Arranging Absent work to Allow Students Access

6:26 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Absent and make-up work can be a vortex that sucks time from any teacher especially as I am at the end of the semester.  I think papers that have been missing for months, suddenly appear.  After many years of spending my precious minutes hunting down work for absent students.  I developed a system that works well for the students and for me.

My process for arranging absent work puts the process and responsibility in the students' hands.  The first thing I did was create a student-accessible station where all daily assignments accumulate in an organized fashion.  I also use this place to store materials that students need access to like the paper supply, pencil sharpener, and hand sanitizer.  They can help themselves to work and the materials they need.

My Absent Work System

I use a file crate with hanging file folders for every day of the month: 1-31.  At the end of each class, I place the extra handouts for that day in the file folder corresponding to the day of the month.  That means on February 22nd I put all the extra copies in the folder with the tab 22.  This means that all months use the same set of 31 folders.  This can get a bit busy, so I have my aid clean the folders out at the end of each marking period and recycle what is left.

I also post directions on the wall above indicating what to do when they are absent.  At the start of the year I teach students how to use it, and reinforce daily until it becomes second nature.

1) You must make up your daily journal write and DOL when you are absent.
2) Ask a classmate what we did when you were gone.
3) If you are confused ask at least two other classmates to explain what you missed before coming to see Mrs. Koves
4) Collect any handouts or ISN pages from absent work bin
5) Set a date and time with Mrs. Koves to make up any quizzes or tests you missed
6) Complete work and write ABSENT at the top before turning in.

I desire for my students to build a level of independence and problem solving skills, so they aren't allowed to ask me until they ask three other students in their hour to find out what they missed.  This really does reduce the number of questions that I get from students because my first question is: who did you ask?  Then I ask them to tell me what they know.  

This serves three purposes: 

1) The repeat back the information in their own words to help commit it to memory.  
2)  I can check to make sure they did ask three people.
3) I can simply fill in gaps or correct miss-information rather than doing the whole process over.

How do you manage absent students and make-up work?

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