Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What a way to start a year! [Leaving sub plans and more!]

Well, friends.... I really do have some great intentions to get on this blog someday soon and begin to show you some of the AMAZING things I've been learning from my 4th grade friends. They really are incredible!

This year just hasn't started as planned! I've had my kids for all of nine school days...  (which is crazy when I think of all we have accomplished in JUST nine days!). I really have been meaning to blog, but starting at a new school, in a new grade, with new curriculum... it's all I can do some days to keep my head above water!

Then, this weekend my grandfather passed away, which sent me into a tizzy to get sub plans ready. I am usually pretty good at getting sub plans ready. However, I have never had to leave four consecutive days of sub plans during which time I couldn't come back to the classroom to grab papers to grade, check on things, etc.

I began my hunt on pinterest and elsewhere to find some help!

I started with THIS cute Sub Tub Label from TPT. It's free and adorable. (I love free and adorable).
I applied it to my version of a Sub Tub, and viola!

I placed seven hanging folders in the sub tub. One with a folder for each day of the week, one for extra practice work in case I didn't leave enough for them to do (yeah, right!), and one empty folder for the sub to put finished work into until I get back.

Then I stuck the faculty handbook in the back of the sub tub... just in case she's dying to know our school policy on red beverages in the classroom has a legitimate question that might be answered in the handbook.

I agonized over how to leave my plans... In the past I've always typed out a blow-by-blow kind of sub plan.... but for 4 days, I thought I'd give something else a try. Last year when I subbed all over creation, I saw that most teachers simply left their sub plans in a very sub-friendly format. I'm still new at this, so it took me just as much time as if I'd typed a novel, but I think it worked very nicely!
I may or may not have another set of papers that will be going on my desk... it's just a list of basic procedures in our room (the class reward systems, behavior management, etc.). I tried to print it at school, but may have been wary of going back to the printer to get it after I accidentally walked in on an educational committee meeting...barefoot...to get other papers from the printer. Oops. Smooth move. So, one of the other teachers is going to do me a HUGE favor and print them out tomorrow morning and put them on my desk. :)

I made notes on post-its and stuck them in the teachers manuals or on the worksheets if there were more in-depth instructions.
I tried to leave helpful things.... even more than she could ever want/need.

Stacks of curriculum in the order in which each subject is taught during the day.

Individual notes on a few of the students' desks... ones who I can trust to take care of the little things for me. :)

And then I left one last note for my students... one that will make them smile tomorrow morning.

You see, they are possible the most garrulous class I've taught in my 6 years of teaching.
 (gar·ru·lous [gar-uh-luhs] adjective 1. excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner,especially about trivial matters.) 
And I love that because they're so very garrulous, it provided me with the PERFECT opportunity to enrich their vocabulary, tease them (all in good fun!), and teach them that the suffix [-ous] means "full of." Told you we've been learning a lot these past nine days! :)

So... for the next four school days, I will be in San Diego, helping my family sort through things and plan the funeral, and then celebrating my Grandpa's legacy, integrity, and life with about 30 family members. And when I come back, the kids will still be garrulous. There will be concepts that need to be retaught and practiced. There will be stories to tell. And then we will march on, my fourth graders and I, for the remaining 167 days of school. We'll have a lot of learning to do! :)



  1. This is so helpful! I'm about to head away from school for four days for a Character Education conference and I am a little worried! Thanks for your advice :)

  2. So sorry to hear about your grandfather, but it looks like you did a great job of leaving everything organized. I had to sub plan for a funeral trip last week, too, and it's just a tough thing to do.

    I teach in Indiana too, only about an hour or hour and a half away from you! :) I actually interviewed for a job in Crown Point (but not your same school). I'm a new follower- love finding other Indiana teachers! :)

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad