teachinginroom6.blogspot.com, 5th grade blog, absenteeism, classroom managementTesting is over!  YAY!  So now I can put my room back together, and get back to teaching :)  Whoo hoo!!  

So with that said, I just wanted to share a little thing with you that has been working to help get the kids into their seats each day.  As we all are well aware, you can be the best teacher in the world but if the kids are absent, it doesn't really matter.   A few years ago, we were really struggling with an absenteeism problem at my school site.  Kids just weren't coming to school.  For one reason or another, they were taking days off like crazy.
4th grade blog, education, teacher, vista print
So I thought that if they actually *knew* how many days they were absent within a given month, it just might help to make them think about coming in.  To help them keep track, I created this little postcard on Vista Print.  You can see that all the days we are in school are written on the card, from September to June (this is actually a Vista Print image of the card from a few years ago, so the dates don't match up to our school year now...but you get the idea)   At the beginning of the school year, we talked about why attendance was important and ways that we could make sure we came to school each day.  Then, I showed them how to fill in the card.

At the start of each day, the students would come in to school and mark their card with a green crayon.  Once the card was marked (indicating they were here), the bankers then paid them for attending school that day...as part of our classroom economyIf they were absent, their table partner would actually be responsible for the card.  The partner used a red crayon to indicate they were not in their seat.  For those who came in tardy, a green crayon was then colored OVER the red crayon.  You can still see the red, but you also have the green.  This showed that the student was tardy.

Getting into the routine of this took some getting used to, but once we were in it...the kids really dug it!  Just the fact that they could physically see how many days they were here or not really did make a difference in their attendance.  They just didn't want to be absent, so they weren't as inclined to be "sick" in the morning.  My first year implementing this I had more perfect attendance trophies at the end of the year than ever before.  Who knew something so simple could be so effective!

What do you do to help combat absenteeism?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oops..deleted the comment on accident.

    Thanks for sharing, I love the idea of having students progress monitoring their absences. We track our data for academic things so adding this will be easy! Thank you!

    The Pinspired Teacher

  3. Funny, I was just thinking about this issue this morning (not about absentees, but about tardies...). I have several students who are chronically tardy. If it were right there in black and white (or color as it may be), maybe they would "own up" to it a little and push to be at school on time. (This is great for parents, too!)

    Fun in Room 4B

  4. What a great idea! I have a huge problem with this, as I imagine many teachers do. Thanks for sharing. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. I agree with Elizabeth! I have 5-7 students tardy everyday :( Hopefully this would help them see how their tardies are affecting their learning. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love this idea!! I have problems with tardies too, more than absenteeism. I think I'll be adding this to my list of things to implement next year!
    ideas by jivey

  7. I love this idea. I especially like how they are "paid" for being at school by the banker! I think any visual for keeping track of attendance is a great way to keep the kids (& parents) accountable.

    Love to Learn

  8. Love this idea Stephanie. Thanks for sharing! I may try this out next year!


  9. This is brilliant, Stephanie! We actually put the kids names in a hat if they're not absent or tardy all week and they're eligible to be crowned Prompt Prince or Princess at our weekly community gathering. They'd get a crown and the Principal's chair for the day. They LOVED being wheeled from the gym into their classroom on their "throne!" We were able to increase our attendance rate to a gold standard rating!

    1. I love the "Prompt Price" or "Princess". So clever!

  10. I agree that this is brilliant! I am having both an absentee and a tardiness issue this year. I have been the one to keep track of attendance for our classroom economy, but I like the idea of getting the students involved. I will definitely be considering this change for next year. Thanks for the great idea!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  11. This is fantastic!! I'm so going to try this next year. I may even try it for the last few weeks of school! Thank you!

  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this - definitely going to give it a try next year - absenteeism is a HUGE problem for me! (unfortunately, doesn't seem to be much of a problem for my students, though .... grrrrr). Just had ANOTHER talk about it today as I was missing three students all day, then 6 (SIX) students left during last block - each one accompanied by an interruption from the office.


  13. We have a problem with absences, too. I might be self contained next year so this would be a breeze to try out! Thanks for the idea!! :)


  14. We have issues with tardies and this is a great tool to track that too. I’m having a giveaway please stop by http://littlelearnersinc.blogspot.com/2013/04/science-writing-and-art-oh-my-and.html

  15. "Seeing really is believing!" What a great way for the kids to keep themselves accountable for their own attendance. I am going to share your idea on our FB page. I hope this idea spreads!

  16. What a really cool idea! I also love the "classroom economy" part.

  17. Thank you so much for this! I pitched your postcard (and Barbara's comment about the "throne" award - thanks Barbara!) to our school's per-referral team today, and they loved it! This has been a systemic problem in our district for many years

  18. I love this idea! Our attendance is terrible at my current school. I might need to mention this at our next leadership meeting.


  19. I like keeping track of the tardies but I would also want a way to keep track of all those students who leave early. For me that's always seemed to be a bigger problem! I would add that.


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