Our attendance is atrocious this year. It's always terrible, but it's especially bad right now - I assume it's the swine flu thing? Whether kids actually have it or are just taking advantage of the possibility and faking symptoms to stay home, I don't know, but it's ridiculous.
One class, though, benefited today from the absences. Period 8. For whatever reason, having three kids out today meant that the rest of the class....I don't know. Just kinda...got their shit together. They got started on work - not as quickly as they should, but still. They didn't talk over each other and me. They paid attention and took notes and responded to my questions. It was rockin'.
Last week in there, we made a list of appropriate classroom behaviors, and every day, they're self-assessing on each to determine how well they're doing with them. Today, most kids gave themselves full points. And I agreed.
It was delightful.
(Photo credit to kevindooley. Dude, how CUTE is that kid? Ridiculous.)