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ERIC Number: ED530161
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The Secret to Improving Attendance. Classroom Tips
Swindell, James W., Jr.
Phi Delta Kappa International
If students are not in the classroom, they can't learn. The author serves a dual role of teacher and administrator for middle school and high school students who are at high risk for academic failure. Their academic difficulties are mainly due to their negative behavioral patterns, which lead to frequent absences from class. Negative in-class behavior is directly correlated with the students' failure to read and understand words, their limited mathematical skills, and their inability to see a connection between their lives and the work they are asked to do. A strategy the author used that dramatically improved attendance was implementing a daily group reading of "Inmate 46857" by Eddie Charles Spencer. Eddie's story of his childhood and how he turned his life around related to the home, community, and cultural lives of his students. Each morning the author used a "Do Now" writing prompt based on the previous day's reading. The students were asked to write half a page to one page describing what the prompt meant to them. When the students finished writing, the author would allow several volunteers to speak to the class about how they felt, based on their writings. They were eager to discuss it and enjoyed the time because it allowed them to compare their life experiences to Eddie's. Students volunteered to read aloud and in the process learned new words and meanings.
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 7888, Bloomington, IN 47407. Tel: 800-766-1156; Tel: 812-339-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa International