Sub Plans- Ready for an emergency

Your alarm goes off at 5:30 am.  You’ve been up all night with your 3-year-old daughter because she has been throwing up all night. You are worn out and your daughter is laying on top of you in your bed because you haven’t changed her sheets yet. She can’t go to daycare sick so you call in for a sub and go back to sleep. Wait! That’s not what happens. Let’s try the scenario again.

Your alarm goes off at 5:30 am. You peel your sick daughter off of you and wake up your husband (who had no idea what was going on). You tell him you have to go to school to get ready for a substitute because you have to stay home today. “Watch our daughter while I’m gone and I’ll be back as soon as I can.” You put the clothes you had on yesterday and head to school. You get into your room and have no idea what you are going to leave for the sub. You stare at the your plans and realize there is nothing you can leave for the substitute to do.

frustrated teacherHave you been in this situation before?

I know I have. Well I have a solution for you. Invest in a sub tub. This is a folder or a tub you have ready for emergencies. Inside the tub are activities that can be done with the class in case of an emergency. All you have to do is call a teammate to go in your classroom and put the sub tub on your desk and you are done.

Sub Plans

It does take some preplanning on your part but, it is definitely worth it in the long run. I have used these before in my room and my teammates have been using these for the past 8 years in their rooms. It is a huge time saver. I even have it set up for a whole week of activities in case I am out more than one day.







These are examples of what  some of my sub plans look like. I have all the materials needed for the 5 days in a container with the directions and activities attached to that day’s plans. These examples are part of my sub plan bundle. They are editable. I also have other important information such as a class list, welcome note, special student information and my classroom management system.


They are several ways to organize them so they are easy to find. They should be kept close to your desk so they are easy to find by your teammates. Make sure you show your teammates where they are at.

I also have my sub plans separated by day and put in an accordion style folder. In the folder are all the  day’s activities, directions, and book.







What’s Inside

First get one of your favorite classroom books. Find or make activities that go with them. For reading you can do any time of story maps or sequencing charts. You can do story problems for math or make word searches online.

I have made these free sub plans for you that can help you get started on your sub tub. Just click on the picture to get them.

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Let me know in the comments below what favorite story you are going to use in your sub tub.




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Sub Tub- Click, Clack, Moo

Do you have a sub tub? What do you do if you have to be out for an emergency and you don’t have plans ready for a sub? Everybody needs to have an emergency plan in case you can’t make it to school to get ready for a substitute. Our school makes us have a day’s worth of work and substitute information on hand in case we can’t make it to school.

What would you need in a sub tub? Well you could put old worksheets that you didn’t do from over the years. That doesn’t sound very fun for the substitute or the kids. I have created sub tubs that our grade level has used for several years.

I used one of our favorite stories, “Click, Clack,  Moo Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin and created Substitute Lesson Plans for Click Clack Moo Cows that Type.

click clack moo sub tubI have created  7 activities to go along with the book. There is a vocabulary review lesson that goes over the words with the students before the story is read. The word and the definition are attached. There is also a sequencing activity that can be done after the teacher has read the story to the students.  I have also made a writing activity and ABC order lesson.

Click Clack moo lessonThere are math activities that go along with the farm theme. There is an odd or even worksheet and a farm animal graphing lesson. If you would like to try out this lesson you can download it for free at my store.

click clack moo graphThere is  a fun cow craft that you can do with construction paper, scissors, glue and the cow head worksheet.

click clack sub tub_Page_21All you have to do with these substitute lesson plans is make enough copies of all of the activities and get some construction paper and you have a full day’s lesson for a substitute. Make sure to add in other information that your substitute will need such as, your schedule and any other important information. It has been really helpful for my team in the past. Most of all, the kids love the book and activities.

I have also created substitute lesson plans for “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett.

cloudy with a chance of meatballs sub unitStop by and let me know what you think. What do you use in your class for emergency substitute plans?


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