Revitalizing Boring Old Attendance

Do you dread the first five minutes of class, just a little? Trying to get everyone to be quiet while you discover who’s there and who’s not isn’t really that fun. Sure, bell ringer activities can be great, but sometimes you don’t need to try to squish one more handout into your period.

My favorite way to take attendance is to play the question game. Instead of having students say “here,” I ask them to answer a question with a succinct answer. This way I get to know them better. They get to know each other better. And they get to know that I am interested in them!

Here are some examples of questions to ask:

Where are you from?

What do you want to do for your job someday?

Where do you hope to live when it’s up to you?

Would you rather give up chocolate or cheese forever?

What famous person do you admire most?

Where do you want to go on a vacation?

What language would you like to learn that you don’t already know?

What’s something you wish you knew how to do?

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what song would it be?

Which sports team, if any, do you cheer for?

If you could only eat one kind of candy for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?

What restaurant do you like to eat at?

Would you rather go camping by a lake or climbing on a mountain?

What’s one thing you know how to cook?

What’s your favorite book?

Which movie have you seen the most times?

Would you rather be able to be invisible or be able to fly?

Would you rather have five children someday or one?

What’s your favorite sport to play?

When you have free time, what do you most like to do?

You can easily come up with all kinds of creative questions. After a few days of playing, you can invite your students to contribute a few questions to your list too. You won’t have any trouble keeping it going for as long as it is working for your group – there is always something more to find out about these awesome kids.

Psst. To make it easy for you to get started with attendance questions, I’ve created fifteen fun image slides you can use to get to know your students better any time of the year. When you sign up for my free Friday teaching idea emails below, the image slides will be the first thing you get from me!

hey there!

I'm Betsy

I’ll help you find the creative ELA strategies that will light up your classroom. Get ready for joyful teaching!





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