The second transition in most art classes is attendance. Ideally, this transition should take less than 3 minutes. A quick glance at your seating chart and a look at your empty seats will tell you who's not present for class that day. Sigh...if things were only that simple, right?
There is a LOT of work behind keeping this a simple, quick task! My routine included my book of class lists and my book of seating charts along with a mechanical pencil - always sharp and an eraser attached so I never lose it. I buy one of those pack of 24 or 36 mechanical pencils at back-to-school sales every fall. Usually, I still could find at least one to use by May and I found about half of the rest during my end-of-year 'pitch or organize' cleansing rituals.
In the Elementary schools (it's a zoo!), you will deal with many things besides just whether a kid is absent. Juan has Speech and always arrives 10 min. into the class period, Abigail, Alyssa, and Sam have math intervention and have to leave 10 min. early, Ryan needs to take his meds every day at 10 am, etc, etc. I used a couple of methods to keep track of this craziness: sticky notes on the class list page for temporary things or written in my shorthand next to student's name for year-long events (meds, speech, etc). I had 30 different groups in a week's time and some of you have even more. Save your brain space for your creative lessons and WRITE IT DOWN if it will affect your attendance record! This info comes in very handy at report card time.
Some of my colleagues combine class list and seating charts - whatever floats your boat. This is an important transition so use a system that allows you to quickly learn who's present and who's not! When it's time for report cards, you'll be able to tell at a glance why Alberto never completed any assignments (always left early for Intervention) or why Athena finished her work but rarely followed directions (frequently tardy & missed direct instruction).
Final note about Attendance: Do this before any instruction begins. Before they announce a lock down and you can't remember if anybody left for the restroom. Before there's a surprise fire drill and your kinders run out the wrong direction, screaming. Before the office calls asking to send Kevin up to talk to the Principal. Take attendance first thing so you know who's present and who is not!
What helps you streamline your attendance-taking?
If you missed my last post on the transition of Meet and Greet you can read it here along with the transitions I'll be writing about next.