Friday, March 15, 2013

Sub Tub!

Now... I could've sworn I already posted this a few weeks ago, but I looked back and couldn't find the post!!!! This is a MUST share!

Before I left on maternity leave I decided my (then) Sub folder need some spicing up in case my long term sub will need a sub!!! (yes I'm nuts!)
(I do have remote access from my personal laptop at home to my classroom desktop and a Skype account running on both so I can always see and check up on my sub & students, because I'm a little cray cray and need to be in control! 
Just in case all hell breaks loose...)

So I went ahead and created a new Sub Tub!

It is currently located on top of a bookshelf right across from my teacher's desk.

Here is a close-up of the tub and goodies that are inside.

Inside the tub is my sub folder

I included a letter to the sub from me, a substitute teacher job description, multiple copies for the sub to track and leave notes for me while I'm absent, lined paper for multiple uses, 
A page with the school's key info that includes extension numbers, daily schedule, classroom rules, school rules, 
School's master schedule & early release lunch schedule
Emergency procedure 
both my synthesized version & the school's version

Class lists & Seating Chart

Disciplin Forms & weekly (updated) lesson plans


Finally, I added some fun sponge activities from fellow bloggers (can be found on TpT), 
and some crossword puzzles and riddles.

I also added comprehension activities from FCRR & some (quiet time) writing prompts.


I also have this FABULOUS Chicken Soup for the Soul classroom edition with short stories and lots of great activities & discussion. It requires no prep time and can easily be used any time.
Every story carries a moral lesson and the kids love it!!!!
I often use it when I have 10 extra min. here and there.

Other fun activities I had laying around the room and gathered for the tub are Mad Libs, 
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader DVD game (perfect for the Smartboard), Scene It Junio DVD game, I Spy card game, a regular deck of cards, 

A variety of writing prompts in a jar that can be used after quiet reading time, and stickers!!!

Last, but not least... 
You can see that next to the tub is a stack of orange folders.
We know that some subs just can follow along with traditional lesson plans especially if they do not come from an education background 
(i.e. p.e coach, security guy, parents, or whoever they pull into the classroom last second)
So I wanted to put together dummy proof lessons for them.
Each orange folder contains 10 copies of either Super Science or StoryWorks magazine (Scholastic) so that each pair of students in the classroom can share.
I also included all the skill sheets (all are printables from the magazines' website archive) and can be projected via the document camera.

This way I know the kids are actually doing meaningful work while I'm out and are not wasting time. I added a post it with direction for the sub in each pocket folder to make sure they know what to do with it. There are at least 10-12 folders there now and I continue to create them throughout the year.
Best part.. Scholastic magazines are already Common Core aligned and the activities & skill sheets are perfectly matched. I especially like the Paired Texts activities.
My kids love these & don't realize how much they're learning.

Click on the picture above to check out the archive & skill sheets offered.
FABULOUS non-fiction resources!

Whew! That's it!!! 
Every year I like to add new things to keep it fun for the kids and easy enough for the sub.
As I run into new resources I add them as well.

Check out Sally's Sub Tub Party
over at Elementary Matters for lots more ideas!

I'd love to hear your thoughts & ideas. What do you keep in your SubTub?

Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!


  1. I love the ideas in this sub pack! I am heading straight to Book Depository now to find the book you recommended!

    I still can't believe that to sub in the USA you don't need a teaching degree - when we are away, we leave information, but don't have to be this thorough, as we know our replacement will be a qualified teacher.

    Poor you....

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

    1. Thanks!!! I'm rarely absent myself and the school office knows I'm type A, so they usually arrange for a decent sub while I'm out. However, many times they've sent parents to sub and those can barely handle their own kids, non the less an entire class. Some attempt to follow the lesson plans others its just easier to give them busy work. So whatever "busy" work I leave for them, I like it to be meaningful. I'm more worried about my sub needing a sub.haha

  2. My district requires you to have a teaching degree to sub. :)

    1. I think ours does too, but I'm at a charter school so many of those rules don't apply to us.

  3. Oh my goodness you're my hero. I've never been a sub (I know I know I haven't paid my dues.) but I dread having a sub in my room. I have a binder and desk full of stuff my subs can use. I totally understand not having a person with a teaching background in the classroom... I teach in rural Alaska so parents tend to be the only subs we can get in the room. Anyways... I would love to be your sub!

    1. lol I've never subbed either (only student teaching) which is why I wanted to make it easy enough for whoever walked in :)

  4. Wow, you're organized! I'd love you forever if you linked this post to my "Sub Tub Linky Party"!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

    1. Linking to it right now Sally :) Also, adding your party to my post!

  5. I LOVE this! I am sooooo going to use this idea!!!! you are amazing!! pinning this also:)

  6. Love it - I am in the middle of writing a sub prep article right now and totally think this'll be a great addition. Thanks for sharing all of the photos too.

