Today’s Contributor: Carrie Schreiber
Carrie Schreiber is a Texas History and Social Studies Department Chair at Fulmore Middle School. She spends her summers traveling to historical places and visiting major and minor league baseball stadiums. You can follow her travels on her Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/smrgrltravels/
BLEND is great to use when posting for all students who have the same assignment, but I have been using it another way for my absent students who do not know what they missed, or students who did the activity in class but are turning it in late.
Students with chronic absences can be a real problem in a blended classroom. Did they miss the handout, the discussion, or was it on BLEND. Even the most organized teacher can struggle with catching students up and making sure they get what they missed in class.
I already have some amazing procedures for getting absent students caught up:
- If we did a handout, I put their name and absent date on the handout and store it in the class folder.
- I post the daily slide show in the announcement section of BLEND and always tell them to look there first.
- I keep extra copies of assignments in an accessible place in my room.
But what about those days when we did a map together, or something on notebook paper that is not so easily reproduced, or students who forget to ask for their work in class. I finally found a solution that I am working with.
Once we have finished the assignment, I take a picture of my example or a really good example that a student has done. I then create the assignment and load the picture for it. I also upload the document (if it’s a map). I only assign the work to the students who were absent or did not turn it in yet. I make a note about why they are getting the assignment when no one else is. As students turn the assignment in, I go into the edit and take their name off the assignment.
You will receive a warning saying that you did not assign it to all sections. You simply continue.
I feel this doesn’t allow students to ignore the assignment as it would if I just put it in a page or the daily announcement, because it shows up on their to do list until they turn it in. It also doesn’t confuse all the students who did it in class, as an assignment would.
Of course the downside is that you have to keep editing the assignment as students turn it in, but it also takes away the excuse of. “I was absent and I didn’t know I was supposed to do it.” It also creates some self responsibility with technology and checking it more often, not just when something is assigned.
When the last student has turned the assignment in, you simply unpublish the assignment. It will not let you leave it published and unassigned to anyone.