Getting Assignments to Absent Students
Systems teachers use to collect, prepare, and deliver assignments to absent students.
I have large manila folders with sheets stapled to the cover listing subjects. My helper takes a folder to his or her desk and fills it out as we go through the day and puts any papers inside for the absent child. Then I send it to the office with books needed to complete the assignments.
I use the internet and have a Teacher Web page for my students. I implement my lessons weekly into my Web page where students may readily access them from any PC. Those students who do not have a PC at home can go to our local library and or school library. Parents may also collect assignments from our front office. A letter is sent home to the parents informing them of the Web site. If a student knows ahead of time that he or she will not be present for a day or so, he or she may download the information from my page. This web page also includes an email address so students may contact me.
At the beginning of the year I ask the parents to write down the name of a student that lives close by, who be able to deliver assignments to their child if he or she is absent. I also have an absentee monitor (student job) that is responsible for picking up a "While You Were Gone" sheet for every absent student. The monitor fills it out and attaches any papers/worksheets during the day and then either puts it in the absent student's mailbox at the end of the day or gives it to the student that will take it to the child's home.
In my classroom, students have jobs. One job is attendance clerk. This student is responsible for reporting all absences, placing any handouts in the absentee folder with the absent student's name on it. If note taking is done, the class notes monitor will share his or her copy with the student who has been absent.
When my students are out I have a system that consists of two folders. One is used when they are on vacation, so I can put all of the assignments in a folder ahead of time. Another folder is used if they are absent due to illness. When students are sick, all of the assignments for the days they missed are placed in the folder and left on their desk. The student's siblings usually pick up the folder. If a sibling is not in the same school, the folder is left on the child's desk until he or she returns. Inside the folder there is a note reminding the student that he or she has three days to complete all missed work. This system works very well. The folder and the assignments are usually returned quickly.
I begin the day by putting a blank folder on the absent child's desk. As papers get passed out throughout the day, the absent child's work goes into that folder. As students work, I jot down on the inside of the folder what concepts I'm going to have to teach that child when the folder is returned. To get the folder home, I have my student of the day deliver it to the absent child's sibling. If no siblings are in the school, I leave the folder in the front office for parents to pick up.
We have a paper that says "We missed you today!" and has spaces to record all assignments. When you are absent, a "buddy" records the assignments for you. You must make them up by Friday.!
I have a standing set of mailboxes with a slot for each child. When I am passing out papers I put worksheets there for absent children as well as important announcements from the office. If I have time I even put in pieces from art projects. This seems to work well; if siblings ask for the work it is ready to go when they come to the door. When the child returns I try to keep him in a recess and see if we can catch him up. If not, I send the papers with a note to parents to have him complete the work at home and return it.
My first graders each have a mailbox, which I use to pass back papers, send home notes, and distribute homework. In addition, I have assigned each of my students a "Learning Partner." The partner of the absent child puts the materials we are working on in his or her mailbox. Students and parents know to check the box for any missed work. In a classroom of 30 plus children, this has been very effective.
Our homework sheet for the week is on our school's Web site. I also have a "to go home" folder for each student. When the student is absent I put all the work for that day in his or her folder, so when they get back to school it is ready for them. The students have as many days as they were absent to finish. If the students go online their homework is usually turned in when they return to school.
I write a brief agenda on the board every day. By taking a glance when they walk in the room, kids know what they need for class. At the end of each day, I type that agenda and print a copy to hang on the bulletin board. As I am passing out material and papers each day, I put absent students'work in a labeled folder that stays in a tray on the front table in our room. When a student returns to school, all they have to do is check the agenda sheets on the bulletin board and then get what they need from the folder. If they need further explanation or need to make up a test/quiz/presentation, it always says "see me" on the sheet.
I have individual mailboxes for each student. As we do an assignment I put the absent child's name on his or her papers along with the word "absent" and then "mail" them. I also keep track of assignments in a grade book, so when a child is out I can tell at a glance what assignments are missed and why.