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Sub Plans for Teachers: Planning and Prep Done for You!

November 22, 2021 by Kristin Halverson

We’ve all been there… those days when you really should stay home. You just can’t bring yourself to prep sub plans for hours when you feel like this. It is easier to just go to school and cross your fingers that there are no canceled specials or behavior issues. Because today…? You. Just. Can’t. You also can’t handle the aftermath of the level of plans you’d be able to assemble right now because let’s be honest – you’re probably not going to be 100% by tomorrow. Cleaning up that mess? Not worth it.

ETTC knows exactly how this goes and our team has been hard at work putting together a week-long set of kindergarten, first grade, and second grade editable emergency sub plans for the beginning of the year, middle of the year, and end of the year. If you get one thing for yourself this year, this should be it.

Prep the materials in a folder so they’re ready to pull at any time. (Running student activity page copies, pulling a text off the shelf, and cutting some sorting cards is about as in-depth as this prep gets.) Then you’ll be just about ready to go. The editable feature saves a ton of time! (Along with not having to plan a day of engaging content for students!) Let’s get you back to doing what you need to be doing – resting, so your body can get healthy.

Peek Inside Sub Plans for Teachers

Here’s a peek at what’s inside our editable emergency sub plans – also available in a K-2 bundle!

General Information Packet

I would get this set ready for the year in September (or whenever your school year starts). It has all the generic information about your classroom that someone might need. The editable feature ensures that student names and other information auto-populates whenever possible. Talk about saving you time and energy. (Plus no more hand cramps. Seriously – with as little handwriting as I do anymore? I feel pathetic!).

This set includes General Info like:
  • A Class List
  • A Class Schedule
  • General School and Class Information – including the teacher names and locations of all your specials classes 
  • Emergency Information –
    • School Address and Phone Number
    • Principal’s Name
    • First Aid Kit Location
    • Weather and Other Hazard Information
    • School Medication Policy
    • Student Allergies
    • Emergency Phone Numbers (including a teacher to help, the school counselor, and the office)
    • and More!
  • Supply Locations – Let your sub know where all the supplies they may need are located in your classroom!
  • Student Dismissal – My worst fear as a sub was losing a child at dismissal. Help alleviate this fear for your subs by making it crystal clear where the students go at the end of the day.
However, this set also includes:
  • Technology Tips and Information
  • Classroom Routines
    • Morning and Afternoon Routines
    • Attention-Getting Routine
    • Bathroom Routine 
    • Pencil Sharpening Routine
    • Lining-Up Routine
    • Recess Routine
    • Lunch Routine
    • Health and Office Routine
    • Water Fountain or Water Bottle Routine
    • Assembly Routine
    • Dismissal Routine
  • Behavior Management System
  • Tips for a Great Day
    • Student Helpers
    • Students Who Receive Support Outside the Classroom (day, time, who, teacher, and how they get there)
    • Students Who May Need Additional Support
  • Early Finisher Options – Although each lesson also has editable space for early finishers, this is a great place to note generic options for early finishers and individual students who may have special circumstances.
  • Note for the Teacher – Leave this note for your sub to fill in to let you know what they didn’t get to, any notes about particular students, other information, and more!

Editable Emergency Sub Plans Grade Level Sets:

Each grade level set covers one full week (five days) of plans with a five-day overview. Each daily overview covers materials needed and lesson focus, daily cover pages with space to put the date (which auto-populates on each lesson header). Basically, everything you need to teach the lessons (including read-aloud links if you can’t access the physical text). Any associated materials for teaching the lesson are available in color and black and white.

Kindergarten content includes (daily) reading, math, writing, fine motor, and science/social studies/theme lessons.

Kindergarten’s beginning of the year set covers topics such as:
  • Math – Number order 0-10, counting objects and number recognition, ten frames, sorting objects, counting objects, and number writing.
  • Reading – Color words, letters, and numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, rhyming, beginning sounds.
  • Writing – Words and sentences, end punctuation, informative writing, opinion writing, and labeling.
  • Fine Motor – Apple craft, fall following directions, pumpkin coloring, fall tree activity, roll a scarecrow game.
  • Science/Social Studies/Theme – Apple life cycle, fall picture sort, pumpkin life cycle, fall leaves, scarecrows.

First and Second Grade content includes (daily) reading, math, writing, grammar, phonics, and science/social studies/other.

First grade’s beginning of the year set covers topics such as:
  • Math – Structuring and making tens, addition basic facts, place value, comparing numbers, and story problems.
  • Reading – Reading a wordless picture book, making inferences, visualizing, retelling a fiction story, and reading for pleasure with fluency.
  • Writing – Personal narrative, persuasive writing prompts, ‘how to’ writing prompts, and ‘would you rather’ writing prompts.
  • Grammar – Nouns, singular and plural nouns, common and proper nouns, categories, end punctuation.
  • Phonics – Letter sounds (CVC), word families, short vowels, replace the beginning phoneme, and syllable counting.
  • Science/Social Studies/Other – Citizenship, living and non-living, introduction to engineering, being a good friend.

