Students in PE need to be prepared for class. They need to wear proper clothing, have suitable foot wear and come ready to participate. Not only is this good practice but it is necessary for proper hygiene, and safety while doing physical activity. For this reason I've always combine students daily attendance in class with a simple scale to show preparedness. Students in grades 2-5, use a 3-2-1 point system. This is used to determine students readiness (3 points = proper footwear, their red T-Shirt, and athletic pants or shorts, 2 points is two of these things and 1 point is one). Before my iPad, I had a clipboard with 15 different sheets (one for every class I teach) each with a row for each student and all the classes for that term in columns. I would record their score with a pencil and at the end of the term I would transcribe those scores into excel to come up with an average score before report cards. Needless to say, this was an inefficient procedure.
At first, I used an app called Documents-to-go, similar to MS Office. I used their equivalent of Excel. This cut out the step of using 15 different sheets of paper and put the scores right into a spread sheet where I could manipulate the data. But the interface wasn't so user-friendly. Then I discovered the app “Attendance”. This app has made this process not only easier to use, but also more efficient and has so much more to offer. I hope I can share some of its functionality with you and obviously for reasons of privacy I've created a fictitious class to demonstrate.
Launching the app:
Once the app is open you can start taking attendance. Select take and select your class (here are all the classes I teach this term)
You are ready to add a date. Luckily the app will populate the current date and time for you, but if for whatever reason you are doing last weeks attendance you can change it :).
Now that you have selected the date, your class list will appear. Tap the boxes to change the status for each student for that day. These statuses are completely customizable and can be anything you want them to be. Here I have my three point scale. A running tally for all the dates that you have entered data is kept beside each students name.
The default for the app includes Absent, Present, Late and Excused but remember you can customize these to whatever you like.
You can get your data right from this screen or select the report option on the bottom menu bar where you can view or the app will email you the data in a variety of different formats.
There you have it. A convenient touch friendly way of taking attendance. Or perhaps assigning a daily score of some sort? For me it has kept me organized by keeping all of my records in one place and has saved me ample amounts of time by streamlining an old use of paper, pencil and clipboard.
But that is just the beginning this app can do SO MUCH MORE. Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3 that show just how useful this tool really is.
Attendance app ($4.99) can be purchased here.