Monday, May 11, 2015

Preparing For a New Year!

Do you HATE taking days off because of all of the time it takes to prepare for a sub?! I know I do! I always panic about what if I am really, really sick, and can't even write lesson plans in the morning. Last summer, I worked on creating an editable sub binder for this exact reason, and I am IN LOVE!
My favorite part about having a sub binder is that literally EVERYTHING is inside it! Routines, procedures, emergency information, rules, schedules… you name it, it's in there! By doing this, I don't have to re-type this information every time I make sub plans {and it's one less thing for me to worry about if I have to take an unplanned day off}. All I change is the lesson plans section. Let's start at the beginning...

Start off on the right foot by telling your sub all that they need to know about your class! I like to leave the phone extensions of my kindergarten team, when to call the office with attendance, and when literacy, math, and special ed paras will be in my room.
Next up, keep your class list handy so that your sub can take attendance, or have it incase of a fire drill!
This section is packed full of important information for your sub to know!
1. List all of your amazing student helpers that your substitute can go to for help. Even in kindergarten, I have 3 trustworthy "student teachers!!"
2. Make sure to give your substitute important school info like office extensions, your email, and your room extension.
3. For your deceiving creative little ones, draw a sketch of your classroom's seating chart so your substitute knows exactly where everyone should be.
4. Help the sub out by leaving a run down of any behavior management plans that you have in place. Being a sub can be challenging enough, they don't need the added burden of missing behavior plans!
5. Let the sub know when he/she should be expecting teachers to push in or pull out of the classroom. This is especially important if your students are expected to remember and walk down on their own!

Having once been a building sub, I know that it is much less overwhelming to have routines and procedures in a separate place from the lesson plans. Seeing paragraphs of recess routines amidst the lesson instructions is scary! For that reason, I separated all of this "stuff" into its own section for easy access.
1. Outline your arrival, attendance, and morning work instructions so that the morning runs flawlessly.
2. Leave all of the notes that you need for lunch and recess procedures. I know that I always have many "if this, then that" instructions to leave!
3. Leave your classroom rules in black and white to make sure that they know exactly what is acceptable and unacceptable. {There are templates for 4, 5, and 6 rules.}
4. Have a line order? Make sure that those "creative" kiddos don't try to pull one over on the sub. Leave the line order list for him or her so that s/he can be a step ahead!
5. The end of the day can be very chaotic. Outline your dismissal plan to cut down on the chaos! List who takes busses, walks, is a parent pickup, and the specific days of each! {There is a 4 option and 5 option template- completely customizable to your school's dismissal choices}
Going to be out for a few days? Leave a daily schedule for each day of the week AND a specials schedule! These things can get lost in between all of the lesson plans too!
Keep all emergency information in one place! Write out plans for things like fire drills, lockdown drills, evacuations, tornadoes, earthquakes.. anything important to your area! And don't forget to leave that important allergy and medication information! You don't want your sub to be searching for the nurse's phone number to get information in an emergency.
Wow! We finally made it to the only part that you thought would be in the sub binder.. lesson plans! I've included two different lesson plan templates for you to choose from. One is simply the subject and activity, while the other also outlines time and materials needed. You can also customize your plans by adding a date {especially helpful if you know you're going to be absent for more than one day}!
Story of our lives, right?! Want to make sure you're never too sick to write lesson plans? Keep a set of emergency lesson plans {labeled with EMERGENCY instead of a day and date} so that you never have to worry about an unplanned day off! Everything your sub needs will be right there when your teammate pulls out this binder for them! Isn't it nice to have one less thing to worry about!?

Do you think that this is a must have for your classroom next year? Grab it for only $2 in my TPT store! Click the image below to head on over now!

Let the countdown to summer begin!!
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