Every month, on Day 1 of the MGT curriculum theme, there are name plates for each child to write on, with theme related art around the margins. I typically display them on the wall, along with other art work. On more than one occasion, I have found my students referring to the name plates to identify their own names as well as the names of classmates.
Today, a 3 year old student asked to "color", grabbed a paper off the top of the pile in the miscellaneous paper basket, and requested help to spell the "words" (the objects on the page). After the parent volunteer helped her with a couple words, I sat down with her and continued. I was amazed by her knowledge of letter/sound correspondence and only provided guidance when she had trouble locating a letter with the sound she needed somewhere in the room. She repeatedly made reference to the name plates for familiar letter sounds in classmates' names. (beginning and ending sounds) Whether it was the proximity of the name plates to where she was sitting, or the familiarity of the names, it was the first time I noticed a child independently using the name plate display to find information they needed for something other than just a list of names.
It was a very proud moment when she finished writing the last word just before clean-up time...for the little writer, and the teacher!