Taking attendance can be a tedious chore. But what if there was an engaging way to call roll while also getting to know your students better and having a little fun? Consider beginning class with a Roll Call Poll All, An Attendance Inquiry, or a What-Do-Ya-Think Roster. Whatever you call it, asking students to answer the roll by answering a silly, interesting, or thought-provoking question can not only transform your mundane attendance routine, it can also enrich your relationship with your students.
Would You Rather
Some of these questions can be real stumpers and even lead to some interesting discussions, explanations, or debates after roll call. Would you rather:
- Own a monkey or an elephant
- Give up candy or soda
- Take a trip to the beach or go snow skiing
- Be a famous rock star or an actor
- Build a snowman or a sand castle
- Read a book or draw a picture
- Give up pizza or tacos
- Be stuck in an elevator with a clown or with a rat
- Live in a cave or a tent
- Give up T.V. or video games
- Have super strength or be able to fly
- Have a cloak of invisibility or a be able to time travel back in time one day
- Be covered in fur or scales
- Be able to talk to animals or read minds
- Go to outer space or to the depths of the sea
- Be able to fly anywhere for free or eat anywhere for free
- Have a mermaid friend or a pet unicorn
- Be a King/Queen of very small country and have many duties or be a regular person but have an easy, comfortable life
- Speak any language in the world or be able to control the weather everywhere you go
- Have all the money you want but never leave your town or have the ability to travel anywhere but on a very limited budget
- Be a famous athlete or a famous singer
- Have to sing to everyone you talk to or dance for them
Which do you like better?
These quick and usually easy-to-answer questions are perfect for roll call. It can be fun to tally the answers and report the “winners” to your students. More of you prefer dogs than cats. Or In this class more people like M&M’s than Skittles, but out of all my classes, Skittles are the winner. Kids seem to get a kick out of knowing this bit of “data.” Which do you like better?
- Dogs or cats
- Coke or Dr. Pepper
- Country music or pop
- Chocolate ice-cream or vanilla
- Movies or concerts
- Scary movies or funny movies
- Mexian food or Italian food
- French fries or tater tots
- A day at the lake or a day at the river
- Batman or Superman
- Zoos or amusement parks
- M&Ms or Skittles
- Pancakes and syrup or Bacon and eggs
- McDonalds or Sonic
- Pumpkin spice or hot chocolate
- Thanksgiving or Independence Day
- Fried chicken or hamburgers
- Spring or fall
- Cake or pie
Yes or No Questions
These quick questions are perfect for days when you’ve got to get moving, and there’s no time for added opinions or explanations during roll call.
- Do you like pineapple on pizza?
- Have you ever been out of the U.S.?
- Do you believe in U.F.O.s?
- Have you ever had a cavity?
- Have you eaten tacos in the last 24 hours?
- Do you have a dog?
- Do you think it is better to have loved and lost than never to have love at all?
- Do you believe in destiny?
- If you found a $20 bill on the ground, would you turn it in to the office?
- Do you like to listen to music while you do homework?
- Do you have brothers and sisters?
- Do you think college should be free?
- Do you like football?
- Do you drink coffee?
- Do you have a T.V. in your room?
What is your dream/favorite ______
The answers to some of these more open-ended questions can offer teachers deeper insight into who their students are – what their dreams are and what is important to them, especially when students have the chance to elaborate on their choices after roll call.
What is your dream_____
- Place to live
- Type of home (beach house , mountain cabin, big city apartment, farmhouse)
- Day (what would you do?)
What is your favorite ______
- TV show
- Pizza topping
- Candy or dessert
- Kind of dog
- Kind of chips
- Genre for books or movies
- Professional athlete
- Sport or game
Come to class tomorrow prepared to share ____
While these roll call questions and activities might take a little extra time, once in a while they can be a good way to get kids to share something personal or a fun way to cut loose as a class.
- A quote
- A word that most people don’t know or don’t use
- A joke
- The best advice you’ve gotten so far
- Your favorite photo
- A demonstration of a silly walk
- A unique talent
- Who your hero is and why
- Your six word memoir
Whether you choose to begin every day or class period with a roll call question, or make it an occasional fun activity, you will likely find that this slightly unconventional way of taking attendance will help you build a stronger rapport with your students and add a little fun to your days. And that is always time well spent.
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