For those of you who have been teaching for a long time, or even a short while, for that matter, you know that attendance checks can be one of the most tedious aspects of the entire day.
There’s nothing more monotonous than calling out each of your students names, and waiting for them to respond to you with a bored, ‘here’.
You’ll know that as an educator, you’ll get more out of your students early in the morning rather than in the afternoon when they’re feeling tired out.
Therefore, it’s important to engage your students as soon as possible after they’ve arrived, and set the tone for the rest of the day.
But, what’s the best way to do this? How can you ensure that they’re feeling present and engaged early on in the day?
Well, it’s really not all that difficult, and making one simple change when conducting your attendance checks can have a massive impact.
So, how can you break the monotony and create an engaging and playful atmosphere for your students?
Well, this can be done by setting some attendance questions. If you haven’t heard of attendance questions before, don’t worry, because we’re going to be covering what they are in depth below, as well as providing you with a whole host of ones to get started.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
What Is An Attendance Question?
So, before we jump straight into our list, there are a few things that we’re going to need to cover first. The first of which includes discussing what attendance questions are, as well as why they’re useful for students.
Attendance questions essentially involve asking your students a question instead of simply calling out their name in the morning.
Each student can answer the same question, and you can go through the entire class with something like, (insert child’s name), what’s your favorite animal?
Studies have actually shown that fostering positive relationships with students can help to encourage and motivate their learning.
By asking attendance questions, it’s a fun way to build curiosity, and create a tight knit community within the classroom.
Why Is Asking Attendance Questions So Beneficial?
1. Getting To Know One Another
So, why is this so beneficial, we hear you say? Well, there are a number of different reasons you should employ attendance questions in your classroom, the primary one being that it’s a chance to get to know your students better.
Sometimes, especially when we’re teaching larger groups of students, it can be difficult to engage with each of them on a daily basis.
By forming an attendance question where they get to reveal something personal about themselves, this gives you the chance to have at least one interaction with them.
2. Create An Atmosphere For Discussion
Another reason why attendance questions are so beneficial for students is because they help to create an atmosphere for discussion. But, how do they do this? Well, it all depends on the question that you’re asking.
As well as asking personal questions, such as ‘what’s your favorite color’, you can also ask questions that are related to a particular topic or subject that you’re currently studying.
For example, you could ask each of your students to answer a question such as, ‘which planet do you think is closest to the sun’.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re right or wrong, and later on in the day, you can go ahead and answer the question yourself.
This in turn, fosters an atmosphere of discussion and debate, that will really help to get everyone thinking and engaged.
3. Fostering Trust
By asking attendance questions, and engaging with the answers that your students provide, it’s a good opportunity to build confidence and foster trust.
Most classrooms will have a few students on the shyer side, and asking them questions relevant to them helps them to feel heard and worthy.
You can help to bring some people out of their shells, and allow other members of the classroom to get to know one another too.
How To Make The Most Out Of Attendance Questions
Now that we’ve covered what attendance questions are, as well as why they can be so beneficial in a classroom setting, we can move on to discuss how you can make the most out of this tool.
As you already know from the title of this article, we’re going to be providing you with a whole host of different attendance questions to get you started on your journey, but there are a few other ways that you can get started with this too.
For example, once you’ve firmly established the routine of asking attendance questions, you could then go ahead and ask the classroom to come up with some fun and interesting ones.
A good idea is to grab a jar, then hand out little pieces of paper to everyone in the class.
They can then go ahead and write down an attendance question that they’d like to ask the other members of the classroom. Once everyone has finished writing them down, you can place them all in a jar for the next day.
Then, you can go ahead and select a question from the jar each day, so that you eventually get through all of the student’s questions.
Instead of asking the questions yourself, you could even choose a member of the classroom to step up and read it out to everyone.
This is especially great for students who are a little bit quieter, and need some encouragement to have their voices heard.
If you’re looking to make things easier for yourself, instead of having to come up with a new attendance question each day, you could create a powerpoint presentation.
By taking some inspiration from some of the questions that we have listed below, you can place a question on each slide, as well as some engaging images related to it.
Then, each day, all you have to do is switch on the powerpoint, and have the question ready and waiting for when your students arrive.
By having it up there on the board ready to go, it can also help to build excitement when your students walk in, as they start contemplating their answers.
List Of Attendance Questions
Now that we’ve covered some of the ways that you can utilize attendance questions to make them more fun and effective, we can move on to provide you with some ideas.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be some of the most fun and engaging attendance questions that you can ask your students.
