Thursday, June 2, 2011

Low tech solution to a high tech problem: Attendance in the flipped classroom

As I've moved fully into an individualized classroom for my students, one of the problems I've encountered in the school system is attendance. I tried the "looks like everyone's here" approach a couple times but wanted to be a little more accurate for obvious reasons.
The seating chart became more of a hoop for the students to jump through when they knew they were all going to be moving in a few minutes anyway. Getting rid of it seems to encourage them to get to work as soon as they enter the room.
I have all students assigned a number in class (I do still call them by name if you're thinking I'm sounding terribly cold right now). The number is the same number they use when they have a laptop, clicker, ipod or graphing calculator in the classroom. I figured I may as well use that number for attendance too since it was familiar to them.
I placed a number, 1 through 32, in a shoe organizer on my classroom wall. Students take a stack of cards out when they enter the room and the cards remaining are my absent students. I look at my student list, organized by number, and submit attendance for class.
Once the cards are picked up they serve another purpose: I've jokingly called them 'status cards' to piggy back on posting your status on Facebook. There are 4 color coded cards that state what the student is doing or needing at that time:
1. Need Help! (orange)
2. Taking a Test (blue)
3. Working (green)
4. Need confidence (yellow)
This helps me prioritize who I'm checking in with and who would rather not have me interrupting their concentration as I'm moving about the room.
I have links to the google documents below if you are interesting in copying or modifying them for your own uses. If you are like me this may not fit exactly what you're looking for but perhaps it will give you an idea for your own classroom.

Use my seating chart template
Cards stacks for attendance

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