Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Sub Folder

The Substitute Folder- Very important for ALL teachers (especially new ones). As I mentioned in my previous post, sometimes teachers are not informed until the last minute that they will be out of the room (or the building) for the day attending professional development. Sometimes you get sick with no warning and have to call in or leave early. It is very important for all teachers to prepare an EMERGENCY FOLDER for a substitute teacher.

What should you put in the folder?

1. Your daily/weekly schedule

2. A class list (including a break-up list with child and teacher assignments in case there is no substitute assigned)

3. An overview of the flow of the day and routines you use with the kids. I structure mine like most substitute plans, but leave out the prep. Always leave information as to where to pick them up, where to take them at lunch, who is your school aide, etc.

4. Lists and charts- A line partner list, table spot and rug spot map.

5. EASY activities. You never know who your sub will be. A lot of schools (like mine) have very capable regular subs, but sometimes substitute from SubCentral shows up and might be incapable of doing ANYTHING (sorry to all the excellent subs, but I'm sure you've seen it too!). You can stick to all your regular subjects, but make them userfriendly.

Examples (Keep in mind, this is first grade):

  • Morning Meeting- Most subs can write a morning message and read it with the children. This helps them to introduce themselves to the kids. I also tell them to let the children circle sight words. They can also change the day on the calendar and review our web of the Fall season with the children.


  • Word Study- Do NOT have your sub do your normal program (ours is Words Their Way). I usually keep paper with a big box for a picture and a single line. Since this is for the emergency folder, I do not focus the words on the sounds we are studying, but instead write the name of an animal on each sheet (one per child). You can put them together later (post sub) to make a "Book of Animals" for the class to read. The sub can read all the words with the kids, though.


  • Read Aloud/ Literature Response- I usually leave a simple book for the substitute to read aloud like "Ms. Nelson is Missing," or "The Carrot Seed" in the folder. I instruct the sub to read it aloud to the class and then I include paper with a big box and some lines at the bottom to write about their favorite part.


  • Reading- The sub can just pass out the "Just-right baggies" and tell the children to read quietly for 15 minutes using the timer.


  • Writing- I usually leave simple paper and tell the sub to let them write a "snow story" or something of high interest. Usually their writing is crap when their is a sub, so I don't let them use their real writing folders on these days.


  • Reading (after lunch)- I always have mixed level bins of books in the room too. I tell the sub to put one bin at each table and to let the kids read from their books for 25 minutes after lunch.


  • Math- I leave copies from the Everyday Math Math Masters book of simple addition problems or the connect the dots by 1s and 5s. The sub can also count with them using the number chart and practice simple addition together. There are a lot of simple math worksheets available online as well.


  • PREP- Give them a little job to do during their prep. I usually ask them to sharpen all of the pencils and clean the tables. This helps me out for when I come back.


  • Extended Day- Don't forget this part. I usually leave a simple project (like making bookmarks) for this time. They can read their Just-Right books again if they finish early. The kids are tired and the sub is too.


6. Dismissal Procedures (including a list of kids who go to afterschool)

1 comment:

miss brave said...

When I was a kid, I was always deeply suspicious of substitute teachers because the kinds of things they were teaching us didn't seem like the kind of thing my REAL teacher would be doing. Now that I'm a teacher, of course, I know the truth: No teacher leaves for a substitute the exact same plans she would carry out herself!