Secondary Smorgasbord: Treats for Classroom Management

It's a treat to be part of this month's Secondary Smorgasbord. The theme is treats for teachers, no tricks. 

I thought a lot about what is a good treat for me as a teacher. The biggest treats for me are the "aha" moments in my students when they gain a deeper understanding or when students make connections across different units of study.  Obviously, I can't give you those and you have your own treats, but those moments wouldn't happen nearly as much without reducing the time I spend on procedure. So I'm sharing with you a slice of my classroom tricks (excuse the pun) that provide more time (make sure to read all the way down for a free copy of teacher timesavers).



I can't share everything here, but below are some of my favorite ways to manage absences.  I found these not only through my own classroom experience but from many hours spent observing in other teachers' classrooms (Make sure to read down to the bottom for your treat). 
 
  • Use a folder. Have a folder made at the beginning of the year for each student.  When a student is absent, put any materials you use that day in the folder.  When the student returns, you had the student the absence along with any other notes you have.
  •  Students helping students.  Assign absence buddies to be responsible for information for absent students.  Each student is responsible for collecting materials and reviewing information from the missed days for their absent buddy.  This strategy is particularly effective because it empower students to work with each other as well as to review the material they have been learning. 
  • Review sheet. Assign a student each day to write a quick summary of the lesson.  They should include the topic, any readings or resources, major ideas from the lesson, and assignments.  Absent students can read review sheets when their return to school. 
  • Quick summary. Have a quick summary of the lessons you teach posted in the room: objective, resources, and assignments.  Print out any presentations, references to textbooks, and assignments.  

When students return from absences, they can quickly use one of the methods without solely relying on you to catch them up.  Get more ideas for grouping, planning, and more in my treat to you:  a free copy of teacher timesavers.

Check out some other treats with the links below.  And have a very happy October!

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16 comments

  1. Right on! I love the "Review Sheet" suggestion. I think it's awesome to give rotate kids through standout roles--it helps them feel valued, engages them more powerfully, and gets a job done. As always, great insights. Love the blog!

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    1. Thanks as always for taking time to comment and give feedback. I appreciate it.

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  2. This is such a great gift. Thanks so much.

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    1. You are so welcome, Charlene. I hope you enjoy. I love sharing these treats!

      Happy Halloween.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  3. These are great ideas for teachers of all subject areas. Dealing with absences and make up work is always a struggle!

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    1. Yep...I wanted to give treat that would work for all of secondary. Thanks for commenting.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  4. Great tips (or should I say tricks!)! Thank you so much!

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  5. Such good ideas! Keeping absent students up-to-date can be stressful. These tips cut the hassle. Thank you.
    Connie

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  6. I just downloaded your GENEROUS freebie...20+ pages of practical (and dare I say fun) tips that can be used across the content areas. Outstanding resource.

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    1. You are welcome! So happy to share a treat with other secondary teachers. Enjoy!

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  7. Love the generous freebie! WOW! I wish I'd had this student-teaching!

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  8. Bless your heart. Boy, do I need that Teacher Timesavers resource! I just started using the buddy system for absences, and I'm already wondering why it took me so long. Thank you so much!
    Darlene
    ELABuffet

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    1. You are welcome! The buddy system is my personal favorite because it makes students responsible for each other.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  9. This year more than ever I am thankful for anything that can save me time! It seems like there's less and less - I wish I could press a pause button but since I can't I'll use your tips! :)

    -Lisa
    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

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  10. Absence Buddies - What a fabulous but simple idea! I'm going to assign students these "buddies" at the beginning of next semester!

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