I don't know about you, but planning for a substitute sometimes seems like more work than if I was just in the room myself. I want to make sure I leave high quality work, which means that explanations need to be left for the routines and procedures, as well as the lessons themselves. I don't want a lot of downtime, as I want my students actively engaged and learning, even in my absence. So, what I have done to make my life a *bit* easier, is lay out each of my days in a minute by minute format to print out when I have a planned sub day.
My basic daily schedule doesn't change much each week. Monday routine is Monday routine. Wednesday I always have Science Lab and Library or Computer. Friday is always testing day. The routine of Calendar Math is the same each and every day. The procedures for Fluency Practice doesn't change. Knowing all of this, I created a word doc on my computer with all 5 days on it. It looks something like this:
I know, that isn't a great picture. But what you *can* see is that there is a minute by minute breakdown of my day. For example, from 8:35 - 8:40am it says, "Welcome/Announcements/Pledge". Every day, M - F, at that same time is the same thing. So in the Doc, I just cut and pasted the same information 5 times. When we do Lightning Rod, the procedure is the same day in and day out. So that was a cut and paste as well. Same with the closing routine. Again, cut and paste.
So what I end up with is a 5 day detailed lesson plan that can be printed out for when I know I am going to be away for the day (or even an hour, as sometimes I am called to a meeting or whatnot).
What does change are the specific things I want to be done during reading or writing or math rotations. So all I have to do is go in and change that specific lesson. The format stays the same, the times stay the same, and I don't have to type it all out each time I have a sub!
I also make sure to put everything they need for the day, in the order it will be needed, as well as any samples, in a folder. That way, everything is accessible and "user friendly".
Now, I pace my day fast (as there is A LOT that ALWAYS needs to be covered) so I don't expect everything to get done. BUT, if I have a lot to do, I know that most of it will get done and that I won't be playing catch up when I get back. My substitutes seem to follow the plan and there isn't a lot of "busy work" going on. A productive day is had by all...just as if I was there.
What do you do to prepare for a sub? Do you have a specific routine you go through to make the planning process easier for yourself?
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