I circulate about three times each period to check progress and see if there is an issue I need to address and see if the student was thinking about a problem to solve, or confused, or maybe just chatting about a party they attended. I'll help that student refocus. If it was a participation issue, I may deduct 2 or 3 points for those distracted students. If I have to remind them a couple of times, then maybe 4 to 7 points for those who do little. I take up to 10 points off for those who flatly refuse to participate when I redirect them, or I may request a "Pass Point" coupon.
Each student gets 4 "Pass Point" coupons for the year to "do something else," like to go to the library and print a report, or just chill 'cause they had a bad day. (This is for a class that meets daily for a year) If they do not use those coupons, each is worth 10 points added to any non benchmark grade but the points FIRST go to participation. They can't use the coupon on tests days or project introduction days.
This is a copy of one of the coupons below. Students write their name in colored Sharpie on all 4 coupons on the first day of school so they cannot be claimed by someone else or erased. When they're gone, they're gone.
TIP: Put a piece of overhead plastic on your seating chart. This is how I do attendance with a marker on the plastic. I note participation problems, make notes if a students was called to the office or nurse, note the time a student left for the bathroom, I even do grades and check assignments on the seating chart as I walk around. This way, when I have time on my computer, I can add that info into my gradebook.
I do not grade each student's participation daily, BUT if I see a problem, then I add it in. So for me, it's only a problem when it's a problem. This means I do not have to focus on participation ALL the time, just when a kid decides to chat all period or hide their phone under their desk. I don't get angry, I remind them to stay on task, note it, and add it later. When that grade drops below 85% I send an email home and to guidance. This way I have a paper trail that I have noted problems before they were too big to address.
Sometimes though, participation is an issue of confidence. Some students think, or have been told, they are not "good at art." My my mantra to those students, and my whole class really is, "If you try, you cannot fail!" I have never had a student fail when they got 100% in participation, NEVER.
Another line I throw at them is: "Even if your self portrait looks like an alien pickel, if it's neat, complete, original, you followed directions, and you stayed on task, it will not fail. It might even get an "A"!"