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Topic: Sub Folders
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Thursday, July 30, 2009
Forum Rookie
High School Teacher
Location: New Orleans Suburb
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2
As a teacher of thirteen years, I like to get true feedback from my substitutes, whether it's positive or negative! Since we get to pick our subs from a given list, I also survey my students to find out what went well and what caused difficulties in my absence. Their feedback helps me to determine how I can improve my substitute folder, as well as to make serious considerations about requesting particular subs again. Personally, I like the folders that are designed specifically as substitute folders - they help to organize almost any information the sub may need. (There are several good ones offered by the Teacher Store Warehouse at competitive prices.) Since the only thing that changes from year to year is my schedule, I just tape my current one over the previous one (or include a printout in the folder without writing it on the folder itself). That way, I can recycle the folder for multiple years.

I usually include standardized test prep / review worksheets for true emergency days (when I do not have time to put together detailed instructions for carrying out activities that would continue my current lesson). Worksheets usually include a combination of "study guide practice skills" to be worked by students independently and "word problems" to be completed individually by students working in pairs (they can discuss the problems, but both have to write up their own solutions). All work is to be submitted before students leave class, and it usually counts as a daily quiz and/or a pair quiz grade (since problems constitute a review of previously taught content, they can be graded for content and accuracy). That has really helped to ensure that my students stay on-task, while reducing the need for disciplinary action by my sub.

As many of my established procedures remain in place as possible when I have a sub. As students enter class, the first one arriving in each group is the one who gets the Warm-Up folders for his / her group. There is a "Warm-Up / Problem of the Day" to be completed during the first ten to fifteen minutes, allowing the sub time to take attendance and write any required instructions on the board. The first one or two students who complete this activity distribute the materials and/or worksheets to the other students in class. When time is called (usually about the time that all materials / worksheets have been distributed), one student from each group collects the Warm-Up folders from their team mates and returns them to the designated storage area. A volunteer is selected by the sub to read the instructions, and then students begin the activity for that day.

If students finish early (a VERY rare occasion!), optional instructions are provided in the folder for facilitating small group discussions followed up by whole class / intergroup discussions on the content of the day. Students know to expect a journal question based on these discussions within the next day or two, so most of them participate in these discussions in a serious manner . . . even when led by a substitute teacher.

My students know what I expect in my absence - we have our "class expectations" discussion Week #1. They also know that I am not absent unless it is absolutely necessary. They are reminded that a "substitute teacher" is just that - a teacher who is taking the place of their regular teacher - someone who is deserving of the same respect and attention that they give me.
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Sunday, August 08, 2010
6th grade teacher
Level 2 Rookie
6th Grade Teacher
Location: Wilkes-Barre
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 37
One thing I also do for my sub is teach my students a game called four cornors. Basic principle is one student is it, covers their eyes, and all the students in the class pick a cornor..."it" selects a cornor, and who ever is in that cornor is out. The "teacher" thought behind it, is the quieter the students are, the harder it is for "it" to know what cornor to pick. I leave instructions for the game and tell the sub that if the students are very good, they can play at teh end of the day, only if they get their work done. It keeps the students on task and quiet for the day, and when they are normally the loudest, at the end of the day, they are super quiet so they can play four corners.
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