Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Oughta Know About...Managing Absent Work

Hi friends!! It's that time again! I'm linking up with Mrs. McClain over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for the monthly You Oughta Know blog hop! We'll be sharing tips, advice, websites, and products that teachers just oughta know about! Make sure that you check out the other blogs at the end of this post to discover more things that You Oughta Know!

My tip this month is simple and such a time (and sanity) saver! I'm going to share with you how I organize my absent work! Now I know what you're thinking......just put it on the child's desk and let them get it in the morning. Wouldn't that be great?? In a departmentalized classroom, that is not an option. I've got 2 other sweeties that sit where the absent student sits throughout the day, so leaving the work on the desk is not an option for me.

Enter.....this beauty!

I was cruising through a local teacher store this summer and happened upon this nifty pocket chart (you can click the pic to check it out on Amazon).

 Pocket Chart

The color is actually what drew me to this adorable pocket chart. I knew I was going to buy it regardless of what it was going to hold :) When I picked it up, I saw that it held 5 file folders. And that's when it hit me....ABSENT WORK!!!

Last year, I had basically no system for absent work. I don't know how I went the whole year without a system for managing absent work. That is so not me! I seriously just threw the papers on my desk and prayed that they would eventually make it to the students (just being honest here, folks).

I found these adorable file folders at my favorite store, Target.

I put one folder in each pocket and then typed up some quick, cute labels for each day of the week.

Now, when a student is absent, I let their work collect on their desk or pull it in the morning. Near the end of the class, I grab a paperclip and clip the work together. Then I attach one of these babies to the top:


You can grab this as a freebie HERE. I keep plenty of copies of this form in my pocket chart so they are handy and ready to go when I need them.

I write in everything the student missed. If the parent wants to pick up the student's work during the day, I'll send it to the other teachers to attach their absent work as well.

Now when my students are absent, all I have to do is tell them to grab their absent work from the day they were absent. SIMPLE!

I hung my pocket chart on the back of my door with some Command Hooks. It is in a central location that is easily accessible!

No more misplacing absent work for me! And now my students can be independent and grab their work themselves! Everyone needs a system that will work well for them. This works for me because it is easy, keeps work off desks, and takes up no room (I would love to do a hanging file but I just don't have the room).

So that's it folks! Simple and organized.....just the way I like it! Now make sure you hop through the other blogs below to learn some more cool tips and tricks!


  1. Hi Stephanie, Thank you for this great idea and freebie! I do the same thing when I am at a store...if it is the right color, I will figure out some way to use it. I needed this tip to help me organize things in an out-of-the-way place that is student accessible.

    Please tell your husband thank you from all of us teachers for serving and protecting our country. We appreciate him! And thank YOU for supporting him as his wife!

    i Heart Second

    The Think Aloud Cloud

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet compliments Carrie! My husband sees it as his honor to get to serve his country! :)

  2. Thank you so much for this great idea, Stephanie! There is nothing worse than having students confused about what they missed....great idea for them learning responsibility too.
    Best wishes!

    1. Thank you so much Jen! I try to give my students as much responsibility as they can handle (and as much as I can handle giving them without losing my mind :))!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I will have to keep my eyes open next time I'm at the store.

    1. I would imagine it should be easy to find! If not, I'm sure there are plenty places to get it online!

  4. I love this system...totally gonna steal it :)

    1. Natalie, that is such a big compliment! Only in teaching is "I'm going to steal this" a good thing to say :)

  5. Such a great idea and a cute way to keep it organized! I love organizational tips.

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

    1. Thank you so much, Mrs. Plemons! I'm obsessed with organization and love organizational tips, too!

      Thank you for stopping by!