Motivating students to come to school using an attendance tracker could be the solution you need. Attendance trackers for students are easy, visual, and use the power of peer-to-peer encouragement.
Classroom teachers can use charts, bulletin boards, printables, or even incentives to showcase those who arrive at school on time each day in order to help out their friends and classmates. Keep reading below for a few of the best ideas for you to try in your building!
How do you set up an attendance tracker?
There are several different ideas for setting up your attendance tracker, and the best part is that you can test out several to see which will resonate with your students. Each class of students from year to year will react differently to different methods, so having lots of choices can make the difference between a stellar school year and a troubling one.
1 – Use a free template chart with a blank grid on it to plot your class attendance.
Along the x-axis of you data chart, have the dates for the month. Along the y-axis, include the numbers for total amount of students in your class. Each day plot the data and connect it to the day before.
Your new line graph not only works as a way to showcase math concepts in real life, but will also show students the attendance trends in their classroom.
Start off small – and the first time the students “meet or beat their own record” they earn an incentive (extra time on the computer, recess, free draw, or even lunch with the teacher are all great incentives that won’t cost you a thing).
After that, make it be 2 times that they have to meet or beat the record. Continue that trend until the attendance or tardy issues start to ease off.
2 – Another option for motivating students to come to school on time that is more private would be a personal tracker.
Grab a free pdf calendar off the internet, along with some small stickers or a fun smelly marker. Each day students are on time and present at the bell, they get the sticker to acknowledge it. If he or she has a certain amount of stickers, have an incentive party to celebrate that achievement at the end of the month.
Those that did not achieve it instead get to have a talk about why it was not achieved. Perhaps the student is not at fault? Maybe the parent oversleeps or does not have reliable transportation? In those cases, you can always make a judgement call individually about who gets to attend the “reward party.”
3 – Use a punch card!
Instead of a calendar, have a punch card for each student on a binder ring and give them a punch on the card if he or she is seated and ready to work in the morning by the time the tardy bell rings or announcements have started.
Each time the card is filled, the child gets a special certificate from you.
4 – Pocket charts for lunch and attendance are an easy way to monitor who is present and who is not in a quick flash.
Upon arriving, students can move their name badge to signal their presence or their lunch choice (depending on how your school does it), which makes it super easy for you to collect the information and send it to the office. It also is handy for not taking teaching time out of your day to request this information.
Students come in the room, get their morning materials put away, move their badge, and quietly begin their bellwork. No need for interruptions beyond that and it sets up the expectations for the rest of the day too!
5 – You can always use a QR code or app, such as Class Dojo, to track and monitor student attendance as well!
How do I use my attendance tracker?
So, this is the part where it can get sticky. Your attendance tracker used for motivation should be discussed and thoroughly explained to students. A couple of things to remember to talk about with the children:
- Make sure students realize not to come to school sick. We never want to reward students who contaminate every else with their germs.
- Also – you know your students and their situations better than most. If you know that a child is not making to school on time or at all due to reasons beyond their control (no ride, no clean clothes, required to take care of a family member), then use these options at your discretion.
- Remind students that the attendance trackers are used for positive reinforcement. We always want to reward the behavior we wish to see more of in the future. By focusing on who is already doing the right thing, it helps other students to try a little harder to be on the same team.
Need a great visual a super easy way to set it up in your classroom?
This guest blog post from Elizabeth shows you exactly how she has been able to increase the attendance in her classroom. Perhaps it will help you too!
It makes a HUGE difference when all of my students are in class! It’s also a rare occasion. Attendance has been a battle at my school, so I am always looking for ways to boost attendance in my classroom.
Sometimes students need a little motivation to get to school.
100% attendance is celebrated in my classroom! It is a big deal! When 100% of my students are in class, I add a letter to the whiteboard to spell, “Perfect Attendance.” Once all of the letters are up, the students earn a reward of their choosing.
I’m all for easy-peasy and this is a great motivator to get kids to school!
What do you do to encourage 100% attendance in your classroom? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below as well!
For more teaching ideas, visit my blog Seconds at the Beach!