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  • Diana Nazaryan

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Various schools have their own way of taking attendance. While it serves a mostly administrative purpose and quite a few teachers have a certain degree of resentment towards it, I have found a way to turn it into a classroom management and language learning tool.



This is how I do it.


1. At the beginning of each month (This is when we take new sheets) I ask my students so-called 'Stupid Questions":


* _What is your textbook called?

_ English in Mind 2.


* _ What is your group name?

_ Tasty Cookies.


* _ What is your teacher's name?

_ Parandzem.


* _ What days do you come to (name of the institution)?

_ On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


* _ What time do you come?/does your lesson start?

_ At seven thirty/half past seven.


* _ At what time do you leave?/go home?/does your lesson end?

_ At nine o'clock.


* _ Which year is it now?

_ Two thousand nineteen/Twenty nineteen.


* _ Which month is it?

_ January.



Can you spot the language I revise through these questions? If your answer is "Prepositions of Time" or "Telling the Time" or "Days of the Week" or "Months" or "Telling the Date", then you, my dear, have earned yourself a sticker.


In addition, by asking them for the name of the textbook, group and the teacher you, possibly, unconsciously bind them to those. There is a joke about a really lazy student taking an exam. The examiner tells him that if he answers three questions, he will pass. The questions are:


* What colour is our textbook?

* What is our subject called?

* What is your tutor's name?


Well, I want to make sure my students are able to answer these questions, don't you?



2. Apart from asking the aforementioned "Stupid Questions" once a month, I start each lesson by asking the date.


In addition to bringing a structure to the lesson, this allows the students to revise telling the date. Moreover, I ask my students to sign the register in person. For young learners, this is a great opportunity to practice literacy skills in a meaningful way.

Update!

Covid-19 and turning to online or blended learning have changed the way we complete registers. We now create a google sheet and use colour-coding to provide the parents with as much information as possible. At the beginning of each month we create a new sheet and share it with the administration. At the end of the month we post screenshots in groups specifically created for the parents and ask them to help eliminate the cases where a child is absent, late or unprepared. Where corporate clients are considered, the register provides the employer with solid information on how their staff treats the course.




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