Question About Absences

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9 thoughts on “Question About Absences”

  1. I had a student absent for three days last week during the auditory input days of a lesson. He was lost when he got back. Then, as we did our two days of Chinese character writing practice (one day learning to write the characters and one day writing dictation sentences), he at least got to know what the new terms were. Next, we have two days of reading with lots of circling. By the end of those two days, most of the kids have heard and seen the structures so many times that they start to get a little bored. That was his catch up time. After the quizzes, I start new input with new structures but I keep using the previous ones. He got them eventually. The students get a vocabulary sheet with the new structures at the beginning of the lesson per a school improvement requirement to use Cornell Notes. They keep this in their binder and have it on their desks when we are doing initial input. I had another student help him fill in the English meanings when he came back from his absence.

    1. Similarly, Tamula, I was gonna say that since we spend 1-2 weeks on the same structures, there are plenty of reps to be had even when absent a few days. I have kids that consistently get pulled 1 of 3 classes every week in order to receive some type of remedial help or counseling. I’m the lowest on the food chain, so they get pulled from me. The absent kids, depending on their acquisition rate, may not get to the point where the structures are “fluent” for them. But we can make the class stories available. And we do try to recycle language.

  2. I bought some small clip boards at Staples and put legal pads on them.
    I have been having my high fliers take notes (to start the year) and then use them for the absent students to review when they return… I also typed up the notes for my use and for the class.

  3. I just have my Spanish 1 kids check the class notebook (notes taken by one student, stays in the classroom) when they get back. So no make-up per se.

    Spanish 2 (and probably later in Spanish 1) kids have to do a translation make-up. I’ve made many copies of extended readings from LICT, and when a kid needs to make-up a day, they come to me and get one. I can differentiate this a bit, so a higher ability kids gets a more difficult translation than a lower ability kid. This is a good feature of it for me. I scan it when they turn it in (I ask them to write the translation underneath the text, in between each line) and make sure they’ve got the main stuff. Since there’s lots of reps in these, kids are acquiring language. If they have the wrong word(s), I quickly highlight the stuff that’s incorrect and they turn it back into me. Doesn’t take me long at all.

  4. I agree that they will pick it up in future days. If you get pressure to have some assignment or would feel better with one, I would recommend they make up a portion of the time with watching or reading in target language outside of class. I wouldn’t log it or collect it, but you can say they were assigned something if you need to calm others down. If the students do it, it will help them generally and if not, they really are no worse off then the worksheet students.

  5. I keep a spiral notebook where I write all my quizzes & dictados, logged by date, class, and title. When a student comes to make something up (and they are always prompted by the 0 in the online gradebook, not by me, because it isn’t my grade), I pull up the story on my computer and let them read over it while I shuffle through my notebook for the quiz. Depending on the student, I read it to them out loud in Spanish if I think they will benefit from the aural input. I then ask the quiz questions in English while they still have the text in front of them. Dictado make-ups become straight translations. None of this takes more than 5-10 minutes.

  6. If I have a student that will be gone a week or so I give them an easy novel to read, if they are to that level, and when they return they tell me about it. I then replace missed grades with 100%.

  7. I do mostly what Ben does, but if a kid wants to make up the points (whether because of not being excused or because they want a chance at another good grade), they have to request a “tutor,” one of the anxious-to-volunteer kids from a higher level to come in and do a story with them at lunch. Takes it out of my hands, and both benefit.

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