Friday, January 15, 2016

Need Sub Plans? We've Got You Covered!

It was my third year of teaching when I had my little girl and decided to take a break from the classroom and sub for the year while I worked more as a stay-at-home mom.  I limited myself to just a couple days a week and stayed in the upper elementary grades where I thought I would feel more comfortable.  Boy was I wrong!

Soon I was getting regular call backs to the same 4th grade teacher's room.  Mrs. Sampson was a phenomenal teacher who kept her class in order and produced amazing results, so I thought nothing of subbing for her.  That was until I got there and realized 4th graders are a whole different breed of animal from the 6th graders I was used to.  After 3 days of being bombarded by stuffed animals in shoe boxes, make believe friends, and petty he said-she said fights, I said no to anymore of Mrs. Sampson's sub requests.

It wasn't all a lost cause though, because Mrs. Sampson taught me just what to do when I had a sub, and it's something I've followed ever since.

1. Type up detailed plans for the day.  Assume nothing and explain everything and you'll come back to much fewer headaches.

2. Layout all your materials for the day in chronological order and better yet, label them and put sticky notes on the pages that will be needed.

3.  Leave a list of kids that can be counted on and kids that need extra attention.

4. Include more material than you think will be needed.  Subs don't tend to teach as in-depth and with as much passion as you may like, so they'll tend to get through material faster than you may have planned.  Make sure they have plenty to keep them busy.

With that in mind, my color by number sheets have been called the perfect sub activity repeatedly.  They come in 13 different skills for any age from kinder all the way up to 8th grade and cover every month of the school year.  They can be purchased individually by sheet when you just need something quickly for one day.  Or better yet you can get a Monthly Bundle of one particular skill if it's something you need to master over the course of the year.  With these in your back pocket, you're bound to have plenty to keep the kids busy, just in case.

5. Include a sub-folder which has all your copy codes, emergency numbers, teaching cohorts, and more.

6. Have a friend or a co-teacher be willing to step in and check on how things are going, answer questions, and take control if things are going awry.

Hopefully by following these 6 steps and gathering some go-to sub folder lessons of your own, it won't be such a pain to call in and take a sick day the next time you're feeling under the weather.

Thanks to the ELA Buffet and Desktop Learning for putting this fun and informative blog hop together.
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Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome to 2016

I can't believe it's 2016 already.  I'm sure I'll be messing up my checks for the next three months, but it's here, and I'm ready to get it started.  I've linked up with Farley to talk about what's Currently happening in my life.  You can join in on the fun too, by visiting her blog - Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

LISTENING: My husband is marathon watching StarGate: SG1 so I'm listening to old episodes of that show while I sit here working.  I so love Richard Dean Anderson from that show.

LOVING:  I love vacation days when we don't have to wake up early.  I don't have to make lunches, and we don't have any plans.  Sometimes we get things done and are really motivated to knock things off the to-do list, and other days we just bum around the house in our PJs and have fun watching movies and playing games.  It's heavenly.

THINKING:  Tomorrow we are having a Colorado Meet-Up in Denver.  It's a little over an hour drive for me, and I'm nervous around people I don't know too well, so we will see how it goes.  This is only my second TpT Colorado Meet-Up so I'm pretty nervous.  Although I do get to go to the Lego Store and the Container Store afterwards so that makes me ecstatic.

WANTING:  Although I've been hearing everyone else on Instagram and Facebook talking about how warm their Christmas has been, Colorado has been in a prolonged cold-snap.  We haven't been above 40 degrees in weeks, and I'm tired of it.  I already do not handle the cold well, but then to have it be so cold for so long, does not do me well.

NEEDING:  I am in dire need of confidence.  It is something I have suffered with my entire life, and something I desperately want to be better at, but no matter what I try to conquer it, I fail.  I just want to believe in myself.  

ONE LITTLE WORD:  Positivity - It's a bit cliche, but I'm really going to try to be more positive this year in everything I do.  Last year I had an accomplishments board for things related to TpT, but this year I'm going to fill a jar of everything good that happens in every aspect of my life.  I hope to look back at it in a year's time and be amazed at all the goodness that was bestowed on our family throughout the year.  I know I can do this.