Tips on taking attendance of a large group of students on a field trip
Going anywhere with a large group of students is always a daunting task and it can feel like you’re counting their heads more than you’re actually thinking about their educational experience. And by the time you’re almost finished counting heads, they’ve all dispersed and you’ve lost count! We’re actually working on a QR attendance tool that will make taking attendance an absolute breeze, but until we release that (summer 2022) we have a few tips to help make it a little easier.
With a large group of students, you’re going to have a fair few chaperones with you. Assign each chaperone a small group of students and make them responsible for taking attendance for their group. If you have 80 students, then 8 groups of 10 is going to take much less time to count off than trying to do them all at once.
That tip is pretty commonplace so I’m sure you’ve already thought about it, but here comes the best tip of all….
Getting the students in their respective groups to then be counted by their group leader can be a nightmare. Everyone is yelling at each other, gesturing for them to come over here, and if you’re in a museum or location where you have to be a bit more quiet, it can become impossible. So, get each group to choose a hand signal… This is a great icebreaker activity for when the groups are first made and the chaperone first meets their students. As a group they decide on a hand signal or gesture, perhaps jazz hands, a lasso action, crab pincers, shark fins… it doesn’t matter what it is but it has to be unique to the group. Then when you want the students to get into their groups, start doing your hand signal up in the air and watch the magic take place. Without saying a word you can get all 80 students to quickly and quietly congregate in their smaller groups. And it’s also pretty funny watching a group of kids doing the silent YMCA make their way to each other!