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Name of Activity:

Taking Pandemic Attendance

Purpose of Activity:

Taking attendance and trying to engage students who are otherwise just tiles with their initials.


This is assuming that your school is remote to some degree and classes are meeting via a video conference app.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Video conferencing app: Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meets, etc and a class webpage.

Description of Idea

I teach 8th grade Health, but I shared this with a colleague who thinks it will work for her PE class, especially her younger grades.

On my class webpage I have posted my roster. Each student has a number. I also post an "info sheet" which will change every 2 weeks or so. For this week, the info sheet may have terms related to (for example) the Alcohol unit. The terms are also numbered.

When I go to take attendance, student 1 will unmute and say whatever term #1 is, followed by student 2 saying term #2, student 3 saying term #3, etc. When we get to term #4 and there is silence, I know that student 4 is absent. I say term #4 and then student 5 picks up with their turn.

The info sheet can be whatever you need it to be. Instead of terms students can repeat positions on the field if you're doing a team sports unit (1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, etc), muscle groups, or anything relevant to your school/class.

For my drug unit I had students say a sentence that was useful to review for their eventual unit test (cocaine is a stimulant, heroin in an opiate, etc). I had a great class while we were 100% remote that will be one of my favorite classes of all time, and on Fridays they would each do 1 line from the same song and we had a fun time with it.

Assessment Ideas:

If your info sheet is related to an upcoming test, the repetition of info can help with retention. I.e. students are more likely to remember that cocaine is a stimulant if they've saying it and hearing it from a classmate every class meeting.

Submitted by Michael Harnett who teaches at Churchill Jr High School in East Brunswick, NJ. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/11/2021.
Viewed 7421 times since 3/10/2021.

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Taking Pandemic Attendance

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