Have you ever noticed that when you’re making sub plans, the hardest plans to make are often for your math lesson?
For most of the other lessons, you have some flexibility and can plan something that you will review when you’re back in your classroom. You can make sure your students understand what they need to in order to be able to move on in the next lessons.
Math lessons are usually regimented in the curriculum. You have a specific number of days to teach the lessons in the unit, then you get a day for review, a day to test, and you are onto the next unit.
When you are teaching math, you can’t afford the time to go back and reteach something that your students didn’t quite understand.
To solve this issue in my own classroom, I created PowerPoint presentations to use with Engage NY Math (a.k.a. Eureka Math). They walk the sub through exactly what needs to be presented in the way the curriculum writers designed it to be taught. If you'd like to check them out, they're on Teacher's Pay Teachers in my store, Teach the Way They Learn.
If you know who your substitute will be ahead of time, you can email the presentation to them so that they have it ready for the math lesson. If you don’t know who they are ahead of time or you haven’t planned on being gone until the last second, you can leave a classroom computer set up ready to present the lesson or ask a neighboring classroom’s teacher to help the substitute access the lesson.
I personally kept a thumb drive with my lessons on it that was in my desk drawer. That way if it was a true emergency, anyone would be able to simply access the files from that drive and teach the lesson.
Once the lesson is open on the computer, your substitute merely has to gather any materials, make the necessary copies, and follow along with the slides. The slides present one piece of information at a time leaving time for students to understand one concept or work on one math practice problem at a time before moving on. Some slides fill in the answers as well, so there will be no margin for error in learning the next step in their mathematical journey.
The nice piece is that your students will have the familiarity of their typical math lessons when you use the presentations from Teach the Way They Learn, even when a different adult is teaching the lesson. Kids thrive on consistent routines. They will be able to stay on task and will even be able to assist the substitute teacher with the routines of the lesson because they are familiar with the format. If I'm being honest, on a few days when was I extremely tired, I may have given the pointer a a student or two and let them teach part of the lesson. Everyone loved the change up - the student who was the teacher, the other students, and ME!
Sometimes a different perspective from a substitute teacher (or a classmate) is good for a lesson. However, when you are on a tight curricular schedule, a pre-made PowerPoint presentation will give you peace of mind that your calendar for your math lessons will stay on track.
When you use the presentations from Teach the Way They Learn, your lesson planning will be easier for yourself and any substitute teacher you may need to have in your classroom and your students will thrive on the routine that you create.
- Classroom Teacher
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