  7. OMG! Your sub tub just put mine to S-H-A-M-E! haha Thanks for the inspiration and ideas :)

  8. Your sub tub is AWESOME!
    Enjoy your time off--I can't wait for pictures! :)
    **HUGS** :)

    First Grade and Fabulous

  9. That is a SERIOUS sub tub girl! You should duplicate it and sell it in it's complete form. I would be all over that! That is some serious NESTING in the classroom. I can't imagine how organized the baby room will be! You are adorable!

  10. Oh my goodness...I wish that I was this organized! You have inspired the organizer in me! I'm a new follower!

    1. Thank Jenn! I'm not usually that organized, but I take on several projects a year and try to get them right,

  11. Oh my gosh, I love, love, love this idea! I am totally tagging this post and creating a Sub Tub. It's so organized--brilliant! I'm your newest follower, Stacey The Learning Lab

    1. Thanks Stacey! I'm your newest follower!

  12. What a great sub tub! Thanks for sharing! I'd love for you to stop by my blog Tales of a Teacherista. I've got a promo code for 20% off reusable dry erase pockets and a great giveaway opportunity for free classroom products of your choice! :)

    Tales of a Teacherista

  13. WoW! Now that is a well prepared sub tub! I've seen many of these lately and think I am going to have to get with the program and prepare something more "sub"stanial for my room. :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    On the Trail of Learning

  14. My district only requires a qualified teacher to sub if it's for a long-term position (which I just did this spring after completing my master's and applying for my license, so I can say this is an amazing resource you've put together!).

    Even knowing what the teacher I was subbing for had done, I was feeling a little unsure of myself creating a sub tub for my own classroom, especially knowing I didn't plan on a long-term absence. This was the perfect post to help me create my own resource! Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D

    1. So glad this was helpful :) I appreciate the kind words!

  15. This has inspired me to re-do my Sub Tub. Thanks for sharing all the details! :)

    Mrs. Thompson
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)
    My TpT Store

  16. This is perfect. I was a substitute and understand and appreciate when a teacher leaves things for their students to be gainfully employed in producing good work. Aa new teacher, I really appreciate this because now I can put together the type of "sub plan" that is meaningful for my students and of use to the substitute.

  17. As a substitute for the last 15 years, this would be sooo welcome. Although I know all the teachers very well and most of their teaching styles, this would be a great "go to" on those last minute absences. awesome!!

  18. As a substitute for the last 15 years, this would be sooo welcome. Although I know all the teachers very well and most of their teaching styles, this would be a great "go to" on those last minute absences. awesome!!

  19. I love it when teachers have organized sub folders! It helps so much. I subbed for 10 years and went to many different campuses. Each campus has its own rules, so you are flying by the seat of your pants sometimes. I always carried MadLibs with me plus a few books just in case. I would really love it if the districts had extra training for using smart boards and classroom management but they don't have that in their budget.

  20. Our district requires a Bachelor's degree in anything plus having passed a state test they give periodically. I subbed four years, earned my teaching certificate, taught three years in my own room, got laid off with 100+ others, subbed two more, got rehired, just ended my third year back. While I was laid off, I subbed a little in two neighboring districts as well as my own. I subbed in grades K-8 with several long-term assignments. All I can say is, teacher's plans vary wildly, and the quality of subs varies wildly. I am rarely gone, as it's so much work to make plans, especially when trying to explain common core approaches these days. I've been gone more for district trainings than being sick. I normally leave detailed, current plans with some alternatives, knowing that some days "change" if things happen such as fire drills, inclement weather recess, or a no-show sub in another classroom when they farm kids out to us. I also have an emergency tub that hasn't been used yet, if I am ever so sick I can't drag myself in early to make plans. (need to update the schedule in there!) It is a "Barney Purple" file box with independent worksheets for every subject plus some fun things, Mad Libs, etc. It is labeled as emergency. We are also required to leave emergency instructions with our secretary, which can be actual plans or just instructions as to where the emergency box is. I really enjoyed my time subbing, and was very much in demand because, even though I was not yet certificated, I had been a mom helper, can read directions, etc. which you'd think would be common but isn't! If only our district actually paid subs a decent wage, we would have better results. One neighboring district has a hierarchy of preference where you can move up the sub list by doing certain things. However, they don't pay you any higher wage. Lots of room for improvement in this in our area. Oh, and I love your box!

    1. Thank you :) I worked for a charter so they did not get subs from the county pool and every person they brought in was very unqualified.

  21. I have been a "guest teacher" now for five years after a successful thirty year teaching career which ended because it was financially prudent to do so. I "sub" now and may be a little over sensitive because some people assume you sub because you can't get a real job. While I an see you are a dedicated teacher and have gone to a lot of work to create a great sub tub, may I just suggest you edit your article to delete the term "dummy proof".

    1. I sure will delete it! I def did not mean to be offensive. It was not directed towards real subs but rather our parent volunteers or office staff that filled in at a moment notice and had no clue how to conduct a class.


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