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not enough work in sub plans
Old 12-11-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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I understand 10 or even 15 mins. of extra time you have to fill with an activity as a substitute when the lesson finishes early. However, this is how a portion of today's sub plans looked like for me...

(4th grade)

1:00-2:00 Science- Read pg. 160-164 ( It was a short chapter in their science textbook)
Complete workbook pg. 105 ( It was 5 T/F statements and 2 short answers)

2:00-2:30 Social Studies Complete workbook pg. 14 (short paragraph and 5 questions-very easy)

I can immediately see that the students will be done with both assignments in 20-30 mins.

Leaving close to an hour left to teach! What would you have done? I don't want to make tons of copies and would like to know if you have any useful advice for times like these? I ended up extending and taught the science concepts more in depth. I then whipped out my handy substitute handbook that had filler activities in the back for all subjects and chose a science activity that we completed. I also thought about giving the choice to read or write but didn't feel comfortable with their level of attention span by the end of the day.

Thanks!=)


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hmm...
Old 12-11-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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Do you have the kids read the chapter or do you read it to them? If you can...let the kids "popcorn read." You pick someone to read, then they say "Popcorn _____" and name someone else to read. Doing it this way always makes the reading go by slower! Then you did the right thing...teach the concepts in more depth. If you see something that looks like it would interest the kids....talk about it...encourage discussion. Try to tie concepts in to what they experience in real life. They love to talk about themselves!

I taught a science lesson today with a group of 3rd graders for an hour. Same situation. Read 4 pages of the chapter then discuss questions. I dragged the chapter out for as long as I could. Then I had a discussion about mushrooms vs. plants. There was a part in the book that talked about how some young children think that mushrooms are plants. I drew a mushroom and a leaf on the board and we made a list about the differences between them. The kids had so much fun...PLUS...I gave them a little bit of a review of the chapter.

You could also go back to the beginning of the chapter and review vocabulary. Write all the vocab words on the board. Give the class a definition and call on someone to give you the vocabulary word. If you can find small whiteboards and enough markers, you could have them write the word on the board and hold them up. You could do this with paper also. Have them number their paper...say the definition and they write the word on the paper. Check the answers at the end of the class.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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Were you there a full day or a half day? I ask, cause I've been really noticing this type of thing when I do a half day. Today, luckily the teacher did leave an extra fun sheet to do, so I was able to use that when we finished a good 30 mins early.

I usually have them read when they finish, and then I'll let that go on as long as possible if I need to fill up some time. Then I would have done the same as you, talk about the science assignment and extend it as much as possible until it was around 2:00. Then I would have gone on to Social Studies and again have them read when they finish. Then talk about the assignment and hope that they took up the rest of the time!
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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Another thing you can do if you can see the lesson is not going to take long is do a K-W-L chart on the topic you're going to cover.

List the things the students Know in one column, the things they Want to know, and finally after reading, what did they Learn in the last column.

You can have them do charts on their own or do a collaborative one on the board and maybe take volunteers to come up and write things in the columns which will make it take more time.

Another thing that is great during science lessons is to have them draw or copy any diagrams that are in the book. So, for instance, like in the mentioned lesson on mushrooms, you can have the students draw and label the parts of a mushroom and color them if you have the supplies. All of these things can help extend a lesson.
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IF you are lucky enough...
Old 12-11-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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to work in a place with SmartBoards and you have password access:

You can do a quick search and come up with 10-15 videos about the topic. Showing a video w/o previewing is usually not wise. But if you use a good source (social studies -- National Geographic for example) and pick one suggested for the grade level you are pretty safe.

Or...
play sparkle with spelling words
beg librarian to suggest a few good read alouds ... maybe seasonal stories
play hangman with sci or soc studies vocab words

Or you can always ask librarian for a seasonal video for the end of the day. Just make sure you don't have students that can't watch them. The kids will usually tell you.


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Old 12-12-2009, 05:53 AM
 
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What I usually do is just talk and talk and talk about the material, relate it to the kids, tell them stories about it, have them tell me stories about it, etc. In one 5th grade science lesson (again, not enough - read a couple pages for an hour) about climate, I spent a lot of time yakking about why the equator is hot and the north pole is cold... I told them about frying ants with a magnifying glass and related it to the lesson... had them talk about what you should wear in desserts, etc. I was really tired of hearing myself talk at the end of the hour, but nobody misbehaved, they were all moderately attentive, and i had not yet panicked, which was good. :-) In my daily life I look for little things of interest and bits of knowledge that I can use in my classes if there isn't enough to do... basically, the idea is to be able to make some connections to random material on the spot!

