Saturday, July 28, 2012

While You Were Out

One thing I struggle with EVERY YEAR is keeping track of all the things my kids missed while they were absent. Things go missing, things get stolen and I just don't have time to chase after everything. I'm on a mission this year to make it easier on everyone myself!  I'm making six different, laminated folders.  I will have a class job for two students to be in charge of the folders (if both are absent, I will take care of it).  They are considered the "contact" for the absent student if he/she has questions.  The contact will fill out the While You Were Out sheet with things the absent student missed and work they need to make up, along with news and things to remember.  He/she will also make sure that EVERYTHING (field trip forms, flyers, flip books made, etc.) is put into the folder.  When the absent student returns to school he/she will go over what was missed with the contact person and then make up the work missed.  Click here if you'd like my While You Were Out Freebie!

What methods do you use in your classroom to ensure that missed work is made up?



  1. I do something similar to this! I print off an assignment sheet (I have templates in my computer) and staple this to the front of a 12” x 18” piece of construction paper that I’ve folded in half to look like a folder. The assignment sheet already has all of the daily assignments typed on it (I do this while my students work on getting their morning routine things done – this is a time when I typically collect lunch money, take attendance, lunch count, etc. and all students have things that should keep them busy so I can get all of this housekeeping work done). I assign a neighbor to keep up with the folder. Their job is to put any papers in the folder that their friend will need. This includes blank paper, white lined paper, Scholastic News, anything! They also know if they take out any textbooks, folders, scissors, markers, rulers, etc. during the day that they need to take the same thing out of their friend’s desk and put it on top of it. That way, when we go to pack up at the end of the day, it’s very easy to pack up for this student, too. (At our school we typically send work home – either with siblings, parents stop by, or the bus drivers will stop at the absent student’s house and another student will run it up to the door, etc. – I teach in a very small school, so I know this is a bit out of the ordinary!) Anyways, throughout the day if I need to make any notes, etc. I can do so on the back of the construction paper. When the student returns to school all assignments are to be turned in – still in the folder. I have two checkboxes next to every item, one for the student to check when they think it's completed and one for me to check. This way I can quickly identify if anything is missing. I’ve used this system for years, and it really works well for me!

    1. Wow! That sounds GREAT! I like the idea of doing a construction paper folder....I may incorporate that instead of doing actual folders. That way I can print the while you were out in black and white on my school xerox!! :) Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Love this idea. I have also struggled with this my entire career. I am adding this to my to do list for this upcoming school year. Thanks!!

  3. Add my name to the "Struggled with This" list! I had relegated myself to be the one to always try and keep up with that. Thank you SO much for sharing!

  4. I do something very similar and I love it too! the student I chose to do it never had to be reminded, it was awesome!!! It really really helped, especially with those kids transitioning from room to room, hard for me to keep up with whom had been there and hadn't!

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! A combination of the "while you were out" and the construction paper folder seem so incredibly workable - especially when assigned as a "job"! This has always been one of my greatest struggles, and I'm actually excited about giving this a try!

    How do you handle make up tests - easy to turn papers back in in the folder, but any recommendations on how to get the tests made up without missing new lass material or being "punished" by missing recess to do it?

    Thanks in advance - and thanks again!

  6. At the beginning of every year I make a set of magnets with each students' names on them. I use business card magnets that can be purchased cheaply and have adhesive on them. I then use them to put the test up on the white board. They know to look for it when they return. I also use it through the week when I need to send important notes home.