Sub Plans

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24 thoughts on “Sub Plans”

  1. I like the idea of working in stuff from previous stories. I’m going to be thinking about other activities based on those.

    The main thing is that they have stuff to do for the full 90 min. We often sub in-house in our school, so I’ve subbed 3 or 4 classes this year, and they’re mostly a disaster. Trying to avoid that the best I can for my sub.

  2. A more general question for anyone. Some students finish their ICIs quicker than others. When that happens, at least in my younger classes, the students get antsy and want to talk or walk around the room or get on technology. I tell them not to do those things, but any ideas on giving them something else to do in the meantime?

  3. They can help someone else draw, that’s one thing. When you fully understand all the jobs, esp. the Hub D jobs, you will see that there is a lot to do for certain students, who will need the time to prepare for the end of year celebrations. Another thing they can do is update the class website w the latest characters and tableaux/stories. Of course, if the students are dead, that doesn’t work. We have to wait until we’ve built up our classes to where they are alive again for them to do the work I’m describing here.

  4. Jenna Engelbreit

    Zambombazo has some interesting worksheets and cultural topics my high school students loved. (I teach elem. now) He has some cloze activities with contemporary bands and artists. He also has a section called doblado doblado (double dubbed) Where he shows how language is used in Latin America compared to Spain (another type of cloze activity) through watching trailers for new movies. My students also loved the Twiccionario (twitter dictionary) section where they see a slang-type Spanish in the the Twitter-verse. Pelipareja (movie match) also has a short synopsis of the movie they have to match with the title.
    I like Ben’s suggestion of the drawing and then they can go through some of these activities to break up the time.

    1. Unfortunately, I had them already draw ICIs yesterday. It slipped my mind because that’s where we were on the star. I think I’m going to do something related to previous tableaus like a translation quiz and then use some activities from Zambombazo. Thanks!

  5. And just out of curiosity, what would you all do differently for a Span 2 class (their 1st sem w/ CI)? I’ll be needing a sub plan for Span 2 next month also. I don’t think they’re ready for FVR, one class I’m certain of that. I can do the same thing I do with Span 1 class with the Span 2, but wanted to pick y’all’s brains. Thanks!

    1. Because the 2s didn’t have CI in level 1, they are in some ways “behind” the level 1s. Treat them that way. It’s not their fault, but I can say with relative assurance that when kids try CI as sophomores it’s really bad. They just can’t get it, most of the time, unless you have a number of rock stars who will carry the class along until the dead ones get that life is worth living.

  6. Well, if they can get on the internet, then go to Dreaming Spanish on Youtube. They’re an enormous series of videos created, mostly, by Pablo, from Spain, who is putting to practice SLA theory through video.


    If subs don’t have internet, perhaps they can put on a movie. I don’t know. I hardly ever have luck giving assignments out for subs. Students don’t do them. And good for them. They know when they are being given busy work.

  7. Dreaming Spanish Youtube Channel, Textivate, also look on Teachers Pay Teachers for Martina Bex’s sub plan products. You can also assign Señor Wooly nuggets.

    Another one I do: Have them write a story about the current OWI in ENGLISH. Then you take the best ones later on and translate to the target language.

  8. I make up a few Read and Illustrate comic strips with vocab I know they know and have them on hand for when I am out of the building. It’s better when the strips are class specific but that is too much for a sub to keep track of so I have generic ones printed in large batches and give them out to all the classes. The generic ones are not super interesting but it’s easy on them and on the sub and I always put a grade in the book for classwork after, which is some work for me but feels worth it. I use a rubric that basically gives them full credit if each comic strip box has an image that fills the page and includes details that show they understood.

    1. Carly, could you explain more here? This sounds like a lot of work. Where do you get the images of the comic strips? Do you have dialogue bubbles that students fill in? Do you require them to use certain vocabulary?

