written by Hillary Kiser


Help! I'm Sick! Now What?

Being sick...as a teacher...is the worst! Talk about jumping through hoops! I cannot count how many times I have been sick...and come to work anyway just because it is easier to show up than to prepare for a sub! Anyone been there? I am sure you have been!  Well, I decided to be proactive over the summer and prepare a little better for the "unexpected!" And boy am I ever glad. I had a baby at the end of last year and she has been sick a lot this year...nothing terrible but ear infections galore! These Emergency Sub Plans have come in very handy!

Now, I am truly not trying to shamelessly plug one of my own products. I have had multiple requests on how I use these and set up for a sub. So...here I am to tell you! Well, really show you! I started at the beginning of the year printing off the whole packet of Emergency Sub Plans. It seems like a lot but it includes 10 full days of LITERACY Sub Plans. Now, if you teach math...I'm so sorry, these are only for literacy! These plans are meant for the departmentalized teacher...BUT if you teach all subjects, you can use these and just fill in the rest of your day with math items. Up to you!

Moving on...how do I use these plans?

Well...after I print them off, I take the lesson plan (it is generic so you do not have to keep replacing it each time) I did this because if you are out two days in a row, you do not want that dreaded drive up to the school to change out the lesson plan. This plan works each day your sub is there, the material is just different! I glue the lesson plan on the front of a file folder, it is always on top this way and everything can be in a nice neat package!

Inside the folder, I have the activities (with copies run) binder clipped together so the sub has everything he or she needs!

You can do just a few days at first if you want, or go ahead and do all 10 days. I just do 2 at a time, then replace them with 2 more days if I miss a day of work. 

I keep them in a SUB WORK drawer in my room. My team always knows it is there and organized. Easy to pull out in a bind. I also keep a class roster, attendance, lock down procedures, etc. in the folder but obviously, I can't show those on here! :) Here is where I store these though!

Now, here is what my plans include and how I use them!

First, each day includes a morning work assignment! Subs need a second to gather themselves when they walk in the door. The morning work gives the sub an activity to pass out as soon as they arrive so they can prepare for the rest of the day while the students are working on Morning Work. 

Mostly for 4th and 5th grades these will be a review...and for 3rd grade the items might be new but they can still complete the activity. Again, it is for the sub to have a moment to gather their thoughts. The morning work is not meant to challenge the students, the next few activities will do that! :)

Next the students have a Reading Passage to complete. I have both Fiction and Non-Fiction in mine, so whatever you choose is fine! I have a Fiction and a Non-Fiction run off. One for Day 1 and one for Day 2. Each passage has comprehension questions and critical thinking questions to go with it! It also has a response page that is more open-ended for the students. I like for the students to do the questions alone and the response in partners. 

Here are examples of a Fiction Passage and a Non-Fiction Passage

After the students finish the reading activities, they have Word Work and a Writing Prompt to complete!

I feel comfortable leaving these activities with the kids because they are student led but still challenging. I allow my kids to do the word work together in partners, but you can do what fits your kids the best! :)

Lastly, I feel like you always need something for those kids that ALWAYS finish things early. My kids LOVE these Fast Finisher Task Cards! I just include a set of these in page protectors in my Sub Folder! Just be sure to include some dice also. I just make sure my kids know where I keep the dice and so they can get one when needed. Easy Peasy! lol.

(Sorry for the bad lighting...yikes.) lol.

I think the biggest thing to remember is our kids needs to be actively engaged even when we are gone. It is not a time for busy work! I always take on the philosophy of "it's not my student's fault I am sick." I want them to be learning, engaged and happy! 

I hope this post helps you see how I organize these plans. Now that they are done...it is super easy to keep adding a new day to them when I have used a day up! I am also able to relax a bit when I know I have to call in sick. I have used 5 days so far and these have been a life saver! 

As always, please feel free to e-mail me at Hillary3986@gmail.com if you have any personal questions on how to use these in your classroom! I LOVE collaborating with teachers and would love to visit with you! 

Also, follow me on social media so we can collaborate more! 

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