Sunday, July 21, 2013

Managing Student Absences

At #CAMT13, one of the presenters mentioned her method for handling student absences.  It intrigued me and I've given it a lot of thought this week.  I honestly can't decide if I like it better (and if it would work better in my classroom) than what I already do.

Currently, I have a missed work bin.  In the bin, I keep file folders labeled for each class period.  As I take attendance, I pick up any handouts for the day, and put the absent student's name on the paper and drop it in the appropriate folder.  Students know that they are responsible for checking the folder upon their return.  I like this for several reasons.  One, it's easy.  It takes very little setup and kids know what to expect.  Two, if I get a call from the office that a parent is picking up work, I go to the folder, grab everything with that student's name, and send a student to the office with the work.

The other method I hard about was keeping a file crate with a file for each day of the month.  Extra papers are filed at the end of the day and students can go get what they need based on the date of their absence.  I like this because it would make any extra copies easily accessible for students who lose things.  I wonder, though, how well my 6th graders would do with remembering the dates of their absences.  And, what if students relied on extra copies too much and then there weren't any left when an absent student returns?

How do you handle student absences in your classroom?  I'd love to hear what you do!

For the kids,


  1. Those were my exact concerns when I heard that method! I like the one already in place because it gives the absent kids everything in one place. I may do the file crate with one folder for each day and still put my extras in there...but not for make-up work.

  2. I do the same thing you do. When students are absent I label their paper with name and class hour and put in the appropriate class hour file. That way if I have to send it down to the office I know right where it is. When they return from absence they know to check the file for any papers. If they forget I can quickly see in the file and I call them up to get the paper. This system has worked perfectly for me for years. A link to what my files look like.


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