Every day, in just about every classroom across the nation, daily roll is taken. Teachers stand before their students documenting their attendance and this important information is then transferred to an attendance sheet and handed over to the school attendance office.
Taking attendance in the classroom is one of those mundane and boring routines a teacher must perform each day. However, this task is necessary. The federal law requires that all children between the ages of five and sixteen attend school full-time. To ensure these children are attending school regularly, attendance must be taken. However, these accountability sheets tend to be blah and boring. There are ways to make them more fun, interesting, interactive and yes, even educational.
Here are a few ways a creative educator can make sure their attendance sheets reach their full potential.
There is a Persian Proverb that says “thinking well is wise, planning well, wiser; and doing well is the wisest and best of all.” Simple quotes like this can inspire students and educators alike. Write a Daily Inspiring Quote on top of your attendance sheet that you can read aloud to your students before you take roll. Inspiration sparks creativity and sets a positive tone for the day. And as an optional piece of inspiration, see if your students can contribute to future inspiring quotes. There is nothing like creativity in print to ignite a student’s creative juices.
Create an interactive attendance sheet that allows your students to share how they feel. As you take roll ask each student to share how their day is going. Students can rate their day on a scale from 1-5. You’ll know instantly how a student is feeling and they will know you care. For students in higher grades, allow them to sign in using their signature and rate their day as well. For students who are have a difficult time settling on a number, use stars with different colors. Utilizing this interactive attendance sheet can give you some great insight into your students’ lives.
List five daily facts on the attendance sheet that students can learn by the end of class. Who would have thought that working your lesson plan into your attendance sheet could be possible? Well, it is. Begin each day by listing five goals you will have for your students by the close of that day. They can be simple or complex but they must be attainable. End the day by assessing what you started. Students will feel great recognizing what they learned during that given time period.
Align the daily date with an event that took place in history on the same day and read it aloud to your students. Some students crave historic facts and some are not at all interested. Take the time to find a fun, strange and wacky fact about the world that aligns with the calendar. Other options would be birthdays of famous people or musicians and monumental days of the year. Kids will listen, be intrigued and you will begin the day with something fun and educational.
Write a joke on each attendance sheet. Studies show that laughter impacts both our physical and emotional make up. Students often begin class feeling overwhelmed, tired or even worried. If you are particularly motivated, choose a joke that requires two people to participate. Have them play out the joke as an ice breaker for the day. Research shows that laughter can contribute to a stronger immune system. Just think, a teacher and an attendance sheet can actually help a student stay healthy.
Attendance sheets may have seemed like a waste of time, but now you can see that a creative teacher can use these valuable accountability tools to educate the class in a fun and unique manner. Every moment of class should be recognized as an opportunity to engage and educate future generations. With some quick planning and creativity, attendance sheets can shape a teacher’s classroom and help to start out the lesson on a positive note.