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Better ways to take the Register

Think taking the register is easy?

Well it can – and should – be, but many new teachers, student teachers and supply teachers find it an onerous part of a lesson.

teaching advice for new teachersHere are our top tips for calling the roll in a painless and professional way.

  • Read through the list of names and check any difficult pronunciations before the class enters. The student with the unusual name will love you for it!
  • Get students engaged in a starter activity before you call the roll, it will help to settle them, and keep your lesson timings on track.
  • Utilise one of the following approaches to taking attendance
  • Write students’ names on index cards, and hand them around as they work, getting them to BluTac them to the front of their desks. The cards you have left over are the students you can mark absent – and you’ve got an easy way of knowing who is who.
  • Ask students to write their names on the whiteboard as they arrive. Kids love writing on the whiteboard.
  • Ask a reliable student to mark the absentees on the roll for you. They thrive on the responsibility.
  • If you’re spending an extended period of time with a class, consider creating magnetised or Velcro name or picture tags, with which students can ‘clock in’ and ‘out’, moving their name into a ‘here’ section of the board.
  • Language teachers might like to do a traditional roll call with a twist – ask each student a few sentences in the language being learnt as you call their name, creating an opportunity to practise conversation skills (and one for you to take feedback on each student’s progress).
  • Use the roll call as an opportunity to get them out of their seats and active halfway through a lesson. As you call their names ask them to get up a line up in height order at the front of the class.
  • Take attendance while you split the class for small group work. As you call each name ask them to move to a part of the room where they will be joined by the rest of the members in today’s working group.
  • Ask a question with multiple answer options (no wrong answers) or take a vote, write the answers on the board, and get students to write their name under the answer of their choice.

There are so many fun ways to take the registry, and to use it as an opportunity to engage with students and build rapport. Planning how you will take attendance is a fantastic way to ensure every moment you spend in the classroom is meaningful for your students.

Starter Activity

Get students focused on a starter activity before you take attendance