Friday, July 20, 2012

Detailed Sub Envelopes

I've had a lot of interest in my Sub Binder and the envelopes I use for sub plans. I thought I'd give you a photo description of what I use!

If you missed it, here's my Guest Teacher (aka sub) Binder:

Click here to see more pictures of inside this binder.

I have a fabric bin labeled "Sub Tub" with 5 envelopes, and each envelope has everything in it a substitute (or guest) teacher will need for one full day (so I have 5 envelopes, which is enough for one full emergency week or 5 separate emergency days). Let's take a look.

(Above) Basically, this is just a big ol' manilla envelope with a label on it. These are really intended for emergency sub plans. If I know far enough in advance that I'll have a sub, I'll lay out more detailed plans. The Guest Teacher Binder will still be helpful, though.

(Above) I include a few office referral forms and nurse passes in each envelope.

(Above) I always include $0.75 in a snack-sized ziplock baggie with instructions for the guest teacher to have a Coke! It's just a nice gesture. I was taught in the methodology that if you ask for something from the office that's out of the ordinary, you send a note down with a little piece of chocolate. If someone does something extra special for you, you send a little sweet treat with a thank you note. This is just another thing along the same lines. I also include a ziplock baggie with 3 band-aids in it. Inevitably, someone always needs a band-aid when I'm out!

(Above) I leave nametags already written out for the substitute. I figure it'd be easier for the sub if the names are already written; plus, he/she will be able to read the name, see the face, and hopefully make a little bit of an association.

(Above) This is a sheet that gets copied and put in all 5 envelopes. It's a description of every instructional period of the day. It has a section for materials needed and procedures. I've left the same TYPE of lesson plan for all 5 emergency envelopes. Each activity is different, but it's the same type of activity. Does that make sense? These are just broad directions.

(Above) I include old issues of Scholastic News Magazine that are interesting for reading sub plans. I then include 4 activities with the magazine that will be standards-based and a good review of what we have worked on. There are 3 good activities along with one for "if there is extra time." Better to have too much than not enough, in my opinion!

(Above) Here is another shot of the detailed plans for that magazine, plus 30 copies of each activity.

(Above) This is the lesson I leave for language arts. It's a "What Would You Do?" story prompt that I bought from my EdHelper account. It's worth the $20 a year if for nothing else than easy, ready-to-print sub plans! This one is a story about a girl who had a busy weekend doing family things (a cousin's wedding, her soccer game, etc.) and forgot to study for the big end-of-unit science test! Her friend offers to let her "sneak a peak" at his test. Should she?

The plans for this ask the substitute to read the story out loud, then ask the questions below.

(Above) These are the questions that go with the "What Would You Do?" story. The guest teacher will read aloud one question at a time, let the students discuss some possible answers, and then move to the next one. The questions are designed to get the students thinking about consequences of some possible actions and different viewpoints about the problem. After that, the teacher will read the question for the writing activity aloud. For the rest of the period, students will write their "What Would You Do?" story. There are lots of great ones I've printed out this year that I think the students will really enjoy!

For social studies, the students will have an interactive notebook this year, so the directions are just for the students to work on that using computers, textbooks, and nonfiction books available in the classroom.

By the way, Target is having a pretty good promo this week - if you buy 3 boxes of Band-Aids (discounted, btw), you get a free first aid box! I think this will make my Band-Aids a little easier to find in the closet!

I hope this glimpse into my sub packet has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions, or leave me a comment telling me what you do in emergency sub situations!

*There's still time to enter the contest! Click here to see details. It closes on Monday!


  1. I love the term"guest teacher" as opposed to "sub". It is much more friendly. Thank you for the details. I'm going to make a box like this too. So smart!

    1. Amy, I saw that term a few years ago on the Internet, and I have loved it ever since :) Going to message you - I'm ready to get together!!

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am a new teacher and am new at making sub plans, so this is very helpful to me. I like that you have 5, just in case you're out for a whole week. This is very well thought-out. Thanks again!


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