Taking attendance is one of those classroom tasks that just “must get done”. Consequently, as teachers we often don’t take it seriously. However, taking attendance can be a vital way to get a sense of the class and build community. From the teacher’s perspective, taking attendance helps establish a baseline awareness of who is coming to class and who isn’t. It can also help with lesson planning and designing how to review material in subsequent classes. From the student perspective, taking attendance can be a great opportunity for community building.
Try one of these options. First, have students write their names on the board as they come in. Then, as a group come up with the list of missing students. Or, write all of the students’ names on the board and have people check their own name off as they walk in. Then, you can even assign students to help those who missed the class during the review in the next session.