6 ways to encourage attendance
September is attendance awareness month. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate:
1) School wide challenge:
Pick a theme that goes with your school wide theme or PTA theme. For example, one year we had a rock and roll them and I used Savvy School Counselor’s Attendance Rocks Packet . I used her cover to make signs for classrooms and then I gave them each cut out letters to spell “rocks.”
If a class had perfect attendance that day they stuck a letter on your sign. When the class spells out the word “rocks” they let me know and they won a book for their classroom library or other prize.
If they got “rocks” they had a second challenge, focusing on tardies
Just like before they added a letter each day they had zero tardies. When they spell out “rocks” they got a book prize.
Where did I get the prize books? I ordered books from Scholastic Book Club using bonus points. I ordered books that were related to our attendance topic.
2) Small Groups:
Yes, attendance is mostly in our parents control. However, there are some kids (those with separation anxiety, those with school avoidance) that struggle to attend school due to feelings in their control.
I was nervous to start attendance small groups, but as I found out they can be very successful.
Read all about my small groups here.
3) Spreading parent awareness:
Send parent this digital flip chart on attendance via e-mail or in your newsletter!
Tell your parents the data. Our school created this board that sits outside our main door. When a family is late for school and comes to sign their child in they have to walk right past it.
I like to send home parent information from attendance works and sheets found online, along with this FREEBIE about responsibility.
4) Social media campaign:
Our school and PTA used the sample social media campaigns (http://awareness.attendanceworks.org/social-media/) to spread the awareness through Facebook and Twitter.
5) Create a fun bulletin board:
6) Attendance Lessons:
Read Ready Rabbit Gets Ready and discussed the importance of coming to school/responsibility.
Give students red/green papers and re read story. As you are re reading students should hold up the red card when Ready Rabbit is showing irresponsible behavior and green when he is accountable and responsible. Scan the room for perception survey, and discuss as necessary.
You could also use this activity from Savvy School Counselor.
Watch “How Do Dinosaurs Go To School” or read “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late” on BookFlix
3rd- 5th grade ideas:
Read “Totally Tardy Marty” and discuss the importance of being at school on time. Ask students to work in teams to create an attendance goal and tip for achieving that goal for Marty about being on time or becoming “Totally On Time Marty.” Teams should write ideas on their post it note. Share and discuss tips as a class.
Have students do Savvy School Counselor’s Attendance Rocks sort.