Something I haven't used, but I've heard is a lot of fun is to put a different spin on the material. So we've learned all about climates in 30 minutes... so let's make a play about climates in the NEXT 30 minutes! Or make a poster about it, design a song, etc.
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I miss subbing
Old 12-12-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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I love having my own classroom, but I miss subbing. It's been several years now, so I won't remember some things, but I'll share what I do remember. I used to have a book called The Substitute Teachers Handbook and another one called The Substitute Teachers Organizer They were helpful. I used to bring an Aesops Fables book with me and if needed would read and discuss the stories. It was fairly entertaining and educational for the students to try to figure out the moral of the story. I also brought along some of my favorite read alouds, and The Kids Book of Questions by Gregory Stock. In my substitute bag I included brain teasers and logic puzzles along with games that dealt with math or grammar mostly, although I did have a great book for when I subbed in drama classes, too; Curtains Up. Hmm, that's all I can think of right now. Most of the teachers I subbed for left great plans and materials. Sometimes I had to break out my emergency plans, it was always fun or at least tolerable. I only had one class that I would not go back to in the three years I spent as a substitute. I'm thinking I may have to go back to subbing next year because I will not stay where I'm at now.
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grr.
Old 12-13-2009, 08:46 AM
 
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don't you hate that! In our teacher manuals they have all this stuff around the margins for extending the lessons. I woudl do as many of those as I could w/ the lesson. Then if you know of a way to apply that to how you have used it in the real world I woudl do it. I woudl also have no problem in moving on to the next lesson and saving the block of time at the end fo the day for a filelr activity (I am pretty good at coming up w/ art on the fly).

I also use math games on the board - races as a way to fill time. W/ younger kids we play a spelling game of sparkle that the kids LOVE all the way up into jr. high and that is a great time filler and they learn something they need for that week (altho after xmas our dist. is no longer doing spelling test, that's right you heard me...no more spelling tests.!)

And the most of thing I use when I have only 10 min to fill is I tell them to read their library books. Our kids have to log so many pages every week and many won't read at home so they gladly willr ead at school to get their time.
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daisy....
Old 12-14-2009, 04:41 AM
 
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how can you not LOVE your own room? you mention at the end of your message that you're going back to subbing!!!! OMG!!!!

w/o much detail what happened? there are people on my end who are soooo hungry for a room they'd swing from the vines if that was required to get a room......
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:00 AM
 
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You can have students do any number of things that do not include making copies. Here are some off the top of my head...

Reread and make up two questions about things they don't understand. (Then, have students turn in their questions; you can ask random ones to the class and see if anyone can answer them.)
Find five words you are unsure of and look them up.
Rewrite the end of the chapter/story.
Write a summary in your own words about what you read.
Get in pairs, and quiz each other on _____ (spelling words, science words, science information, social studies words).
Pick a descriptive paragraph and try to draw a picture to go along with it.

Tried to think of something for all/most subjects. Hope it helps! :-) I've also heard that subs often keep a small supply of extra activities. You may want to consider that as well, perhaps?


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to yoohoo
Old 12-15-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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I do love having my own room! I just can't stay here, so if I don't find another job somewhere else, then I'll have to go back to subbing. If that happens, I'll look on the bright side and come up with all kinds of reasons why subbing works out better for me.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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if i were in your shoes, the first thing i would do would be to ask friends and families to donate some crayons for you. bring those in with a small stack of copy paper. these two items can get you through a lot.

in science, students could draw a lifecycle of some sort, or make a picture to describe something they have learned in science, etc.

in social studies they could make some sort of graph or flyer about what they have read.

you could read them any random picture book (even the big kids) and they could illustrate their favorite part.

i used to work in an inner city school that did not get subs. so, if there is no sub, they would pull teachers from their prep time to teach the class without the teacher. it was often last minute, so i would grab some copy paper and some crayons and it would last 45 minutes.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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Teachers know in their heads what they plan on doing with the lesson, and sometimes are not able to explain everything clearly for a sub. Extending and explaining more in depth is perfect.

When I subbed, I always had a bag of extra stuff along too. Brain teasers, coloring designs, read-aloud books. . . It's hard to read someone else's mind Now that I teach, I try to leave more than enough work if I know I'm going to be out. If it's an emergency, my team-mates are always willing to help out.

I know subbing can be tough - I appreciate you!
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