Saturday, September 22, 2012

The BEST substitute plan ever! :)

I don't know how your school operates, but at the school I teach at, we have to have two emergency days of substitute plans available. These have to be generic enough that students could use them at any point during the year and they need to have the type of content that provides opportunity for new learning or practicing things already learned.

I've always struggled with these type of plans in that I want to make them educationally valuable for my students and easy enough for my substitute to implement if I was not available to give more input.

On Thursday, I was sick! I came down with something awful and was unable to make it past lunchtime. (Can you catch things from fellow twitterers?? I seem to be getting whatever it is you all have had. Just sayin ..... :))

The day had already been planned out, so I didn't need to create any lesson plans. But what I stumbled upon was the greatest emergency lesson plan ever! :)

My students are just finishing up their study of order of operations and - as a final review before the assessment - they had requested that they get to play RISK again. I blogged about this game in late August. It's a great way to preassess or practice a skill. Well... it's also a great activity for subs to use!

My substitute was wonderful! She has a math background and is exceptionally good at teaching a class of totally unknown students. She has subbed for me many times. As wonderful as she is, she still has to deal with students testing a sub, multiple students asking to leave the room, or students refusing to work - all the things subs normally have to deal with. Yesterday, NONE of that happened! I got a nice long note from her RAVING about the RISK game and asking if I minded if she took one of the forms to use in other classes where teachers might have left incomplete plans. She thought the game could be used at any level of math. She said that when she announced what they were doing that day, they all yelled "YES"! She mentioned that she has never had NO behavioral issues in all the years she has subbed and that she had 100% buy in from the students (they LOVE this game!) --- no one even asked to leave to go to the restroom or get a drink because they didn't want to miss bidding on a question. AMAZING!

So, RISK is going to be one of my emergency plan lessons. I'll include a quick warm up, an explanation of the game (although she said she didn't have to explain it at all... they all quickly got to work on their ten problems), and I'm going to include a generic RISK sheet (I've inserted one for you to use below)  so I can change the type of questions the sub will use as the year progresses. I think I'll go ahead and come up with the 10 questions for our next three or four areas of study and, as we get through those, then come up with the next three or four... By the end of the year, I'll have a year's worth of RISK games ready for emergencies.


Risk Generic


  1. I love this so much and I really hope that you share all of your middle school math risk games that you come up with! ;) Pretty please?


  2. Definitely adding this to my "to read and do" list! Thanks for sharing!

    Hodges Herald