How to create a fully technology led Sub Plan

by Misty Weatherford
Ancient Egypt

Hey Teacher Peeps,

Have you ever been super excited to teach a topic, all to find out that you have to instead turn it into a sub plan instead? I recently had an issue with both of my grandparents who live in Illinois, and I had to make emergency sub plans and head to Illinois immediately; and rather than create a whole different lesson, I decided to book a lab, and shoot for a fully technology led sub plan.
I had already established assignments on Google Classroom, which made this plan way easier for the students, and the sub. You can also add your substitute to the class (temporarily), if they need to access any of the materials, or leave them paper copies. I set up a sub binder with rosters, each classes week plan, and extra worksheets if needed. Then I got to creating my week long plan in Google Classroom.

I title each week with the dates that that week covers, and that its a sub week. Below is an example:

Google Classroom Example

I separate it by day, and after this time, I decided to add in the topic, so that they knew right away what they were doing. For example: Monday: Ancient India. This helped get rid of any confusion, but I also made it clear that if the sub or the kids had any issues that they could contact me. This isn’t something I am always able to do, like when I went out of the country, but since I was still in the states, I was able to mitigate little things that came up here and there.
I love teaching about Ancient Egypt, (Click the link to download my free Ancient Egypt WebQuest) and was so sad to miss this week with the kids, but they had a blast. One thing that I did was create an early finishers folder. In this folder were other gimkits, and educational games/activities that they could play/do if they got done. This was a game changer for my sub days! I will never go back to non technology sub days, unless I absolutely have to. This allowed me to grade and give feedback from my computer in Illinois, and not be behind on grading when I got back.

Here is a picture of one of my Early Finisher folders: 

Early Finishers Folder Example

But what if technology fails?

because it never fails when we are counting on it the most, that it does. Here’s how I planned for that: I included a non technology assignment that each of my classes could do, if the internet went out. It sounds like a lot of work, but when we are there, we can come up with a remedy on the spot. Our job when we aren’t there is to make it as seamless as possible for the person that is there. This worked out flawlessly!

The last thing that I would recommend

is going over the plan with the kids. It sounds repetitive, but this took the guesswork out of what they were supposed to do. I even modeled a couple of projects the week before, so that there was no question about what the products should look like. For instance, I had my 11th grade American History class doing their first persuasive presentation the week before I planned on them doing my sub plan one. I was there to support them on the first one, and answer questions. This was so incredibly helpful, and I created a slide show example of what I was looking for. For absent students, this was a godsend, because I wasn’t there to explain. I also assigned two students who demonstrated that they understood the material, to explain it to absent students.
These are my recommendations if you happen to need to be gone! if you have any questions at all, or need to brainstorm with anyone, please do not hesitate to reach out.  (Link to contact me!)
I hope this helps, and you have a wonderful day!
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