2 is pointing at 14 and vice versa. If 2 calls out Jillian Bang before 14 calls out Andrew Bang, then Andrew (#2 and the first to call correctly) remains alive and turns back to his spot in line. Jillian sits down and watches the fun continue. The teacher notes on the numbered list that #14 from the row nearest the wall has been eliminated.

Next the teacher might call 5 – 9. Person 5 from the row nearest the door turns as does Person 9 from the row nearest the wall. If 5 can say 9’s name and BANG, before 9 can reciprocate, then 9 sits out and the row near the door has more students standing than their opponents. If this trend continues, I usually switch to naming the other row first.

When only one person remains in a row (assuming more than one remain in the other row), the game is over and we have all heard students’ names on numerous occasions.

*** I did receive one complaint about having students shoot one another – even though it was all in fun and done with the deadly finger pistol. Given the times, I changed to a magical disappearing wand and had the kids play Billy Poof!  I do believe students can tell the difference between the real and the imaginary world and think, given it to do again, I might use the opportunity to underline the difference but still play Billy Bang.


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