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Day 72: Attendance

Foster, L. (2016, August 5). Builidng community with attendance questions. (Web log). Retrieved from

What is Sacred:
I guess I chose to read this because the picture of the Native American boarding schools kind of haunt me and I just wrote about the NMAI. We have the same type of pictures, but I also focused on being present and not absent, which then led me to this attendance article on the Edutopia blog.

This article is about using attendance as a community builder and a way to create a safe environment for students to really learn.

This teacher uses an attendance question to create an open space for sharing. It is not connected to curriculum and there are no right or wrong answers. What got me excited was the focus on the word attend.
When we trace back the meaning of attend through Old French (atendre) to its Latin root (attendere), we can see that when we attend, we are "stretching our mind toward" something. 
When we take attendance, we are essentially asking each student, "Are you here?" But are students actually present when their minds are elsewhere? By asking attendance question, I am indirectly asking my students, "Who are you? How are you? What matters to you?" Through their consideration of a response, I hope they stretch their minds toward presence in the classroom.

Connections to Current/Future Work:
I would like to focus on a more transparent and active use of metaphor in my classes. I find I learn best when I can identify a metaphor, so I want to use it. This is in addition to my emphasis on culture-based and relationships building, so I think this can fit into all.

I like the idea of attend as a stretching of the mind towards. I want to share that insight. I also agree in the ability to be present. I like the potential of asking metaphoric questions to get to the how are you and what matters to you?

What is the color of your classroom experience this week? What number are you today?

I don't care if they think I'm weird. At least they think.


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