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How To: Create a Sub Binder

A “READY-TO-GO” Sub Binder is one of the most important things you can have as a teacher. While most of your absences are planned, there can be several un-planned ones throughout the year as well. After using a very strange, unorganized way of getting ready for a substitute, I decided to create my own Sub Binder for my use and YOURS!

This post is to help you (whether a veteran teacher or a brand-new one) get and STAY organized for substitutes and to show you where you can purchase one just like this! My Sub Binder Series contain mainly black-and-white pages (easy for printing) and they are fully EDITABLE to work with you and your classroom. All binders contain the same pages, but the binder being shown here is the *NEW* Travel to Learn Sub Binder!

I am going to walk you through my entire binder and the pages that come in the Sub Binder Bundle on TpT! You can obviously put your pages in any order you want…but this is the order that works for my room.

When you open my binder, you can find the “Reflection Letter” in the left side pocket (so a sub can easily see that I would like that completed) and the Welcome Letter as the first page in the rings. I want a sub (familiar with my classroom or not) to be welcomed into my class and know a brief description of how my classroom/grade level works.

Second Page – “Lesson Plan” Cover – I will attach the day’s plans to that cover page so a substitute can easily find that information (pretty much the most important sheet in here) 🙂

Third Page – Grade Level Daily Schedule – Even though this information is usually in my day’s lesson plans, it doesn’t hurt to have an outline again. **The more and repeated information you give your substitute…the likely they are going to be willing to come back**

Fourth Page – Important Contact Information – While your substitute might be able to go across the hall and ask your teammate a question…giving them extensions to some key people in the building will be extremely helpful!

Fifth Page – Class Checklists – This page is crucial to give a substitute for every day attendance, unplanned fire drills, a field trip, etc. For me, I teach three classes so giving the sub all of those names will make her/his life much simpler!

Sixth Page – Seating Chart(s) – While the checklists are helpful by itself, providing your substitute with a seating chart or charts can also make their life simpler. They are then able to become the teacher by calling on specific students by name or know who is out of the classroom at a given time.

Seventh Page – General Student Info – While some of this information might be on your day’s lesson plans, having a dedicated section to this will be helpful. I decided to laminate this page and leave the top two circles blank (Teacher Push-Ins & Student Pull-Outs) in case this changes throughout the year. I also gave information about Class Jobs and Special Notes for Good Behaving Students.

Eighth Page – Passes and Procedures – This page is also helpful to give substitutes insight on how your classroom behavior system works, where Nurse Passes are, how your Bathroom procedure goes and how to take attendance!

Ninth Page – Emergency Procedures – I gave you a blank page for this one because every school has different emergency procedures. My school uses this guide so I put it in here to help the substitute in case of an unplanned emergency.

Tenth Page – Student Health Concerns Cover – Just like the Lesson Plan Cover, I gave you a cover for all your student health pages. Even if they’re only in your classroom for a day, it is crucial that substitutes know the children that have health concerns in case of emergency.

I hope this post gave you some insight about how I organize my Sub Binder and gave you an idea of how the pages look and are laid out.

You can go to my TpT store (in the links at the top or embedded in this post) to look at my different Sub Binder themes and purchase one for your classroom! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment and ask!

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