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22 Interesting Ways to Use Daily Attendance Questions

Learn 22 interesting ways to use daily attendance questions in your classroom.

If you’re not using daily attendance questions, you should be! Not only can they be a great way to signal that class has begun, but they can also be used in so many different ways that can increase student engagement, classroom community, and more. 

Not familiar with daily attendance questions? That’s okay. This blog post is going to go over what they are, eight benefits of using them in the middle school classroom, and twenty-two different ways that you can use them with your students. 

What are daily attendance questions? 

Daily attendance questions are like a warm-up activity, usually used within the first few minutes of class as students settle. These are typically not questions that lead to long class discussions but rather quick questions that you can use to engage students right at the beginning of class or at the beginning of an activity. 

They are also not huge, thought-provoking questions. Instead, daily attendance questions can look like this: 

  • Which do you prefer, pancakes or waffles? 
  • What would you do if you could have the day off from school? 
  • What is your favourite season, spring or winter? 

Daily attendance questions help set the tone for the class and get students into a thinking frame of mind. 

What are the benefits of daily attendance questions? 

Using daily attendance questions has many benefits – for you as the teacher and for your students. They range from student engagement to classroom community and culture to a way to perform assessments. 

Here are 8 benefits of using daily attendance questions: 

Engagement

Sometimes, it can be hard to grab your students’ attention at the beginning of class. Students may just be shuffling into their first class of the day, their minds may still be on the previous class, or they may be busy chatting with their seat partner or friend.  

Using daily attendance questions can engage students right from the get-go. They might be questions that relate to the day’s activity or current events, and they are a way to get your students’ attention, signal that the class has begun, and set a positive tone for the class.

Are you looking for a way to bring current events to life in class? Read this blog post: 6 Fascinating Ideas For Teaching Current Events

Assessment

Many assessments include quizzes or tests, exit tickets, self- or self-assessments, and more. But daily attendance questions can also be used. You can tailor your questions to fit the lesson you want to assess and use them to gauge students’ understanding. 

Daily attendance questions can also help you notice patterns in your students, helping you notice if any are continuously late or frequently absent. You will also notice which students are actively engaged in the activity and those who may not be interested or distracted for some reason. 

Retention

Whether it’s information they have already learned in class or memories from the past, daily attendance questions can help students retain information or may help them recall information they may have forgotten. 

When daily attendance questions are linked with a previous lesson or unit, they help to reinforce students’ knowledge of what they had learned in that unit. Or if it’s a more general question (such as “Which do you prefer: chocolate or strawberry ice cream?), it might help them recall childhood memories. 

Classroom Culture

Students love to share their opinions and thoughts, so why not give them a question every day that lets them do just that? While full units, such as this Rant Writing Unit, are great for getting students to dive deeply into their thoughts and opinions, daily attendance questions can get them all talking about a similar subject. 

Not only can this create a positive classroom culture and community, but it makes the classroom a place where all students feel valued and that their opinions matter. Encourage students to actively listen to one another’s opinions without judgment. 

Using daily attendance questions in this way can be a great way for students to get to know one another and build a classroom community. 

Critical Thinking

One of the best benefits of using daily attendance questions is that they can help students build on their critical thinking skills. We always want to encourage students to think critically and analytically, so using different questions each day (perhaps a preference question one day and a thinking question the next) can get students’ brains to learn to shift between stating a known answer to giving a question some serious thought. 

We can help students develop critical thinking skills by giving them open-ended questions, requiring them to consider multiple perspectives or apply higher-order thinking. 

 

Discussion and Communication Skills 

Teachers don’t want a classroom where students don’t talk to one another. That’s not to say we want a classroom where students converse about anything and everything during class time. We want students to be able to talk to one another about the material they’re learning and listen to their classmates’ opinions and thoughts. 

Daily attendance questions can help students develop their communication skills through short oral responses, teach them how to respond effectively and appropriately to their peers’ ideas and guide them toward quality classroom discussions. 

If you want more information about teaching communication skills, check out this post, 5 Practical Tips To Teach Communication Skills for Presentations

Accountability

Not only are daily attendance questions a great way to perform roll calls in class and take account of lates and absences but they can also be used to help students become accountable for their learning. Something that all teachers love to see is all of their students being actively engaged in the learning process, but that’s not always the case. 

When you incorporate daily attendance questions into your classroom routine, students are encouraged to participate and actively engage in the activity. 

Formative Feedback

Lastly, daily attendance questions can serve as a way to gather formative feedback from students. Teachers can see where students may be struggling or need further instruction, therefore being able to adjust their teaching strategies to better suit certain students. 

