When working in stations in math class, this gives students that were absent an opportunity to catch up. Working with their group will help them not feel so far behind. My students are always helping each other and showing each other new strategies to learn various concepts.
This also gives the children who teach the new concept a true knowledge of it. It is easy to listen to a teacher and to repeat the steps they do, but you can truly see if a child understands when they have to break down the concept and teach it.
Since all my stations are spiraling, the students never feel far behind when they are out.