One of the craziest things about setting up a kindergarten classroom is the number of times I need to write each child's name. Recognizing one's own name and the names of your classmates is a great way for students to start learn some of the basics of reading. So, I know it's important.
I start with the usual. Every one's name gets written on their nameplates that are taped down to their tables. I have learned over the years that their name must also be on their chair, so they don't accidentally get switched causing a great dispute over who's the rightful owner of a given chair. We brush our teeth after lunch, therefore, each child needs their name taped down to a toothbrush. Toothbrushes are stored in a white plastic holder with identical slots. One year, the kids were rushing to brush their teeth so they could put their brush back in the coveted slot. How they picked one to be "The Best" was beyond me. The cubbies need names, their rug spots must be assigned, the birthday chart, the writing display with all the "Wonderful Writers", the writing folders, the 3-ring binders for tracking standards, the sign-in sheet and their backpacks all require names. Their special jobs for the week have their names written out and popsicle sticks are labeled and stored in a jar so that I can call on students quickly and fairly.
By the end my mind is just swimming with the names of all my students. Just when I think I've covered everything, a family member of one of my students stops by to chat. "What? What did you say? You're not serious. Ricky's name is spelled with an "ie" not a "y"." *sigh* I'd better get back to work.