Monday, January 27, 2014

No Name-Calling Week

During the week of January 20-24 Lee Elementary, along with other schools nationwide, are celebrating No Name-Calling Week.  Although it is never kind to call someone a name, this week re-focuses our attention to the importance of treating others the way we'd like to be treated.

The first question I usually get from students is, "What do I call you if I can't call you your name?"  I explain that this week is about making sure we call each other names that we like.  For example, my name is Ms. Sepp, so calling Ms. Sepp is fine.  I also have a nickname that other students in the school call me, "Ms. Seppy."  Since this is a nickname that I like, it is okay to call me that.  The only way we know that someone likes to be called a nickname is if we ask them.  For instance, one class was studying the different states and saw that Mississippi is very similar to my name.  One student asked if they could call me "Mississippi" and I politely told them no, because I didn't like that nickname.  It's okay to tell your friends "no" if you do not like the name they have come up with.

I read My Name is Yoon written by Helen Recorvits to many of the classes.  This story is a great example of how diverse each of our names are while reinforcing the meaning each of our names has to us.  At the end of the story Yoon finally feels like herself and has grown to like her new home, so she is ready to use her Korean name.

We then explored what the history of our name is.  I looked up students names and gave them a printout of what languages use their name and the meaning of it.  Some were easy and popped up right away, others took a lot of my first name "Jaclyn."  I typed students name in a fun bubble font for them to decorate.  In addition to the language and meaning of their name, they also added nicknames they liked being called and why their parents named them that to their paper.

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