Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Substitute Teacher Secrets - Linky Party!

It is so much harder to be home sick then one would think. I've been down and out with the flu for the past two days and it isn't fun. On Tues. night I had the ickies start so I pulled up old lesson plans, adjusted them and sent them to the trusted hands of my wonderful co-workers. I was lucky because I had most things already copied and arranged on my desk. I'm even more lucky that I have such willing and awesome co-workers. Today I drove the 40 min. to school to make sure all was ready for today's sub and check my previous sub note. My sub from yesterday had left a 5 page letter. Uh oh! 
I'll admit I have a very intelligent rowdy group that needs a strong personality to keep them in line. I prepped today's sub, wished her luck, and hit the road. One of my students on my way out came up  to me and so sincerely and sympathaticly said, "Mrs. Lutton, you don't even want to know what they did to that poor sub yesterday. She was only like 20 and they were really mean to her." Bless her heart.

So my question is this....... What do you do in substitute situations to help ensure your students will be on task or at least not climb the tables and go wild. I do mini lessons on guest teacher expectations but I think more is needed. I've also offered extra computer lab time to students that get on the calm and helpful list.
  • Incentives
  • Special Lessons
  • Favorite Subs
What is your Substitute Teacher Magic that helps keep all calm (or calmer) and normal.

If you want, toss in a funny story about being gone! I'm sick and I could use a laugh!

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  1. My students are grouped into 4 teams. I give points to the groups for anything and everything. For 2nd graders I start in increments of 100. But by mid-year I given points in the tens of thousands. So when I have a sub, I tell them (or have the sub tell them) that she can pick one and only team that is the BEST. That team will earn 100,000 points. This has been effective in grades 2-5 for me. They'll do anything for points! Feel better!

  2. Sorry to hear you are sick...I will post tomorrow about when I was a sub and what I do now to bribe the's the only way :)

  3. Wish I had secrets on how to help my kinders with this! I just try to prepare my sub as you do! Shared a link to a previous post. Hope we find a little *magic* in this linky party!

  4. I have a lot of talks with the kids and tell them that when they misbehave with a sub, it is actually like being mean to me, because then I have to come back and deal with the issues the next day. I go on and on about how I can't do a good job of teaching them when I have to deal with problems, blah blah blah. This usually works pretty good :) I also try not to leave much that has to be taught by the sub, but rather just activities that use concepts that have already been taught.

    Looking forward to hearing more secrets!

    Teaching in the Early Years

  5. I co-teach/job share this year, which means I work M&T and my co-teacher/partner works W-F...then a friend said, "You should sub at my school on your off days." Her school is about 5 miles away from mine, so I started subbing there...I love it, but it took awhile to build the relationships with the students...But no matter what grade ~ I start each morning with my 3 rules on the board.
    1. Stay in your seat
    2. Raise your hand
    3. I will LOVE to help you!

    This keeps the older kids under control, the kids appreciate that the few 'bad kids' don't pick on them and that the class runs smoothly. The younger K - 3 group says, "That's not our teachers rules." To which I say, "I know that's the Sub Rules that the county makes you follow." It always seems to work when it comes from the 'magic' county people! The principal's boss! I now have teachers say they leave those on the board for the other subs to use.... I put these rules on my board when I have a seems to help. My next post will tell you what I do to "bribe" my has worked for over 20 years!

  6. My Classroom Tricks for Subs....
    My discipline plan works with every school's plan. I pay my kids $5 a day, for a total of $25 a week. Just like real life, if you don't do your work, you don't get paid. If you misbehave, you don't get paid. So for example, my school does "Flip Your Card" Green is great, so that earns you $5, then blue= $4, etc. etc. The amount goes home daily to be signed by mom and dad and then at the end of the week I have a great behavior grade 25/25 = 100% or if a child is absent, 20/20 = 100% etc. Then we have a pirate's treasure chest my husband made and every other Friday we 'Shop or Save' it is all inexpensive things....pens, shinny pencils, left over happy meal toys, beads, anything the parents send in & even in the poorest school I've been in, parents send in stuff because THEY love the treasure box!!! I also give every kid a chance to change their behavior, or as we call it in class....GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER and move their cards back to green $5. Your classroom will hum like a well oiled machine, they are so eager for that 5 bucks! Then I price things in the treasure box by what I think one good day of behavior earns, basically a 10 cent pencil is about $5 and a happy meal toy is $25...about a week of good behavior. This also teachs the kids "spend or save!" and they have to keep their running total in their a checkbook! {This summer a 24 year old told me she was the only one who could balance her checkbook in college because I taught her while she was "spending or saving" in my 6th grade classroom!} Even my 1st graders get out the calculators and keep their totals, with my help and the smarter/advanced student's these are real life skills and the parents are happy about their kids' behavior and knowing about it daily!
    Whhhhhh, so if you are still with this long introduction, here is what I do for a sub....If they have a good day AS A CLASS the each earn $100!!! for that day....let me tell you about positive peer presure! You class with KILL the bad kid to earn their $100 each! Then the $100 goes towards the old, leftover items their parents send in!!! :) I also have lunch in the room with the entire class and we watch Arthur together, I call it Dinner and a Movie, and it is completely free for me! I save that and consider that the BIGGIE reward! My subs ♥LOVE me and my class and they tell EVERYONE in the office about how wonderful Mrs. Smith's class act!! ☺

  7. PS....I also ask my "rich-professional" friends that are accounts, realtors, lawyers, etc....for junk from their office, pens, keychains, magnets...the kids feel so grown up with buying these. I also put coupons in the treasure box that cost me nothing....$50 sit at the teacher desk....$100 1/2 hour computer time, that kind of freebie...


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