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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Creating a Substitute Binder: Free Templates!

Sub plans template free for emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder. It is editable so you can customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! In addition to an editable sub binder template, I’m sharing tips for creating your own substitute binder that will help you take the “ick” out of sick days!

Substitute Binder vs. Sub Tub

A substitute binder and a sub tub are essentially the same thing: Emergency sub plans. The plans and materials are just stored in a different way. Whether you use a binder or a tub, you can leave it somewhere in your classroom in the event of a family emergency, unexpected absence, or even a mental health day.

When you have detailed sub lesson plans ready to go, you can have peace of mind knowing your students will be in good hands. Plus, should you wake up in the middle of the night with a stomach bug, you won’t have to drag yourself to school or disturb your team members.

What to Include in a Substitute Teacher Binder

When I was in the classroom full time, I also traveled around the United States, conducting professional development conferences for teachers throughout the school year. This meant that I had to be out of the classroom. I worked really hard to help my students become independent, so I knew they could continue to learn in a fun way, even in my absence. However, writing sub plans made me want to cry! For! Real!

So I created a substitute binder that I could fill for the guest teacher. I’ll show you what I included in mine to hopefully make it easier for you to decide what to put in yours.

1. Substitute Binder Cover

A sub binder is only helpful if people can easily find it! A substitute binder cover serves a much bigger purpose than just being cute. It makes it easy for the sub or a team member to locate the binder on your desk or bookshelf.

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

If you ever have to be absent in a true emergency with no way to get to the school and set out the binder, this step will come in handy!

2. Substitute Teacher Welcome Pages

We want a visiting teacher to have a successful day! In the welcome letter, try to include as much information as possible. This is especially helpful if this is the first time the substitute has visited your classroom.

The welcome pages of your substitute binder should include the following:

  • a welcome page
  • our school routines you may want to include fire drill information
  • our classroom routines (student behavior tips)
  • daily schedule (include specials schedule)
  • dismissal times
  • student health concerns, specific needs, and important information
  • helpful students that can be student leaders
  • recess and lunch duties
  • various other great tips for a smooth-running day
  • login information for Google Docs and Google Classroom
 

You can also include the following:

  • your own class list 
  • seating chart
  • emergency procedures
  • important phone numbers
Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

I laminated them so I could highlight the important details that will help throughout the school day. You will be able to see all of these editable version pages when you access the digital download at the bottom of this post.

3. Tabbed Dividers

I subbed for three months while I was waiting for a contract. I always ran into one of two problems:

  1. Vague sub plans that gave me little information on how the nuts and bolts of the class ran let alone routines.
  2. Sub plans that read like War and Peace. Pages upon pages that were overwhelming and almost impossible to reference throughout the day.

When it comes to setting up a sub binder, consider dividing the day into sections within the binder using pocket dividers. The materials that you need for each part of the day fit into those sections. It’s easier for subs to manage and it ensures that you have enough activities planned.

4. Instructional Routines

For each instructional routine in the binder, be sure to include the instructions for how you run that small group or whole group activity. This will prevent your class from saying “Um…my teacher doesn’t do it that way” the entire day. 

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

These pocket file organizers really help even a new teacher feel like a veteran elementary teacher. On the bottom of the pocket file folder, you can tape the basic information on how the classroom routine was usually conducted.

5. Learning Activities & Lesson Plans

Typically, the learning activities and lesson plans that you leave for your sub will vary based on where you’re at in your curriculum and who is subbing for you. Let’s take a peek at the types of activities and lesson plans that you could leave in your substitute binder.

Morning Work

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

A morning work activity will help your sub get the day going on the right foot! If you have a morning work routine already set up, your students will be able to get right to work.

Word Study

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Sometimes I would find I needed to leave a worksheet and lesson for word study. Other times, I would have a few simple activities the students could do independently.

Poem/Shared Reading

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

You might have a routine that you know your students won’t want to miss in your absence. In my classroom, it was the weekly poem. It was displayed in the classroom and each day of the week we would have a different activity to do with it.  My kindergarten students NEVER wanted to miss the daily poem, so this was a routine I made sure to include in my sub binder.

Literacy Centers

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Centers can be challenging for students when there is a substitute. During literacy and math centers, I generally pulled small groups. We had retired a classroom teacher who filled in for us. Because of her prior knowledge of small group instruction, I felt comfortable asking her to pull students for focused instruction.

