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Topic: Can you help a new sub-teacher out? Ideas needed...

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Subject: Can you help a new sub-teacher out? Ideas needed...
Date Posted: 7/27/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2008
Posts: 68
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I'm going to be subbing at our church's Christian school this fall. I'll be doing K-4 thru 6th.  I'm looking for a couple ideas on some instant lessons I can have ready to go for 3rd-6th graders.  I have file folder games for up to 3rd/4th grade level...but most of my stuff is for preK-2nd grade level. 

I know most teachers are great about having plans ready, but this is for those times when the lessons get done early...etc.

Thanks!

 

 

 

Date Posted: 7/27/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 1,620
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Good for you for getting prepared!  When I was teaching, the best and most requested subs were the ones who carried around a "bag of tricks" so they would have things for the kids to do if work was completed early.  I am of the opinion that if the students have completed the work the teacher left for them, it is best to do something that is fun and engaging rather than just give them more busy work and that sounds like what you are wanting.

I think one of the best and easiest things is just to read aloud to the kids.  You could use picture books, chapter books, good clean joke books, or 5 Minute Mysteries.  There are some puzzles that you could put on the overhead or on the board.  I used to write a word on the board and see how many words the kids could come up with using those letters in a given amount of time.

Date Posted: 7/27/2008 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2008
Posts: 68
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Thanks for the tip. I do have a "bag of tricks" ready to go.  I even have a portable size pocket chart (actually I have several I got at Target). So I thought I could even come up with some games for those as well.  I was thinking maybe a Jeopardy type game or Tic Tac Toe type game where they have to answer a question to get the points.

I have tons of ideas for the younger ages as I used to teach preK and K about 15 yrs ago. I moved on to another career...and regretted it...so am back working on El.Ed. degree.   Its just those older elementary kids that I'm not sure what they would like.  Word games or mysteries are a great idea.  Does that age still like Encyclopedia Brown mysteries?  I loved trying to figure them out when I was that age.

 

Date Posted: 7/27/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 859
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I would suggest carrying the following books in your bag.  Stories to Solve and More Stories to Solve and Still More Stories to Solve by  George Shannon.These books have short stories with a riddle that the children need to solve.  Kids of all ages love them and it can be the  perfect activity that tofill the time whenever a lesson ends early or when there are 5-10 minutes before dismissal.  Try them out.  You won't regret requesting them.  Two of these titles are available here on PBS.



Last Edited on: 7/27/08 9:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/27/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2008
Posts: 68
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Thanks for the book tips, I'll check them out. I have been out of the education world for so long and my kids are grown so I am just relearning what kids books are good/popular/appropriate.  I don't want to just be a babysitter when I sub...I want to practice my teaching skills. (hoping for a teaching job by next fall...).

Date Posted: 7/28/2008 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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You could make up word searches with the kids names or words pertinate to the subject you are covering...also generic ones with the 12 apostles, etc. I use discoveryschool.com to make mine.

Date Posted: 7/28/2008 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2008
Posts: 68
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Thanks for the website.I've added it to my Favorites/teacher file.   I did some internet searching last night and found some things to put in my bag of tricks. I found a paper version of the game Battleship, some math and other riddles, A couple books that I may invest in.  (or put on my wish list here..). 

Any other ideas are always welcome!

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2007
Posts: 208
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An activity that has always worked for me is Vocabulary Bingo.  Use any of the students' vocabulary words, sight words, Science, spelling, etc.  Have them draw a grid of 4 boxes across and 4 down and write a word in each box.  They can even help you make the list as you write it on the board for them to copy.  Then play BINGO.  You can vary the difficulty by just calling out the words for them to cover  first and do definitions or fill in a sentence later.  Of course, you can do regular BINGO, Four Corners, Picture Frame, etc. maybe even a block letter of their school name (L, C, etc.).My Ex Ed kids would learn their vocab words and definitions just to play this and I've used it from K to 12.  Students could also call out the words if you got tired.  If you have kids that may have trouble with the words, you could offer the option of working with a partner or sitting next to a partner during the game, without mentioning that you're doing it because they may need help. What helps make this work is to have a bag of penny candy ready  to give pieces to the winners.  It's a good way to review facts, names, definitions for a test.

Also, having  a short story or book to read aloud to the kids can help to fill in time.  K-12 enjoy folk tales, fairy tales, etc. and you can follow up with work reviewing whatever they'd been studying, esp. English skills, writing composition skills, even math problems.