Thursday, October 10, 2013

Emergency Sub Plans

Every year our school system asks us to provide two days worth of sub plans for all of our classes in the event of an emergency just in case.  Admittedly, this has always been a pain in the butt for me.  Every year of teaching I have had at least five classes (German 1-4 and some combination of French and/or Latin).  This means not only finding activities for five classes, but also copying and storing said activities.  For someone who takes about two days off a year and (knock on wood) hasn't needed emergency days, it's been really aggravating.

I have tried to save them from year to year, but sometimes you have classes that are longer one year than the next or the curriculum changes and the activities are no longer suited to that level or you decided to actually incorporate that activity as part of your planned instruction.  Blah.

What I decided to do this year to alleviate the problem for good is to create a choice board.  I've actually wanted to do this for the past few years and have even suggested it to my department (my hope was that we could come up with a department one that fit every language - if we worked together we could get one done in no time!).  Things never really manifested until I finally just sat down and did it this August!

Here's a look at the finished product:
If you're interested in a copy, it's available for free on my TPT account.  Just click here!  It's completely editable in case you don't teach German or want to edit the activities.

Students have to complete two activities from the choice board, which offers 12 different vocabulary and/or grammar related activities that can be applied to any unit and - better yet! - to any level.  With a few changes, I can even use it for other languages OR require students in longer class periods to do more activities.

While most of the activities can be done by students without any other materials, there are some that DO require additional resources.
- Grammar Exercises: I refer to a specific textbook in this exercise.  If you don't have this book or teach another language, you may need to change this!
- Scrabble: This is a game board that I sometimes use with my students if we have some extra time at the end of class.  If you're interested in a free copy, it's available on my TPT account.  Just click here!
- Game Board:  This can be used with any blank game board.  There’s one available for free on my TPT account. Just click here!
- Game Board: Honey Comb: This is a vocabulary review game.  I have the template available on my TPT account.  It is NOT a free resource that I offer.  If you're interested in the product, click here.

This is great because all I have to do is make a bunch of copies of the choice board, which will be good for ALL classes this year or next year, and copies of some of the related worksheets.  Admittedly, it's a work in progress.  I may use it at some point this year if I need to take off just to see how it goes.  I might need to change, remove or add activities.

Does your school require emergency sub plans?  What types of activities do you typically have students do while you're out?

- Frau Leonard


  1. These are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. No problem! Hope you get some use out of them :)

  2. This is such a great idea, unfortunately, every time I download the choice board, it tells me that the file is corrupted. Do you think this is my computer?

    1. Oh, what a bummer :(

      I'm not sure what the problem would be, but feel free to email me at - I can try sending it to you as an attachment (hopefully that'll work!).

  3. I just came across this today! I am also teaching German I-IV and Spanish III. Your hard work and effort just saved me from creating 5 different emergency sub lesson plans :-) Vielen Dank!

  4. This is a GREAT help! I have to have emergency plans even though there will probably be no sub for my classes. However, as an 'anchor' activity, this is something the kids can keep with them in case I'm out and they need to work productively in someone else's room. I modified it for middle grades Spanish, adjusted for the fact that my kids have NO prior instruction, and added an extra credit opportunity from the same assortment. Extra copies will be in the emergency folder, but I'm handing this out next week. It can also be an independent choice activity to work on during class. It's so great to have a starting point to work from! Thanks for this!

    1. Glad you were able to modify it for your classes :) I've thought about using a slightly different version for early finishers, though I haven't quite gotten around to making that new choice board yet.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this as a free resource!! I am a new German teacher (taught college for two years, but first time teaching high school!) and was a little overwhelmed with the idea of creating meaningful content for sub plans. This is fantastic and can be used with any unit so it's perfect! Danke!!