Ever have one of those "Why the heck didn't I do this before?" moments when you are teaching? This year, I decided to set up a system for absent students in my classroom. I am often too busy trying to maintain the tasks of the current day to deal with students returning to class after being ill, or returning from an extended vacation. Often the first thing they do is ask me what they missed and how they should make up the work they didn't do while they were off school. I have a TeacherWeb website, on which I post all homework and assignments. I also often post extra copies of work that has been handed out in class, in case someone loses it or needs an extra. Even doing this though, does not cover all the situations which occur in the average classroom.
Years ago, I decided to have my students each choose a "homework buddy" at the beginning of the year. These students agree to exchange phone numbers or emails and keep each other up to date. I found this worked for awhile, but I still found that there were missing papers, and assignments, and often the "buddy" was also absent, or did not follow their duties.
This year, I laminated some red file folders, put a sticker on the front which says Absentee Folder and put the sheet you see below in each one. My students still have a homework buddy, but as part of my classroom leadership team (classroom jobs) I have several students whose job it is to note when a student is absent, get a red folder and sheet, put it on the students desk, and to keep it updated throughout the day.
When the absent student returns, they are responsible to check with their homework buddy and/or the absentee assistant. They are to complete the work and hand it to me with the sheet by the given due dates. The red folders are returned to the storage spot and a new sheet is put inside, leaving it ready for the next time it is needed. I have been very happy with this system.
How do you handle absent students? Leave me a comment, maybe there is more I can do to streamline my system.
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