Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Project of the Week: Substitute Binder

Happy summer! I have been on break for two amazing weeks. For the first week we went to the beach for our annual family vacation...and last week I recovered from vacation! Haha! This week I am in a literacy workshop all week, and I'm already thinking about next school year. Why is that?! Two weeks away from work and I'm already thinking about going back to work! 

One of my projects for this summer is to get some sub resources organized. Believe it or not I already have some scheduled PL during the school year! That means a sub will be coming in. I have a confession to make: I hate putting together sub plans. Hate, hate, hate. In fact, I hate being out just because I have to work so hard to get everything together for a substitute teacher. It's one of the unpleasant parts of being a classroom teacher, isn't it? And it seems so unfair that I have to work twice as hard to be out of work! When my husband needs to take the day off, he takes the day off...his work is waiting for him when he gets back to the office. Unfortunately, that's just not the case for teachers. We have to work hard to make sure our students are occupied and learning while we're out, and then when we get back we have to play catch-up to figure out what the class did or did not accomplish while the teacher was away!

I finally got my act together this week and put together a substitute binder. I've been wanting to make one for awhile and I finally did it!

I am really excited to have this resource to help me out when I'm prepping for a sub. Here is what it looks like on the inside:

I started off with a generic welcome letter that explains what the binder is for. Then I have the additional information broken down into sections. Some of the sections are still empty because I don't have updated information yet for the 2016-2017 school year. I'm still waiting on my finalized schedule, for example. Also, I can't put in the student information pages until after I actually know who is in my class! I went ahead and did the sections for the information that will not change. (That does mean one of my tasks to complete the first or second week of school will be to fill out the remaining sections of the binder.)

Here is a snapshot of my classroom procedures section. I didn't leave anything to the imagination-I outlined every single procedure that I could think of. It's three pages long, but everything is covered!

There is a separate section for emergency procedures. I included everything on these pages for emergency procedures. While I was at it, I made an extra copy of my procedures and laminated them. When I get back to work I will hang them on a Command Hook by the classroom door.

I even included a section for time filler activies and ideas for indoor recess...easy, simple things even a sub can do to keep every minute occupied. (Because let's face it-the last thing we want for the class to have is free, unstructured time with a sub. That's a recipe for disaster!) 

At the back of the notebook I included a stack of "While you were out" forms for the sub to fill out. Hopefully my subs will use this instead of trying to record everything on sticky notes or scratch pieces of paper!

I am really happy with how my binder turned out! My next step is to work on emergency lesson plans and have them ready to go (with copies run as well) before I head back to work. That will be a huge load off when August rolls around!

UPDATE: My sub binder is now available in my TPT store! Click here to take a look!

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