Second grade’s beginning of the year set covers topics such as:
  • Math – Numbers to 1,000, counting within 1,000, and comparing numbers.
  • Reading – Key details, 5W questions, character’s feelings and overcoming challenges, and beginning/middle/end.
  • Writing – Visual story starters, transformation stations, and finish the picture.
  • Grammar – Nouns/verbs/adjectives, labeling sentences, irregular plural nouns, common and proper nouns, and capitalization.
  • Phonics – Silent e, long a, digraphs, mixed CVC words, and long and short vowels.
  • Science/Social Studies/Other – Life cycles (insect, animal, plant), labeling maps, and landforms and bodies of water.


The Lesson Plans

Each individual lesson has an editable supply location text box at the top, along with the content area, lesson topic, date (which auto-populates from earlier in the set). There’s also an editable early finisher section (which auto-populates for the set from the first content lesson in the packet). In other words, once you type in what your students can do if they finish math early once, it shows up on all the other math plans in the set. Most lessons follow the structure of a warm-up, mini-lesson, guided practice, and independent practice/informal assessment.

The editable emergency sub plans come in three sets per grade level – with two available right now. The end of the year set will be coming out during the spring with plenty of time for you to have them ready to go for any unforeseen substitute teacher needs. Thus, by the end of this year, you’ll have FIFTEEN days worth of sub plans ready to go. And the best part? They can be used every year! So from now on, every year, you’ll have 15 days worth of sub plans ready to go. Do you see why I told you this was a must-buy purchase this year?

Upcoming topics for kindergarten include:
  • Math – numbers 1-20, count by tens to 100, ten frames 10-20, comparing numbers, addition with counters, count by fives to 100, addition, subtraction, teen numbers, and graphing
  • Reading – sight words, beginning letter sounds, vowel sounds, ending sounds, simple sentences, CVC words, scrambled sentences, beginning/middle/ending sounds, and real or nonsense words
  • Writing – mini-books, opinion writings, labeling, and write the rooms
  • Fine Motor – seasonal painting, crafts, following directions, roll a snowman and roll a rainbow game,
  • Science/Social Studies/Theme – winter picture sort, winter weather, winter sports, penguins, polar bears, plant life cycle, butterfly life cycle, spring picture sort, and spring weather
Upcoming topics for first grade include:
  • Math – balancing equations, basic addition and subtraction facts, time, fact families, story problems, geometry, adding three numbers, adding and subtracting double-digit and single-digit numbers, and data and graphing
  • Reading – retelling, comparing and contrasting characters, asking and answering questions in non-fiction texts, key ideas and details in non-fiction texts, text features, and character traits
  • Writing – list, letter and card writing, opinion writing prompts, ‘how to’ prompts, and an ‘all about’ prompt (informational writing)
  • Grammar – verbs, adjectives, synonyms, antonyms, pronouns, contractions, compound words, prepositions, context clues
  • Phonics – segmenting and blending phonemes, CVC words, digraphs, double consonants, r-controlled vowels, vowel teams, diphthongs, CVCe and CCVCe, blends, and silent letters
  • Science/Social Studies/Other – American symbols, plant parts, natural resources, healthy eating, maps, landforms, weather, butterfly life cycle, and feelings/coping/problem solving
Upcoming topics for second grade include:
  • Math – adding and subtracting (within 100, multiples of 10), adding up to four two-digit numbers, story problems, time, money, and fractions
  • Reading – informational text – problem and solution, cause and effect, text features, and main idea; literature – point of view, fables and folktales, character/setting/plot, and compare and contrast
  • Writing – informative – ‘how to’ prompts and ‘description’ prompts, and opinion writing prompts
  • Grammar – compound words, punctuation, verbs, adjectives, capitalization, and spelling errors
  • Phonics – r-controlled vowels, hard and soft c and g, suffixes, and compound words
  • Science/Social Studies/Other – forms of matter, following directions, designing a robot, inventors and inventions, weather, water cycle, recycling, community helpers, and citizenship

Teachers Love These Sub Plans!

And just in case you’re still not sure about these editable emergency sub plans? Listen to what some of our customers say about the products!

“I have bought three emergency sub plans before this one, but none of them were truly just a print and store for when needed. With COVID I bought this in case I caught COVID and couldn’t come in and prep and let me tell you this is a must-have. Everything is written out and super easy for any sub to follow! I highly recommend this bundle.” – Valarie F.

“This is a comprehensive resource that will help any teacher rest easier when we have to be gone. The activities are simple, well-organized, and easy to edit. I love that she has prepared material for the beginning, middle, and end of the year so that activities are on target.” – Stephani B.

“This makes preparing for a sub so much easier. At our school, we are required to have an emergency sub bin ready to go in case we need to be out and are not allowed in the building (mostly COVID related). I have printed out the BOY sub plans and adjusted them to meet the needs of my students and now have 5 days worth of plans ready to go if needed. Part of me wants to use the resources now, but I am saving for when it is truly needed. Thanks so much!” – Kassie L.

ETTC is here to help you…

Starting now, to put your health and wellness where it belongs – first. Because as we’ve all heard before, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care is not selfish (no matter how much people will make you feel bad for taking care of yourself and your family). Take the first step to helping both yourself and your students (and the sub!) with these emergency editable sub plans! You’ll thank yourself for it later.


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