This article was written by Betsy Potash, an education blogger with a focus on the creative ELA classroom. Follow her on Instagram.
DO YOU WANT TO WRITE FOR BORED TEACHERS? CHECK OUT OUR GUIDELINES & SEND YOUR SUBMISSION TO: BLOG@BOREDTEACHERS.COM!
This is not how I want to start every day in my classroom. Booooooring. Just imagine if you were a student, listening to thirty people say “here” in every single period of the day.
A while back I thought of a new way to do it, and my students and I have been so much happier ever since. First, I call for attention. Then I turn to a list of questions by my desk and choose one for the day.
“What country would you go to right now if you could go anywhere? Kelly?”
The students perk up. Everyone’s paying attention. I’m checking off the appropriate boxes in my attendance chart as we go. Next day, new question:
“Who do you see as a hero? Don’t think too long. Kelly?”
Each day brings a different question with a very short answer, and the answer is never “here.”
“Would you rather give up cheese or chocolate for the rest of your life?”
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
“What age do you think a person is when they can really take care of themselves?”
Attendance has become a bright spot in the day. We don’t do it every time, but we often snag those first five minutes to get to know each other better. Sometimes each response is accompanied by peals of laughter. Sometimes we just HAVE to ask a few follow-up questions. Sometimes a student can’t decide, and I skip him or her in the interest of keeping things rolling along. The activity can add a minute or two to attendance, but it’s well worth it.
I make extra time for attendance questions in the first month of school, and I answer them too. Give it a try; you’ll never go back to boring old “here.”