Ever since my article about learning students' names I've been getting e-mails from professors sharing their methods for memorizing their students.
Here's one that I liked:
"In classes of twenty students I learn the names on the first day. I learn the first name. Then before learning the second name I repeat the first name. Before learning the third name I repeat the first and the second. By the end I'm repeating in order 19 or twenty names before learning the last one. Slow, but it works for me, and the students get into it, too. I apologize profusely if I get stuck. Then I go around the room backwards.
"I have also gone around the room asking students to introduce themselves, but before doing that they must recite all the previous names. Many do surprisingly well. I think the order, the repetition, and the shame of forgetting are what makes this work.
"This method also works for memorizing poetry, or really any list that is not too long--just break up longer lists."