Friday, January 15, 2016

Lessons For Those, "Oh No! I Need a Sub!" Days

Oh No!  During the night, the cat clawed your washing machine hose and  water sprayed your laundry room until you turned the water valve to Off and duck taped the holes. Your 7-year old daughter chose that moment to throw up last night's beef stew in her bed, and you feel like that tin monkey playing cymbals is marching through your head.

After leaving an EMERGENCY! message for the plumber, bathing your daughter and tucking her into your bed, and then tossing her soiled sheets into the bathtub, at 5:45 AM you crawl to the phone to call in sick. The very, very last task you can bear to consider-even if you wanted to- is to create Sub Plans that will keep your students engaged and on-task with  only a blip  in their learning.

Thankfully, you don't need to worry because here are two packets with lessons and activities that are specific to secondary English classrooms and are easily adaptable to core programs of study that showcase Reading Comprehension, Writing, Grammar and Vocabulary.  With minimum tweaks, you can slip them into your Substitute Folder and also tie them to your pre-planned agenda as you sigh, "Phew! That was simple."

As a firm believer of the Rule of Three, I plan every class period around this triune teaching concept because it focuses on students' attention spans- a factor important to any lesson, but absolutely crucial if a substitute is to avoid classroom chaos.
Naquin "Delayed Gratification" graphic

By including these two packets in your Substitute Folder ahead of time, and keeping plenty of copies of the student handouts available, all you need to do is leave notes for the substitute to follow.

A terrific aspect of these lessons is that you can easily incorporate them into your plans throughout the school year because the concepts they strengthen benefit from continual reinforcement.  This way, if you have students work on the activities with you leading them, when you are absent, they will be familiar with the requirements, offering a smooth transition for the sub.  More importantly, students will not feel that these are "just sub plans," and therefore, "not important".

Suggested Schedule - the class times are for a 55-minute period. 80 minute block times are in the parentheses
1. Warm-up - 15 minutes (25)
2. Main Activity - 30 minutes (45)
3. Sharing/Closure -10 minutes  (10) 

1. Warm-Up
You should introduce the Just Say "NO!" to Dull Writing activities into your plans as soon as possible by handing out the Taboo Words and Phrases List (p.3) and 15 Days to Lose the Taboos (p.5), Whenever you want students to revise their writing instead of writing something new during Warm-Up time, have them choose one exercise to complete, following them in chronological order, using their writings-from warm-ups to full-length essays.  This way, they will be familiar with the activities and can select the next exercise(s) on the list the  day(s) you are absent,

Mark which Teacher Notes directions that you want the sub to follow. (FREE)

Taboo Words and Phrases

2. Main Activity Nonfiction Analysis: Reading and Writing Activity
Like with the Just Say "NO!" to Dull Writing packet, you can use this lesson as many times as you like throughout the year.  Just copy and hand out pages 4-5 when you want to introduce it, and instruct student to always have these papers in their class folders. 

Have stacks of pages 6-8 on hand in a location where the substitute can easily find them.  In your Substitute Folder, keep a complete copy of this packet. On the cover page, leave a note as to where the page 6-8 handouts can be found. On the Teacher Notes pages (2-3) highlight /specify which Lesson Option(s) you want the students to follow (see Bullet points 4 &5). 

analyzing non-fiction -reading and writing activity

3. Sharing/Closure 
The sub should select students to share a Warm-up revision or a summary of the article they read for the main activity. After that, he/she should collect students' work according to your directions.

With these sub plans and all of the others in this valuable blog hop, you will never stress about any day that you cannot be in your classroom-planned or when fate sends you tumbling into the Emergency Zone.

Thank you Pamela Kranz and Darlene Anne Curran for  creating this awesome blog hop. Colleagues, as Pam and Darlene say on the image, "Need sub plans?  We've got you covered".

Enjoy a Teach It Now Day- Especially on  a Sub Day.

For more program-specific lessons and activities that will keep students learning on a sub day or any day, check out the Custom Categories in my store

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