Sub Planning Made Easy

October 14, 2019 in Classroom Organization - 2 Comments

Planning for a sub is often worse than just going to work! I have often thought about how much I accomplish in a day as I am writing it all out for the substitute. As I got further into my teaching career I was able to figure out a few tricks for making planning for a sick day easier.

While in school to be a teacher I was also a substitute. So I have had experience in both roles. The worst part about being a sub was walking in to the school not knowing what was lying ahead! Did the teacher leave plans? Would I have what I needed to teach the plans? So many thoughts ran through my head!

Meme: Skeleton with text "Me going to work sick because it's more work to write sub plans."

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    Routines and Procedures

    I think the best prep for a sick day is having your students know the routines and procedures very well. When your students know what to expect and the procedures things will go smoother with a sub.

    Sub Binder

    At the beginning of every year I prep a sub binder for those inevitable sick days. I fill this with things a sub will need to know that won’t change much throughout the year. It includes:

    • a welcome note
    • class lists and seating charts
    • procedures and routines
    • daily schedule
    • where to find things in the classroom
    • emergency drills
    • important things to know (allergies, medical needs, etc)

    Sub Plans

    I tried to leave activities that were easy for the sub and activities that my students were familiar with. I left things like video guides for science, novel studies and read alouds that we were already reading, writing pieces, journal prompts, and digital lessons and activities. Bill Nye always had a video on a topic I was teaching and the kids LOVE his videos (who doesn’t?). I have been working my way through the series to create video guides which keep the students focused on the video. Interested? Click here to check them out!

    I created a sub plan template and would update it on a sick day with what we were currently working on. My plans were very specific and detailed as I wanted to make it easier on the substitute. I always made sure to include extra things to work on (Scholastic News, word search, coloring pages, Mad Libs, etc) just in case!

    What tips and tricks for sub planning do you have? Leave them in the comments below!

    Looking for more on sub planning? Click here to see my other blog post!

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  • Tara Brown October 20, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Thank you!! 🙂

    • Endeavors in Education October 20, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      You are welcome!

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    About Me

    About Me

    My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

    I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (, and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

    I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!

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