Absent Students: How to Use Google Classroom

I'm not sure why I hadn't discovered this before, but if you are a Google Classroom school, you should absolutely use Google Classroom for absent students. I implemented this last year for the first time, and it was AMAZING! Handling absent students no longer was this *big* issue. If you don't use Google Classroom, check out this post here to read about what I did in the past. If you do use Google Classroom, keep reading ...

First, I create an entirely separate class specifically for absent work. I title the class "Absent Work" and make sure to include which section of students this class is for. This makes it incredibly useful if you teach multiple grade levels. I have all of my students sign up for the class using the class code.

Now that the class is created and all of my students are in the class, I will assign one of my students to be the "Absent Helper" for a month (or however long you assign class jobs). That student has access to upload announcements and assignments. This student, let's say Susan, is responsible for uploading the work from that day to the Absent Work class for her grade. So Susan will either create an announcement or add an assignment for all of the classes she visits that day - from ELA to History and Spanish to Science.

This creates a streamlined and easy process for students to gain access to what they missed. It also makes it very easy for me, as everything is online for students to access. Meaning, they can access missed work from Monday on Monday while they are home - hypothetically, they could even do some of the work at home that day!

What's even better is that my Absent Helper can take pictures of the notes from class and upload those to the Absent Work class as well! She can take pictures of any worksheets or handouts and upload those as well.

One thing that I do create initially to make everything more organized is to create topics for each subject. Simply create a new announcement and create a new topic, or create a new topic on the sidebar on the main page of the class. This way, students can organize what they missed by class when they are looking through the absent work.

And that's really all there is to it! Again, it's a very simple, organized, streamlined, and efficient way to keep track of absent work throughout the day and allow students easy access to what they've missed. In my experience, it has been a win-win for all of us :)



  1. Did you find that this was easier for students to navigate and access versus just posting all assignments and announcements to your main Google Classroom?

    1. Hi Anita!

      Yes, we found this was MUCH easier than posting everything to our main Google Classroom because posts would get lost there throughout the day. Hope this helps!