Encourage students to use other students’ names to facilitate more of a sense of community.


  • You can make name placards (aka tents) for the students or have them make their own. If students make the placards their names may be difficult to read. If you make them yourself, it can be time consuming and you’ll will need to find out first the name students want to be called. Companies (such as Avery) that sell tent cards will allow you to print names from a spreadsheet each on a separate piece of paper. Avery Example
  • You can have students keep their own name placard between classes or you can pass them out and collect them each class. If students keep their name placards, they might forget to bring them. If you keep students’ name placards, you can use passing them out each class as a way to practice students’ names and take attendance.
  • Multiple times during the course, ask students to say their names so that others in the class can learn to pronounce them. Explain that it is important to try to pronounce people’s names correctly, but that sometimes mistakes will happen. Encourage students to say something if anyone mispronounces their name or if they think a peer’s name is being mispronounced.


  • Having students use other students’ names can make the classroom feel more familiar and make for a more coherent conversation because students can be explicit about the connection between their contribution and the contributions of others.