Keeping Track of Our Attendance14 July 2015
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. Teaching an empty chair is doing nothing for anyone. 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.
Today I wanted to share a little thing with you that has been working to help get the kids into their seats each day.
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 economy. If 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?