One of the most frustrating things that a teacher has to deal with day in and day out is make up work. I have had this take up hours of my work week, tracking down assignments, printing them out etc. To me, this is a total waste of time for a teacher because every second we spend doing administrative tasks is a second we could use to plan better lesson, or even better, be in front of a student teaching!
How to make make up work, work.
I got this idea from Gary Tsuruda and have since expanded it a bit. What you do is assign a student helper to be the Absent Student Manager. Then you have to spend a couple of weeks training them on what to do. After taking roll, inform them of the students who are absent for the day. I do this by having my roll taker give my seating chart to the Absent Student Manager. Then tell them how to fill out the “while you were out” (make up work) form. You can download my form here or make your own. Also teach them to paper clip any handouts, materials or notes from the lesson top the form and put the information in a designated folder, or tray.
The next day they pull out everything in the tray and add to it if the student is still absent. If the student returns they give the materials and the form to the student, and without saying or doing anything you have provided that student with all the make up work.
The real trick
The real trick to this is to choose the right student and spend the time necessary to train them in what needs to be done. You should pick a student who is self motivated, takes excellent notes in class, and is of course very organized. I have a whole host of jobs for students to do in my classroom and I have them apply for them every semester. That way the students actually want the job which always makes for a better Absent Student Manager.
The student receives invaluable experience in learning to be responsible amd consistent, which will be invaluable to their future employer. Also, the students usually love their responsability and that gives them a lot of satisfaction and a sense of belonging in the classroom that you couldn’t have otherwise provided for them.
Try it! send me an email of how it turns out.