Social Sundays: Where have they gone?

I used to think that the worst absences would be during flu season, but it seems like my class gets smaller and smaller in the Spring.  Between sports and vacations and "Spring Fever," students miss class here and there.  Helping students catch up is challenging, so I have distributed that task to the students.  Here are some of my favorite strategies for managing absences:

  1. 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.
  2.  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. 

  3. 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. 

  4. 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. 
How do you manage absences?  Share your ideas in the comments section below.

Social Sundays is a weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching social studies.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message on Facebook or at the store in the question and answer section.   



  1. I like your students helping students tip, I'm probably going to incorporate that into my system next year. I bet it also helps them learn a different type of responsibility than just remembering to bring their lunch or write their name on the paper.

    1. Absolutely! I'm all about students taking ownership and being part of the learning community and not relying on me as the sole source of knowledge/information. Students are reliant on each other as much as on themselves.



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