In the Kangaroos Room we have been looking at identity and names. This is being done through asking children to have a photo taken and then write or type their name on the photo. It started with a few children but soon everyone wanted to have a go. We began by taking their photo and then asking if they were happy with the photo. This in itself is an interesting concept and perhaps one children have never been asked, is this the picture you are happy to use to represent you, are you happy with how you look? Some children looked at the photo and asked for another one to be taken, commenting “yes, that’s a nice one”. In this time where we take so many photos of everything it is nice to be able have some say in what picture is used. We might consider why they ask this, is it something they have heard someone say, are they considering how it looks and what looks good and what does not. Some of the children who decided to do something ‘silly’ like stick their tongue out then asked for the picture to be retaken, was this because they knew that this is not something that people who see it (like their parents) would approve of.
With photo chosen they chose a colour and then could either sketch their name using their finger on the screen or type it using a key board. Some children appeared to be well versed in the concept of sketching or writing on a screen. Which in itself presented different challenges than writing on paper. There was a way to ‘undo’ what you had just written so some children went back once or twice to get a letter right. Their photo with name was then saved as a new pic and was then printed and turned into a name card.
At the moment the cards are put up on the side of the lockers and children are asked to put the picture up as they arrive and take it down as they leave. They are going to the pictures and looking for who has forgotten to put up their photo and going to tell them.
Firstly it means when you come in to start your day you can immediately see who is here, “Oh, I can see that Jack is here let’s go and find him”. It allows children to connect their name to others, see that their friend has an S at the beginning of their name and so do I, so they make the connection between sounds and letters. Also if they want to write a letter or write their friends name that can use the name cards as a guide. On a purely literacy level it is another way of us proving children with opportunities to see their name in a format that they learn to write in. As well as the children the staff have also made a name card, these will be displayed for children to see when they come in who is here.