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Why is this important?

Explicitly taking attendance at the beginning of class can motivate students to arrive on time. Knowing their name will be called and they will be marked absent if they are not present at the designated start time encourages punctuality.

Try these strategies:

  • Call students' names aloud at the beginning of class and ask them to respond verbally (with “Present!” or “Here!”) and to raise a hand. This is a clear signal to students that class is beginning. It will also help you learn their names and will serve as your first direct contact with them for that session.
  • Set the expectation on the first day that attendance will be taken in the first couple of minutes of class time. Underscore this expectation by stating it as well as doing it consistently.
  • Give a short, timed quiz (for points) in the first few minutes of class. The quiz indicates students' on-time attendance, enhances their grades, and cannot be made up later (except in extreme circumstances).

  • Ask students to submit their homework upon arrival. This, again, is a way of noting their on-time arrival by calling attention to latecomers who bring their homework up after class has begun, rather than just allowing them to quietly take a seat at the back.

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