Thursday, May 15, 2014

Question of the Week: Absences

This week's question, submitted by a guest, was: How do you use your classtime effectively when you have multiple students missing class due to a school function? Whether it be a field trip, a sporting event, a club meeting, or other school responsibility that forces a group of students to miss class, we still must continue teaching to the students who are present.

Our teachers had some great enrichment activities for the students who were in class to further their language skills, while not creating something that the missing students would have to make up. Here's what our teachers had to say:

"Sometime I put up a silly picture and give students a goal--write for 10 minutes (alone or in pairs), write a 10-sentence story, write a story in which they must use certain words, etc. Other time we play games (board races, bingo, matamoscas), or have "coffee chats" where students dialogue about a topic I've projected on the board."

"If usually have a standalone enrichment activity, something which will not penalize absent students and which will be fun for students who are present. One example I really like is learning how to text in French and then texting students who are absent. Students get a real kick out of it!"

"Pair those present up and give out topic cards to converse about."
Senorita Del Valle
(SpanishPlans offers some great questions cards here for levels 1 and 2 or 3 and 4)

"Learn - I've become more and more convinced that we have to include learning even if a large percent of students are not present.
Do a game that reinforces a recent lesson, spend extra time reading - either free read or read aloud, keep them moving with stations. A lot of times the ones left are still here because they are the ones that don't get involved - and the aspect of not getting involved carries over into the classroom also. So they are usually the ones who could use a little more face to face personalized instruction time. "


"If half the class is missing, I would probably plan some fun oral drills, review games or find a good video to show. Another idea would be to assign the students (who were absent) to write a paragraph in the target language (answering who, what, why, where, when) about what they did when they were not in class. Have them read these paragraphs to the class when they return."Caroline Marion - I Speak Your Language

"I have the board game "Manzanas con Manzanas" (The Spanish version of Apples to Apples). There are plenty of cards for a 10-14 kids to play. We play as a class with one person choosing an adjective and everyone else submitting cards. I choose 1 funny response, 1 fitting response, and 1 other and we vote on which one we like the best. They love it and it makes them feel not so bad that they are in class while everyone else is away."

"If I am able to adjust & teach a lesson that's a "nice to have" rather than "must" (for example, to extend certain abilities my students have been working on - additional practice with transitions in their writing, further clarification on a tricky grammar point, a cultural reading that won't be tested or really be crucial to understand in the near future) then I do. But sometimes, when activities seem to be planned back to back to back, that's not really possible. In these instances, technology is my friend. I ensure PowerPoint presentations given in class are uploaded to a secure class blog for students who missed it to reference, and give them a high-level update when they return. I've also make video & audio recordings a couple of times, if I really needed to explain something... essentially, a form of flipping the classroom."
@madameaiello /   

Have a question you'd like us to answer? Have an answer for the next week's question? Submit it here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.