The Easiest Sub Plans Template You Must Have!

Sub Plan Template

What is a sub plan? Why do teachers need emergency sub plans?

Emergency Sub Plans ELA is Emergency sub plans English Language Arts. Sub plans include work, instruction, direction, logistics, and key information that is needed when a regular teacher is out sick or for an emergency. Teachers need emergency sub plans when they are sick in the middle of the night, or have something come up that is not expected. It’s important to have an emergency sub plan ready prior to an emergency waiting on your desk in an emergency sub plan folder. What is an ELA substitute lesson? An ELA substitute plan is an English Language Arts substitute plan. The following are the best way to organize emergency sub plans.

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Emergency Sub Plans!

Sub Plans Template: Experience

Organize emergency sub plans takes some experience. This experience can come from: teaching, subbing, or covering others classrooms while other teachers are out. These experiences can make you become an expert at how to organize emergency sub plans. As a teacher of 14 years, I have had all of the above experiences and I have the designing a sub plan down to a science…so let’s get started! For a full lesson on emergency sub plans, click on the following, Dead Mountain, Titanic, Food Fight, Murder He Wrote (Full lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers)

Fright White (Full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers).

The cardinal rule to organize Emergency Sub Plans ELA is that they must be simple, simple, simple! Think back years ago from the perspective of the sub. They rush in the front school doors, after trying to figure out where to park on a busy morning. The sub now has to deal with the staff (who are in no real hurry to help them) as they discuss their weekend, and set themselves up for the day etc. etc. They give the sub a thick emergency sub plans folder with, keys, and a plethera of information the sub will never have a chance to get to. The sub is given little to no direction on the emergency sub plans ELA, other than where it might be (typically on the desk). The office assistant points in the general direction of the classroom the sub then needs to find, and wishes them off. The sub gets to the room but not before answering the myriad of questions about “why is the teacher is out?” from the numerous students gathered around the teacher’s door. Once the sub finally gets to the desk, the sub notes they have approximately 9 min. until the bell rings. Sound familiar?

Organize your tasks for the sub and leave them visibly on your desk

Sub Plans Template: ORGANIZATION!

Make sure that your desk is cleared of everything that is not needed by the sub. Ensure that the Emergency Sub Plans ELA are laid out visibly on the desk and organized! The sub has a few minutes to look over the logistics, and a few minutes to look through the entire plan for the day. This knowledge is essential during the process of how to create emergency sub plans.

I lay my plans out in the following piles, facing up, so the sub can see and identify:

1. A seating chart with table numbers that match the makeup of the room, WITH pictures of student faces

2. A condensed list of classroom policies and procedures, usually confined to policies in regard to: seating arrangement, bathroom procedures, behavior procedures

3. Bell Schedule for the day and where the sub needs to be during those times

4. Script for start of class: “take a seat, say here when I call your name, take out your pen and pencil, listen to the directions, complete assignment, place assignment in basket, read your independent reading book when you are done (or leave an additional assignment-crossword puzzle etc.)”

5. Printed copies of the assignment: one per student.

6. List of directions for students (on board, or overhead)

This is not the time to differentiate. This is NOT the time to offer different assignments for different classes. This is not the time to pick up where you left off (probably in different places). It should be a fresh, new assignment that the sub is in charge of for that day. This way you avoid the, “but we were in this place….that’s not how we do that…that’s not what Ms. B said to do with that…” Trust me! Students will be fine if they take the day off from “Fahrenheit 451” or whatever book you’re reading at the time. They will still be covering standards. The rule again for Emergency Sub Plans ELA is that they are simple, simple simple!

Sub Plans Template: Print and Go Sub Plans?

