Blog Swap and Hop Guest Blogger

This is part of the Blog Hop and Swap!

I am so excited! Here is my first guest blogger. Give a big welcome to April! ~Ms. T

Hi Everyone!

I'm April from Grade School Giggles and I'm super excited to be writing this guest post about preparing for a substitute. 

I always try to be prepared for a substitute because sometimes emergencies happen. The last thing I want to do when I'm sick or have a sick child is struggle to get last minute plans together. So, I prepare for a substitute before the first day of school. It's really not that hard either!

One of my desk drawers is labeled "Substitute." It holds two Bingo games, small stickers, candies, pencils, and awards. You'll also find a big binder. The binder is my key to being prepared. I'm going to walk you through it and I'm sharing the forms to make it simple to create your own binder. You can get the forms as a PDF here or as an editable Power Point here. Either way they're free!

The first thing in my binder is a welcome note. I explain my binder and let the sub know who to ask if any questions come up. Next, I include a page with important basic information including the school hours, the times for recess and lunch, where supplies are kept, and important people or locations. I include a notes page, the class schedule, student transportation, and information on my classroom management procedures. I also include a map of the school. (I just copy the emergency exit map). 

I also include forms for medical information and special needs information. If I have students that are supposed to get accommodations then the sub needs to know what they are. I don't put the eligibility categories or I.E.P. goals, but I do list the accommodations and behavior plan information.

 My school has a section in the staff handbook about fire drills, tornadoes, code red drills, etc. I copy the procedures and include them in the emergency procedures section. I also include a classroom roster in this section. 

Finally, I include a section for lesson plans and a section for emergency plans. If it is a planned absence I will write specific lesson plans, put them in the lesson plan section, and set everything the sub will need on top of my desk. Otherwise, the welcome note directs the sub to use the emergency plans and follow the classroom schedule. I have a page for each subject that I teach in the emergency plans section. I write down where the materials for the subject are. I also write down a must do lesson and activity. It usually consists of reviewing a basic skill and completing review worksheets that are copied and stored in my notebook behind the directions. Finally, I list an activity to complete if the class finishes the required stuff and there is time left. I usually will leave an easy whole group activity such as Bingo, a writing assignment, or a BrainPOP.  

That was a long post! Thanks for taking the time to read it. I hope it was helpful. Feel free to stop by my blog and check it out.

Wasn't she fantastic? Great tips April! Thanks for guest blogging.
I'm guest blogging over at Third Grade Bookworm! 

 To check out the other swaps, take a look here (oops don't know why the right column is cut off, but you can still hop to them!):


  1. I remember subbing and not having any plans sometimes. I never want to do that to anyone who has to cover for me. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    First Grade Found Me

  2. I can't imagine not leaving any plans. Yikes! I'm glad you enjoyed the ideas.

    Grade School Giggles

  3. This sub binder is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great ideas and tips for a sub binder! Such organization!
    Conversations in Literacy

  5. I'm loving this blog hop. Thanks for the freebie and the great guest post. I am your newest follower!

    2nd Grade Pad

  6. Enjoyed April's post!!!
    I'm awarding you the Versatile Blogger award! Swing on over to check it out!

  7. I love this blog swap & hop idea. I stopped by to let you know that I am nominating you for the Versatile Blogger award. Your blog is super special because I see that Michelle has awarded you with it, too :)
    Stories by Storie

  8. I have had to call subs last minute and there I was, ugh, without plans. Thank God there is a sub on the list that is a retired 2nd grade teacher from our own school and she can just pick up and go with it. I don't like doing that to her but in that case I had to. On the other hand, I have left her very detailed lessons in hopes that she would carry them out but oh, well. They never got done. She basically does easy peasy stuff to keep the kids occupied for the day. And shucks after 30 years teaching I guess I would too.


Thanks for leaving me happy notes!

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