This can also go both ways: seeing students’ responses to these questions can show where teachers may need to adjust what they’re doing, and when the teacher listens to student responses, they may see where a student might need more encouragement, a one-on-one conversation, or even intervention. 

Find out many fantastic teaching strategies here: 18 Effective Teaching Strategies.

As you can see, using daily attendance questions has many more benefits than just using them to track attendance. When you tailor questions to fit your classroom needs specifically, they can have many other benefits, such as enhancing classroom community, actively engaging students, and guiding students toward effective and respectful classroom discussions. 

22 Interesting Ways to Use Daily Attendance Questions

Now, you might be wondering, what are some ways I can use daily attendance questions in my classroom? 

Here is a comprehensive list of ways teachers can effectively use daily attendance questions in the classroom. 

  1. Use daily attendance questions as icebreaker activities to help ease students into the learning environment. This can be great if you use fun and light-hearted questions. 
  2. Review concepts with students by tailoring your daily attendance questions to previous lessons or concepts covered in the classroom. 
  3. Help your students to activate prior knowledge by using questions related to the day’s upcoming lesson, allowing them to ease into the new material. 
  4. Looking for a way to start discussions in the classroom? Use these questions as discussion starters for classroom conversations on relevant topics. 
  5. Daily attendance questions don’t always have to be serious; use them as reflection questions to encourage students to think about their learning experiences, challenges, or successes. 
  6. Help students to think about real-world scenarios, problems, or situations with your questions, encouraging them to apply their problem-solving skills. 
  7. Use daily attendance questions to encourage critical thinking by posing open-ended questions that require students to think critically, analyze information, and provide reasoned responses. 
  8. Sometimes, questions can be used for students to share opinions on relevant issues. Use them as an opinion poll to encourage a respectful exchange of ideas. 
  9. Collaborating with peers is always encouraged in the classroom, and using attendance questions can be a great way to have students not only collaborate with their peers but also discuss ideas and share perspectives. 
  10. These questions can also be a fantastic way for students to perform self-assessments. This way, you can review their understanding of the material and identify areas where students may need additional support. 
  11. Use daily attendance questions as a starter toward goal-setting activities, encouraging students to set academic or personal goals for the lesson or related to their learning process. 
  12. Sometimes, we don’t always know what our students need from us during a lesson; use these questions as a way to gather feedback from students about their learning experiences, preferences, or needs. 
  13. Pose questions that spark creativity with your students, encouraging them to brainstorm ideas or solutions collaboratively. 
  14. Encourage cross-curricular learning by asking questions that connect with the current lesson, other subjects, or real-world contexts.
  15. Engage students through technology with your daily attendance questions, using platforms and tools, such as Google Classroom, for interactive attendance. You can also use this as a lead-up toward learning more about Digital Citizenship.  
  16. End class with a summary question related to the day’s lesson as a form of exit ticket, allowing students to reflect on their learning before leaving. Learn more about this here: Entrance and Exit Tickets Teaching Strategy.
  17. Ask your students to suggest or vote on attendance questions, allowing them to take ownership of their learning experience. Student choice is very important in the learning environment! 
  18. Use daily attendance questions as a daily roll call, having students give their answer rather than their name. 
  19. Encourage student movement by having a tally chart on the whiteboard where students put a mark under their choice for yes & no or this vs. that questions. Looking for more ways to get students moving in the classroom: 11 Fun Ways to Get Students Moving in the Classroom
  20. Have students move their names to the answer if you have a physical check-in system like clothespins or magnetic names. 
  21. Daily attendance questions can be used as a conversation starter on your daily slideshow. Select a few students randomly to share their or their seat partner’s answers to hold students accountable, keeping them focused as they enter the classroom. 
  22. Use them to wind down the lesson, using the last five minutes of class as students prepare to leave for another class, lunch, or at the end of school. 

When you incorporate various attendance question strategies, you can effectively engage your students, promote active learning, and create a dynamic classroom environment where students want to grow and succeed. 

Ready-Made 365 Daily Attendance Questions

After reading this post, you might have had the idea that you would now have to come up with your daily attendance questions, but I’ve got you covered. 

Check out this entire calendar year’s worth of questions that come in PDF format and as an editable Google Doc. Use these 365 Attendance Questions to help build your classroom community and help with your classroom management. The questions can be answered orally or in writing. 

Remove the daily chore of thinking of a new attendance question with these ready-to-go prompts.

This Resource Includes:

  • Detailed Instructions
  • 365 Attendance Questions
  • Editable Google Docs Format
  • PDF Format
  • Participation Tracker

Get your copy of these 365 Attendance Questions on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD

You can also find this resource in the Ultimate Back to School Activities Mega Bundle for Middle School. This resource contains 13 resources to make your back-to-school season a success! Grab yours at Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD

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