Print and go sub plans are the type of Emergency Sub Plans ELA you want to leave a sub. It means the plan is print and ready including all directions for the sub and the students. The best emergency sub plans use an engaging non-fiction story that will hold the students’ attention for the duration of the hour. Some examples would be stories like, “Dead Mountain, (Full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers) where “6 college students go camping, never to return-possible paranormal activity suspected”, or “Crocodiles on Ramree Island“, (Full lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers) where “500 out of 1,000 Japanese soldiers were eaten by crocodiles not shot by their warring, opponent soldiers”. These are both non-fiction, entertaining stories that are not too over the top gory. And let’s face it-these are the kinds of stories that students love! This way the sub brings in fresh new material. If a sub has to continue a unit that you and your students have been working on and the sub hasn’t read the book, they are automatically at a disadvantage and students will recognize that immediately.

Make sure students have an engaging reading task

Sub Plans Template: Emergency Sub Plans and Reading Task

The reading task is extremely important in the how to create an emergency Sub Plans ELA. Pass out one article per student with instructions to perform a close reading on the assignment.

Instruct students to:

  1. Circle keywords
  2. Underline main idea
  3. Place question mark next to words you do not understand
  4. Write questions you have in the margins

Now you have an engaging article, specific instructions on what they need to do while they are reading, and quiet time because in order to complete the close reading task, they have to actually read, and concentrate.

Follow-Up Questions

Follow-up questions are crucial for the process of how to create emergency Sub Plans ELA. Make sure the directions are up on the board or an overhead projector so students know what to do when they complete the reading task and do not interrupt the class to ask the substitute. If they do yell out, “what do I do next?” the sub need only point to the directions on the board. Have a set of follow-up questions that requires critical thinking and answers that are not yes/no, or one-word response. Ask students questions about how they could relate to the topic they felt when they read about…if they were in the situation, what would they do?...To write about a time when they related to….

Make sure the “early finishers” have something to do

Early Finishers (you know who they are)

For the students who either work through assignments quickly (because they are ahead), or those who complete just the right amount (to pass), you need a task for those who finish early. Do not call this assignment extra-credit to the sub or students. If you call it extra credit, the “early finishers” will simply pass their paper to those around them to copy and commence conversations that will interrupt the rest of the class. Have the sub tell the students that the teacher will speak to them about the second assignment more specifically when he/she returns. Once you return, you can make it extra credit, or whatever your heart desires. Be sure to include this extra assignment in your emergency sub plans.

It is crucial to make the back-up plan simple, yet time consuming. You do not want to pile on a difficult task once they have just completed the assignment. If you do, they will likely opt-out, and do what I mentioned in the paragraph above. This is a great time for creativity-especially if they have their own colored pencils or crayons. If they do not, then have them draw something using the materials they already have. You always want to keep the assignment materials necessary limited to what they have on them, and the article they are to read. This limits the amount of disruptions, pencil sharpening, walking around, and excuses not to work. You can have them draw the setting, characters, a scene. Or if there is a lot of time, create a one-pager. This gives students a creative outlet, and if they are chatting at the end of the assignment while drawing that is o.k.

What is an Emergency Lesson Plan: Wrap-up

Always have students turn in their assignment in a basket, near the door, on the way out of the room. Students should know at the start of class that they will not be allowed to take their assignment home with them. This way they work through the class time and do not stuff it in their backup, and resume chatty time.

Let’s recap! In order to create a successful sub plan the cardinal rule is simplicity! You must organize all information, laid out visibly on the teacher’s desk with nothing else. Students must have a direction sheet, a article sheet, and a list of basic procedures to run the classroom. The teacher must create a close reading assignment for an engaging non-fiction or short story assignment (not relating to previous curriculum). There must be a follow-up activity for the early finishers! No one can take the work home, and must submit what they complete on their way out the door. I have found that these strategies work in the best interest from the perspective of the student, the teacher, the substitute, and the administrator.

Can you make a sub plan for a substitute teacher? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Here is a list of Non-fiction Sub Plan Lessons:

Dead Mountain


Fright White

Food Fight

Murder He Wrote

For a blog post article on teacher burnout click

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