menu   home About Me Shop Contact Me My Classroom  

Ten Pages You Should Have in Your Substitute Binder

Editable Substitute Binder Templates
If you are getting ready to put your Substitute Binder together, you might have questions about what information to include in it.
I’ve seen substitute binders with too much, and some with not enough. Here are the 10 pages that I think every teacher should have in their binders.

Page 1 – Daily Schedule
This page should give your substitute an overview of the day.  I usually put this information on a table with the starting and ending times on one column and the activity that’s taking place on the other.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates

Page 2 – Specials Schedule
This page should have a list of the specials that the students go to each day. If your students need to bring something with them, like pencils, notebooks, or a folder, this page is a good place to add that information.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates

Page 3 – Medical Alerts
List the names of students with any medical conditions that need attention on this page. Students that have asthma, allergies, have seizures, are diabetic, or take any medication should be listed here. Include the students’ names, their condition, and the action the sub needs to take. Remember to update this page as you get new students.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates

Page 4 – Lesson Plans
This is the most time consuming part of preparing for a substitute, but it’s also a very important step. You’ll have to walk through your day, step by step, and write down detailed information for your sub. Think about things like turning on the projector to listen to the morning announcements, making sure the kids go to the bathroom before they go to lunch, and other things that a substitute might not know to do. Remember, not everyone has the same experience level and detailed plans can be the difference between a great day and a disaster!

Editable Substitute Binder Templates

Editable Substitute Binder Templates

Your plans have to be specific in terms of what times to do certain things, but generic in terms of what to teach. For example, you should tell your sub what time to teach reading, but suggest that she choose a book and an activity from your binder (more on that later).


Page 5 – Class List
Always include several copies of your class list. These are useful for taking attendance, checking off who completed assignments, and they also come in handy in case the sub wants to write down the name of a student on a note for you. This is another page that needs to be updated any time you loose or gain a student.


Editable Substitute Binder Templates


Page 6 – Discipline
This is the page where you describe your discipline system. Some teachers use rewards, some move clips, and some do completely different things. It’s nice to fill your substitute in just so she understands what your students are accustomed to.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates

Page 7 – Attendance Forms
Your substitute will probably not have access to your computer, much less to your password to access a teacher portal for electronic attendance. Some schools have a strict attendance policy that requires names of absent and tardy students to be entered by a certain time. I keep little forms in an envelope that are readily available and easy to use. Your sub can send 2 buddies to the office with the form if need be.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates


Page 8 – Dismissal Procedures
What needs to be done at dismissal time? What do the kids take home? Where do they sit? Do they stack chairs? How do they get to the buses? Write all of that information on this page!

Editable Substitute Binder Templates


Page 9 – Dismissal Chart
In my binder, I have a chart with every way kids can go home: bus rider numbers, car riders, walkers, etc. I list the name of each student under the heading that shows how they go home. This is another page that needs to be updated if you get new students. Even if your students know how they go home, if a kid doesn’t show up where they should have, administrators will ask you how the student went home. It’s nice to have a reference available.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates


Page 10 – End of the Day Notes
If you’d like your sub to write you a note about how the day went, it’s helpful to have a form for her. I just make copies of my form and leave them in a plastic sleeve in my binder.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates


You will also need to have the materials that your sub will use to teach. For example, add math worksheets, reading activities, writing prompts, and morning work to sheet protectors, and add those to your binder. You might also consider having a “Sub Tub” with certain books and math games for your substitute to use.

Editable Substitute Binder Templates
Have generic lesson plans that work all year. Just change the book or the game that is used.


When you start putting your binder together, you can type up your pages on a word document, or you can look for templates online. If you want you can also look into the templates I used on this post. They are available in this 10 page format, or with Reading and Writing lesson plans that include all of the handouts that go with each lesson (perfect for 1st and 2nd Graders).

Editable Substitute Binder Templates
Editable Lesson Plans with all the handouts included!

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you can use some of these ideas to assemble a fabulous Substitute Binder!

If you have other tips for teachers, we’d love it if you dropped us a line in the comments section!

3 comments:

  1. I was a sub for many years and carried my bag of tricks with me as many teachers would never update their plans and so plans were often useless. I love the idea of letting your sub know as much as possible - Perhaps, class list and seating chart in front of binder and medical alerts starred on seating chart also? Pie in the sky would be kids pictures on chart but now I am just asking too much, right? Thanks for the tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genius! I absolutely love the idea of starring the medical alerts on a class list or seating chart! It makes it totally evident for a sub that way, rather than having to look up on a separate page. Great tip! Thanks so much :)
      Adriana

      Delete
    2. I love the idea of photos on a chart, however, where I am, some schools absolutely forbid printing off photos of students for privacy reasons (each student has a photo in our electronic attendance system, that staff can log into and the substitutes can log into though; we just can't print the photo which is too bad because a paper seating plan with pictures would be SO much easier to leave behind for a sub!)

      Delete