Monday, January 25, 2016

Sub Plan Tips for the 21st Century Teacher

It is the last week of our quarter and semester.  Busy time of transition in my classes finishing up projects and starting new projects/units.  Late Sunday night, my wonderful daughter gets a fever.  Oh No!  I have to write sub plans...what to do in a blended class?  I hate to assign busy work or the old "press play" movies.  I prefer my students to continue to learn in the style and environment they are used to.  Now emergencies do happen and we have to rely on movies, busy work, and our awesome colleagues to help out, but if I can avoid it, I do!

1.  Use Google Classroom

It can be your best friend to set-up your work using this wonderful tool along with Google Drive and its productivity apps like Docs, Slides, and Sheet, etc.  Check out this resource from Google.

2.  Screencast Directions

You can easily screencast your directions using the FREE extension, Screencastify!  Need a tutorial?  Check this out.  For example, students are starting a unit using Scratch and need to make an account.  If you want to splurge, Camtasia by TechSmith is a wonderful screencasting and editing tool.  I purchased mine on sale! I made this video for my students:

3.  When in Doubt, Try a Hyperdoc

I have been trying different methods and ways to deliver content and lessons to students.  Hyperdoc or multi-media text sets were the answer!  If you have a few links for students to use, make a hyperdoc!  Yes, it is more set-up, but my students love working at their own pace and absent students can easily complete the work too!  Don't forget to post in Google Classroom!  You can look at an early example by selecting this LINK or to view a more recent hyperdoc., select this LINK  Yes, I number my assignments for Google Classroom.  For more information, read this blog by Alice Keeler.

4.  Change Your Share Settings

Lastly, change your share settings on all the items in your Google Drive to "Anyone with the Link" can view.  Copy the links and add them to your sub/guest teacher plans.  This allows your guest teacher to look over the work easily!  I personally use PlanbookEDU for my online lesson plan book.  There are many different tools you can use for this, but this is the tool.  You can add your standards to your lessons and easily organize and move lessons around.  I have used for a few years now and really like it.  PlanbookEDU lets you create a PDF of your lesson plan for the day.  Just perfect for guest teachers!

5.  Create a Google Form for Guest Teacher Feedback

Why not create a form for guest teachers to complete?  Change the settings so that anyone can complete and leave a link for the guest teacher to access!

Try one or all of these tips and hopefully, it will help you stay cool and calm when you have to call in next time!