Monday, March 16, 2015


No Name!

I think one of the most frustrating things for me as a teacher is giving somebody a zero because I didn't have their name on the paper.

My policy is to put any no-names on a section of the board. Papers stay up their for a week, and then they get trashed.

I dislike giving them zeros, but if a students doesn't at least look for their papers.... well I guess that's what they get. Students need to learn to put their names on papers; however, if they've done the work, I really want to give them credit.

I've seen three basic ways teachers deal with this.

1. Preventative
These are things like using the "names on the paper" song, or requiring students to highlight their names before they submit assignments.

To be honest, I feel like these methods work FANTASTICALLY. However, many of my high school students will roll their eyes at this one. I want them to feel like responsible adults, not like they are being babied.

As a result, I would suggest this method for younger grades only, unless you can think of a way to make it a bit more age appropriate for older students (if so let me know!).

In the meantime, if you want to try these in your class, check out this freebie on the left from Amazing Documents.

If you want song lyrics instead, the name song created by Rikki Lee (and found to your right has been downloaded over 500 times).

2. On Display  
Similar to my whiteboard, a lot of teachers create a section to display no named papers. I've actually seen a few different ways:

Wall: The simplest is by putting it on a white board or bulletin board, but you can be creative with it. Check out the following freebies you can snag. Fun to Know has this freebie with eight different half page notes. I especially love the Owl and Pirate themes.  These are perfect if you have a folder, white board, or bulletin space, for no names. Mostly this is because I have a thing for puns.
The husband wife teaching duo over at are big believers of no shaming in the classroom. They used to have a, "No Name Hall of Shame," but have since changed it to the delightful image you see on the left, "If you wanted credit, then you shoulda put your name on it..." You can grab this poster for free!

Quite a few teachers have picked up on the Beyonce rhythm that the previous verbiage lends itself to. The one on the left  is by Erica Speaks over at TeachingSpeaksVolumes. The one on the right is from The Counseling Teacher.

I know a few teachers who buy mini-trashcans and use these (Target's Dollar Spot, or any dollar store should have these). This is a fantastic visual because students can see that by not putting a name on their paper they are essentially putting these points in the trash. Here's a freebie there's a no name monster you can attach to trash can. Students search through this trash can to find their paper.

Some really creative teachers make tombs for a no named student. Students can help decorate, or you can snag this freebie  on teachers pay teachers. Very cute although it takes a it more space and possibly time.

What to do when a student recognizes their work? Now this changes from teacher to teacher. Some teachers do not take points off. Some teachers take of a few points (5%-10%), Whereas others take off a significant number of points (50% and more).

Some teachers keep the papers up all semester, the entire unit, or for just a week.

3. Trash 
Finally, some teachers don't even give students a chance to claim their work. They find something without a name and it goes directly to the trash. Harsh? Maybe, but  the hope is after one or two times students will shape up and adjust.

What do you do? I am hoping going 1:1 next year will cut down on this as electronically submitted documents are submitted via students' accounts (and thus named).

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