Monday, March 11, 2013

what to do if you are missing kids over an extended period

As I've said, I teach in a private Catholic school.  Today was the start of Sophomore Days of Recollection, so all sophomores will be gone--but one day at a time.  So today I lost some, tomorrow I'll lose some others, and Friday I'll lose still others.

I started the period determined to go into the writing rubric--big mistake.  I only had 2/3 of the class present, so I'll have to redo the whole lesson tomorrow--big waste of time, and 2/3 of my class will be doing independent work.

Independent work--is that what you do when you are faced with a big amount of missing kids?  If so, there are two sites that I'd like to recommend.  One I've talked about before--Deb Read's  It has big books, sub aids, and other videos that you can use for classes.  Another good site is  This site has links to paper books and ebooks, and it's the curriculum that I used today.  We've already read "Viaje de su vida", and "La ruta maya" worked just fine.  It provided good tie-ins and wasn't overly grammar based.  The plus?  Independent work that will last all three days.  Drawback?  Independent work--no teacher-driven input (on purpose--students will be all over the place starting tomorrow, when some students are on their second day and others are just starting.)

Some of us use the time to review basic skills and learned vocabulary.  I have done that every time but this (we all have combined classes, so Frosh-Senior all have times when they're gone).  It is okay, but once again you have pluses and drawbacks.  Plus--teacher-driven input.  Drawback--you have to do something different for the students who are there all three days, but it can't relate to what went earlier in the week, since you're getting "new" students each day.

Others of us show movies.  Ick.  But if you gotta,  you gotta.  Plus: they're occupied all period.  Minus--aside from the obvious--it's just a time-eater--you have students missing parts while they're gone, unless you really want to start all over every day or do a recap every day.

If you have access to Quia, you can play games and work on review vocab--plus:  fun for students.  minus--students who have to be there all three days might get sick of it.

So here are a few ideas of mine.  What do you do?

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