  9. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    Slice up a 90 min block into 3x 30 min segments (less – cuz there’s a 3-5 min break in each chunk).
    Have the most physically active portion in the middle segment – choo-choo train-style volleyball reading; learning a dance (5aday fitness or other google Spanish dance routines).
    Unless I can pre-arrange the one capable Spanish-speaking sub who can carry out my CI lesson plans, I leave a G-rated movie with instructions to screen it in Spanish with English subtitles. Input plus visual and textual support.

  10. I ended up doing lots of research on many of the things proposed here and got some interesting activities for when I’m gone. However, I ended up just doing the movie thing Alisa suggested 🙂 ‘Twas easier. Attended a conference by Mike Peto today in KC. It got me excited to try OWIs soon and stories! Thanks all!

  11. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    Yes, Jake!
    If our CI classes are based on the relationships and communication we develop with our particular individuals and groups over time, then how can we hope to transmit what we do and how to do it in a 1-pg sub plan for a relative stranger who may or may not even speak the TL, let alone know anything abt SLA?
    I used to literally come in sick to work to avoid making lesson plans. Then I went to a seasoned CI teacher’s classroom and she showed me her cache of G-rated movies that she leaves for subs. It’s the quickest most worry-free way to ensure order and engagement – parking them in front of a screen – but at first I felt guilty abt it – but then I snapped out of it and realized my sanity is more important than all that $H¡+…
    I never follow up on sub-day movies. Sometimes I document who saw what (save past lesson plans) and the next time I’m out, I tell the new sub where to pick up the screening. If I don’t have it together enough to do that, I simply say, 3B didn’t finish this film yet. Go to ‘scene selection’ and ask them where they left off.
    I believe it’s 100% defensible as it can be as highly supported L2 input with a comprehension back-up. Most importantly it saves us time, energy and aggravation.

    1. Yeah, for sure. I realized while I was creating an actual lesson plan with back-to-back activities that it was taking forever. Mainly because all the activities on Zambombazo have instructions in Spanish. I had to translate all that into English for the sub so they could relay it to the students. No gracias. I’m doing movies from now on. Boom. Done.

      In my building we do in-house subbing (it’s the worst) most of the time. The students treat you like you’re an idiot who doesn’t know when they switch seats or have their air pods in (I hate those damn things). Since I have one free period beside my plan, I have to sub often. Teachers give busy work and the students put it off or refuse to do it. OR they finish the work with 45 min left. What the hell am I to have them do? I just let them poke around on the internet on their Chromebooks for the rest of the time, as long as it’s appropriate and not disturbing anyone. I ask if they have any other homework and of course, they say “No”, and I have no way of verifying.

      1. Whenever I’ve done in-house subbing I don’t make them do the work. Why insult them with busy work? It really is insulting. I let them hang out, maybe show some video, and if I’m not too busy I hang out with them, never going to politics or the other topics we used to be able to go to.

        1. In many of these classes I think they’re given busy work sub or no sub. In our school, we have a school-wide goal that the students should be doing most of the work in each class. I would wonder if teachers just assign one activity after another on Google classroom and the students do what they can. I can only base that on what I see when I walk by some rooms and everyone’s on their Chromebooks. The positive for all this subbing is I’m getting to know more students. I like to talk to them, especially the mouthy ones. When they’re messing around I make them sit next to me, and I casually ask them questions about themselves. Many think they’re in trouble. Their body language is clearly uncomfortable, but I know deep down they appreciate having an adult sincerely ask them how their day is and what they’re interested in.

  12. And the admins couldn’t give a rip what you do for sub plans. I worked in 7 buildings over 39 years and not once did anybody raise an eyebrow. And I certainly showed enough vids. There are certain vids in French for example Rue des Cases Negres and La Gloire de Mon Pere (Pagnol) that are staples and must-haves for subs days. They do a wonderful job of transmitting culture. What’s not to love?

    1. True. I know in some buildings, some principals sub on occasion, which I really respect. They’re not afraid to jump in and help and that sends an awesome message to your staff. Most would’t do that though, especially mine.

  13. Here’s the truth:

    Admins only care about classroom management and that students and parents are happy. Other than that you can pretty much do what you want.

    The only people that care about language and have an opinion about that stuff tend to be the department chairs and the other language teachers

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