Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TAKING ATTENDANCE classroom Management Series

This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.


I actually take attendance on my own silently. As the students are getting settled, I go down my class list and visually verify that all of the children are accounted for and submit my attendance online. This allows me to quickly and accurately get the information to the front office. If you teach a primary grade you may want to create an attendance chart to help teach responsibility and name recognition, but I wouldn’t rely on it for record keeping purposes.

Because my friends are unaware that I do this behind the scenes, we "take attendance" as a class at the start of morning meeting. To do so I use a "question of the day." The kids LOVE this activity. It actually goes quite quickly, but it's a way to get everyone contributing right from the start.

I composed 180 questions so that I would have one for each morning. I've organized them all into a Question of the Day Kit (which I just listed on Teachers Pay Teachers for $3.50). The kids get so into this though and start wanting to write their own questions and are so honored when I use one of theirs. The kit includes all of the questions with boxes to check them off as you use them. It also includes a sign to display when you post your Daily Question and printables for the students to record their ideas on.

As with all of my new product releases for this school year...you have the opportunity to receive a free copy. Simply blog about this idea or the product and link back to this post in your post. If you are one of the first five people to leave me a comment with the link to your post, shoot me an email at littlestlearners (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll reply with a copy of it attached.

Want more ideas on how to take attendance? Abby over at The Inspired Apple also posted about this same topic today and included a photo timeline of the evolution of her attendance taking. Her board for this year is nothing short of amazing.

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  1. Love this. I let the kids "take attendance" though I do it quietly myself too. I linked to your post.


  2. Great idea!

  3. Great idea! Can't wait to incorporate these into my Morning Meeting for Responsive Classroom!


  4. Love this idea! Way more fun than the way I do it! I linked to your post


    (emcgrane (at) gmail (dot) com)

  5. opps!

    here's my link to the post!
    rachel.lamb81 (at) gmail (dot)com

  6. Love the idea! Sad I didn't get here in time to be one of the 5! :( Oh well! I still blogged because I think you are AWESOME!! Go here to check out my blog! http://buggyaboutlearninginkindergarten.blogspot.com/2011/08/clutter-free-classroom-yes-please.html

  7. I love this idea! It makes "morning work" more interactive and meaningful to the kids! Our math curriculum includes a few "Would you rather...?" and "Which would you prefer...?" survey questions, which are similar to these, and would fit in nicely with our math program!

    Just blogged and linked your page and the packet on TpT :)


  8. Our classroom has a smartboard, so I made popping balloons, each with a student's name. When the child arrives, s/he pops their balloon. My silent attendance is even easier, because I just need to double check whether the students with unpopped balloons are absent, or didn't remember to do it. They even make a satisfying popping noise when you pop them! It's a super fun way to start the day.

  9. I have a table by the door and when the students come in there are Popsicle sticks laid out with their numbers on them. When they come in the door they put the Popsicle stick in jar, and that way I take attendance by what numbers are left. Super simple and easy!

  10. I call each table up to move their stick (colored craft stick with name and lunch number with a magnet) to the column on the magnetic white board indicating their lunch choice. They also bring 1-2 pencils and I sharpen them in our electric pencil sharpener. When we're done, all sticks of students that are present have been moved, lunch choices are made, pencils are sharpened for the day (that's the only time we sharpen pencils), and I've had the chance to speak to each child while we take care of business.


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