My Favorite: Absent Cards

I seriously thought I’d be able to do this one on time, but once again I’m a day late on the ExploreMTBoS 2016 Blogging Initiative. I will try my best to do Week 3 on time, but for now I am catching up with Week 2: My Favorite.


It was really hard to think of something. I love Desmos, but I also love Review Games (up until this year actually), and I also loved Barbie Bungee, but I also love Glen Waddell’s High Fives. However, I settled on my Absent Cards.

This is not revolutionary and I believe I stole and adapted from someone but I can’t find who it is. Let me know if it is you!

So if I have a student who is absent, someone else at their table has to get a yellow absent card from the side of the room and fill it out for them. The students groan about this at first, but then they realize that one day they are absent and appreciate this being done for them. I have another student fill it out because then that person (and the rest of their table) is a resource for that student in catching up.

This is what it looks like. I print it 4 to a page on color paper so they are little yellow cards in my room.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 10.18.14 AM

File here: Word Doc   PDF

The “Announcement” section has only had to be filled out a few times, but sometimes the kids put little messages there (Hope you’re feeling better, you missed a tough one, she said another math pun today, etc). I do check over everything that is written (at the beginning of the year I always have someone try to say something mean and have a talk with them) but it’s pretty simple or them to fill out. Also, when I pass out papers, I leave one for the absent student so that the students at the table get a little reminder that they need to fill the card out with that worksheet. I have the students turn it in to me so that I can check it, attach a copy of any filled out notes we did in class, and then put it into the absent bin. The only time I fill out the card is if it was done incorrectly (hasn’t happened since the beginning of the year) or if it’s a test day.

When students return from being absent, they know to look in the bin. I even have students come in during a passing period or before school to grab their stuff that they missed.

I wish I took a better picture not from my doorway…

The absent bin has a sign I took from Sarah Hagan at Math Equals Love. This method is the one of the few things I kept from my first days teaching that has had very little tweaking and the students have commented that it helps them. It also takes some work off of me and puts more responsibility on the students.

I’ve really enjoyed reading all the other My Favorites! I can’t wait to use some of the things I have read.

Mon objectif pour cette semaine est écrire AVANT la date limite!

4 thoughts on “My Favorite: Absent Cards

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