Setting Attendance Goals
Purpose: to use self-management skills to identify obstacles to good attendance and set realistic attendance goals
Self-management is an important transitions skill that includes goal setting. For more information about this skill, please refer to the Transitions Integration Framework, page 50.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Materials: Obstacles to Good Attendance and Attendance Goals handout (see link below), last weeks’ attendance records, and a projector
Prep: Make copies of the handouts. You may wish to make one double sided handout the first time students do this activity and then make more copies of the second page for future use. Get a copy of attendance records from last week.
Note: if necessary, edit the handout to list only the days that class is held in your program.
1. Ask students to hold up their hands to show how many days they attended class last week. Use a projector to show the attendance so students can verify if they are accurate. Often people think they attend more than they actually do.
2. Ask the students for some reasons why people don’t come to class. Write the reasons on the board for beginning students or ask intermediate or advanced students to come up to the board and write some reasons.
3. At the top of the board, write “If I ________________, I can _________________.
4. Give an example of how to use the sentence frame to suggest a solution to one of the problems. You might say, “If I have car trouble, I can take the bus. I need to learn to take the bus.”
5. Ask students to give a few more suggestions, using the sentence frame. They can give suggestions for the same problem in your example, or for other problems.
6. For a beginning class show the handout using the projector and demonstrate how to fill in the first page. For more advanced classes, you may skip this step.
7. Give students the handout. They check boxes and list additional reasons why they don’t come to class and then write one or two suggestions for what they can do about the problems.
8. Students all stand up and walk around to do a mingle. They share reasons they can’t come to class and then give each other suggestions and write the suggestions on the handout. (note it may be necessary to demonstrate how to do this for lower level students).
9. Students write a goal statement about their attendance for this week on the second page of the handout.
10. After one week, students look at the goal statement and write on the handout if they achieved it. Then they write any reasons why they didn’t attend and set another goal for the following week.
11. Continue setting and monitoring attendance goals each week. If appropriate, repeat the mingle activity in which students give each other suggestions to improve attendance.