What really happens when your child misses school?

stargazingWhen a child misses school—for an afternoon, a day, or a weeklong trip—parents often request makeup work.  Often, I only send home part of what we do in class.  Sometimes I think this makes parents wonder how much their child is really missing.  After all, the makeup work seems so easy!

A lot of teaching goes into the worksheets parents see.  A worksheet that takes a few minutes to do at home was part of a full lesson at school: teaching the skill, giving context to the lesson, extending or remediating based on the needs of the class.

This kind of teaching is most evident in math—we use whiteboards to do practice problems that I create.  I “scaffold” the practice problems—building each skill up as the class gains mastery.  A makeup worksheet is not a good substitute for having a teacher watch as children learn a skill.

Parents, please know that teachers try to keep makeup work manageable, and that the lesson in class was much more extensive than the worksheet you see at home.

Good teaching is like a good joke—you really needed to be there.

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Posted in Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Mar 9, 2010


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