Update 7-12-17: I have heavily modified what I do for absent students. While the overall system is the same, the actual activities I give my students are based on a series of co-created activities based on the SOMOS curriculum that a group of dedicated teachers (including myself) created. See more about that below.
I teach 4 levels of Spanish and I also co-teach a service learning elective class. Keeping track of materials, absent kids, assignments...sometimes it's hard! Especially at the end of the day, when I am trying to find that one piece of paper that is tiny and probably buried under 100 other identical tiny pieces of paper.
One big challenge that I decided the kids could help me with is keeping track of what we do each day on a written form, and collect any assignments or notebook items for absent kids. Since kids are expected to come see me during office hours, (at the end of the day, before I get a chance to clean up and re-organize), this simple document has been a lifesaver.
I decided that students who are absent have 3 tasks:
1) Come see me during office hours and check what they missed and get any work that they need to make up.
2) Check the class web page for anything I might have posted.
3) Pick one activity that the curriculum collaboration group created. (These documents can be found in the Collab Drive, accessible for members of the [free] Somos Collaboration Group on Facebook.)
For tracking daily activities, I created a form called Absent Student Tracking (super original, I know).
Two kids get to trade off the work during class to keep daily notes in a binder, and when someone comes in to make up their absence, all I have to do is open the binder and the notes and handouts are there.
Each class has a section with a folder in the binder, and each section is color coded as well. So far, it has worked incredibly well and the kids have really appreciated both the chance to have the note-taker job as well as my improved efficiency and organization. Win-win.
Enjoy and modify. (Don't forget to attribute! See the fair use notice on the lower right hand side of my blog.)
Absent student tracking: a form for students to fill out during class
Click for an editable document.
Absent Student Make-up Work- 33 options
(Modified from Ben Lev's original document)
Click here for an editable word version.