Checking attendance is a regular routine that bores both teachers and students. Going down the list of students in your class while you listen for “here” or “present” doesn’t exactly set a great tone for the rest of your class. So, why not provide attendance questions for students instead?
Ask a question and then go through your class, allowing everyone to answer. Not only are you doing attendance, but you’re giving the students something more interesting to do. This also helps get them thinking and build their confidence, as it gives students who normally don’t speak up in class a chance to say something at the start of the day.
There are a number of questions that you can ask. For example, ask what the pet peeves of your students are. This is a great question as it will most likely elicit a lively discussion. It gives students a chance to get some complaints off their chest. Or ask about an early memory in order to get your students to self reflect. Just be sure to ask questions that won’t take too long to answer. You want to create an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable sharing and speaking up, but you don’t want to take half a class period to do so. Toward the end of a semester, you could ask what their favorite attendance question was.