Name/Title: Taking Pandemic Attendance

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

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

Suggested Grade Level: K-12

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.
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