Math Centers

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Similarly, math centers were also a treasured part of our daily routine that I didn’t want to interrupt with my absence! This is especially true because it was when I pulled small groups for interventions.

To make it easier for the sub, I added sticky notes to the pages to indicate which students to pull for the day.

Whole Group Math Lesson

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Our whole group math lessons also follow a specific routine.  I have found that consistency and clear expectations help to eliminate student behavior issues.  

Each activity is spelled out even down to the activities that are done independently or with student partners.

Writers' Workshop

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

The Writing Through the Years curriculum made it easy for me to provide detailed instructions and information for the lesson plan. Even if it was a substitute’s first year of teaching, they were successful with this part of my sub plans.

Read Aloud Lesson

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

I liked knowing that my students were also receiving a meaningful and interactive read aloud lesson while I was gone. I love these scripted read aloud lessons that focus on reading comprehension strategies over the course of a week.

I also would leave the URL to a YouTube video version of the book as an option, in case the book wasn’t easy to find in the classroom or school library.

Math Journals

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Math journals are easy to fit into 5-10 minutes of the school day, so they’re a great routine for a sub to continue. 

Content Area Lessons

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Finally, I always included a science or social studies activity for the class. Whenever possible, I used one of the Science, Math and More lessons that went along with the weekly read aloud.

6. Fun Time Fillers

No matter how much lesson material you provide, there will ultimately be some extra time for the sub to fill. This could be due to lessons going more quickly than planned or activities getting cancelled. 

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

Either way, it’s a good idea to include some fun time fillers for the sub to use as needed.

7. Space for Feedback

I always wanted feedback on how the day went. Therefore I always included a sub note section in the sub folder. 

Are you looking for an editable substitute binder? Well, here it is! Making a substitute lesson plan will be simple the next time you find yourself in a pinch! This sub plans template is a free file for those emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder regardless of your grade level. This emergency sub plans binder will take the “ick” out of sick days. This free download is editable, so you can add your own information and customize it to fit your classroom needs!

You’ll find that the feedback notes are usually started with the substitute telling how easy the day went because of the organized folder. It is also a place for the substitute to leave important notes that may have been sent in while you out. YAY! It made the next day in my classroom to much easier!

Filling the Sub Binder

Sometimes we know we are going to be absent. We may have a teacher training to go to or an appointment that has been scheduled. BUT sometimes we wake up and feel like the walking dead! 

So when I am back from a day out, I fill the substitute folder with great activities that can be done at any time. That way, I am not dragging myself in at 6 am when I’m sick and need to provide lesson plans on short notice. The binder provides the framework in a simple, step-by-step way. Your sub plan template will prompt you so even those unexpected last-minute days away from your class don’t feel so difficult.

Free Printable Substitute Binder Templates

As promised, you can download this emergency sub binder template for free! This includes:

  • editable binder covers
  • free sub binder templates for each subject area

(Note: You will need to have Powerpoint in order to use this file.)

Simply add your email to the box below, and the file will be sent directly to your inbox! Easy!

Get this FREE Substitute binder!
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Sub plans template free for emergency substitute teacher days! Why not make a binder? Grab all of the freebies to make your own binder. It is editable so you can customize it to fit your classroom needs!

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Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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14 Responses

  1. This is so incredibly awesome. I know that it will come in handy. 🙂 By any chance, can it be utilized in other grades or even in Special Education? I know some teachers who would love to have this.

    1. Yep! Just send your friends on over. Because it is editable, each pocket can be customized to fit any grade.

  2. I am not able to find the limk, can you tell me where to get the file? Thank you

    1. Sure, just need to scroll to the bottom of the blog post. You will see a heading that “SUB PLANS TEMPLATE FREE FILE” and a box. Simply add your email in the box and the file will be sent directly to you.

  3. This is fantastic, I wish my organisation skills were at this level. I will forward this post to our teachers for inspiration! Thanks so much!!!

  4. I’d love to download this but I don’t see the form to add my email!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Austen!

      I’m wondering if you are on a school computer and it is being blocked. The download box is the very last thing in the blog post. So scroll to the bottom. If you are still stuck, will you email me? Remind me that I asked you to email me…LOL (Old age is REAL)

      deedee@mrswillskindergarten.com

  5. Hi, I would love to download this file but it is not coming to my email. Is there another way to get it? Thanks!

  6. This sub folder looks amazing! I added my email, but it only sends me two links to monthly stations and not the sub binder.

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