Simply keep reading below to find out more.
- What is your favorite color?
- If you could transform into any animal, what would it be?
- If you would travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- If you could time travel to any period in the past, where would you travel to?
- What is your favorite book of all time, and why?
- Who inspires you?
- Who do you look up to the most?
- What is your least favorite type of food, and why?
- What is your favorite topping to have on a pizza?
- Do you have any pets, and what are their names, what are they like etc..?
- What do you like to do the most in your free time when you arrive home from school?
- What things make you feel the happiest?
- What job would you like when you grow up and why?
- What is one thing that you own that’s incredibly important to you, and why?
- Do you have any middle names? (You’ll already know these, but it’s a chance for other students to hear more about one another).
- What is the best way that we can help one another today?
- What is your favorite subject to learn about here in school?
- What is your favorite reward that you get in school?
- Can you name one kind thing that you’ve done for someone else this week?
- What candy bar or dessert do you like the most and why?
- Do you prefer savory or sweet foods?
- What is the funniest joke that you’ve ever heard?
- What did you do on the weekend?
- Why do the leaves change color with the seasons?
- Why do you think dinosaurs don’t exist anymore?
- What are you going to be dressing up as for Halloween this year?
- What do you and your family normally do to celebrate Christmas?
- Is it better to give gifts to other people, or to receive gifts yourself?
- What is your favorite season of the year and why?
- What is the best gift you ever received from someone and why?
How To Format Your Questions
Now that we’ve taken a look at some fun and interesting attendance questions that you can ask your students, we can move on to discuss some of the best ways to format your questions.
Sure, you can just go ahead and ask the questions in the order listed above, but there are a couple of ways that you can make them even more effective.
If you want to learn more about getting the most out of your attendance questions, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look together.
Choose Your Questions With Intent
One of the best ways to make your attendance questions even more engaging is to always choose them with intent.
But, what do we mean by this, we hear you ask? Well, choosing with intent essentially means picking questions that are relevant to what’s current and relevant at the time.
For example, if it’s near the Christmas period, you could ask your students what they’re hoping to get for Christmas, or what they’d like to get somebody else.
If it’s near Thanksgiving, then this is a great opportunity to ask your students what they’re currently feeling thankful for.
You can do this for almost any season, and the holidays are a great way for sparking discussion.
Depending on the age group that you’re responsible for teaching, you could also ask them questions that are related to current events, and what they think about each of these topics, helping to spark some debate and healthy discussion.
Mix Things Up
As we mentioned before, there are all sorts of different questions that you can ask your students.
You can help to keep them on their toes by mixing things up a little bit too. For example, you can ask personal, factual, and opinion based questions on different days.
One day, you might ask them what they did on the weekend, or what their favorite color is and why. The next day, you could ask each of them to answer a different sum within the times table.
On the following day, you could ask them what their opinion is on a particular subject, such as what do you think about global warming?
By mixing things up, your students won’t get too comfortable with answering similar ones day in and day out, and it will help to continue to make them feel as though they’re fully engaged.
Ask Questions That You Can Return To Later
As we previously mentioned, attendance questions are a great way to bring up certain subjects that you might be teaching that day.
For example, if you’re going to be engaging in a science based lesson about dinosaurs, you can frame the morning’s question around this.
This way you can adhere to a particular theme, and get the students in this mindset of thinking about these topics throughout the day.
Later on, you can return to the original question, and provide your students with some facts surrounding the subject.
Ask Lots Of Opinion Pieces
If you truly want to know what your students think about various topics, make sure that you’re always asking open-ended questions, so that they’re not restricted to a short, one word answer.
This is also beneficial for your students, because it encourages them to try to think about things in a critical manner, and put more thought and effort into their answers.
To sum up, there are a whole host of attendance questions out there that you can ask your students.
Attendance questions are a great way to pull your students out of their shells, and get to know them better by asking about their likes and dislikes, as well as their opinions on certain topics.
If you want to get the most out of your attendance questions, consider asking your class to come up with their own attendance questions, then write them all down and place them in a jar.
This way, you can go through each of the different questions day by day.
Finally, if you’re coming up with your own attendance questions, make sure that you’re keeping them as engaging as possible, and mixing things up by asking a mixture of personal, factual and opinion based questions.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article, and we hope that we’ve managed to provide you with some much needed inspiration.