Catch Up Absent Students on Missed Lessons

It’s inevitable that students are going to be absent from class. To start the year prepared to catch them up on what they missed, establish a procedure providing kids with the information and tools they need to move forward independently.

Here are several options for managing this:


Staple envelopes to a bulletin board. Number them 1-31 (representing each day of any given month). For every day you pass out a handout or resource, slide the extra copies into the appropriately dated envelope. You might also take photos with your phone or tablet of any notes written on the board or chart paper or overhead. Slide copies of those images into the envelope, too. When students return to school, they pull the printouts that correspond with the dates they were absent.

Envelope System for make-up work


If you maintain a digital calendar as part of a school website, simply print out a copy of the information you typed and tape it to a weekly/monthly calendar.

FILE FOLDER SYSTEMFile-Folder System for make-up work

Every handout passed out gets a number. So if 3 handouts are passed out on one day, then they are numbers 1, 2, 3. Maybe none are passed out the rest of the week, but the following week’s handouts will start with number 4. These numbers coordinate with numbered file folders stored in a crate where all extra copies of handouts are housed for a given unit.

On a classroom calendar posted above the crate, note the content covered each day and the applicable handout number(s).


If you utilize digital notebooks, upload all of the digital entries onto the school website. This allows students to access the pages for each unit. Simply upload all the documents and students can independently grab and go.

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