Wow! It has been a while since I have had time to sit down and blog about anything. This school year started out with a bang and I have been going non stop ever since. I have already had to use sub plans for a few meetings that I have had to miss class for and one more next week is coming up.

This summer I was reading on Twitter and saw a post about having the students teach the sub (or something like that). So I thought I would try it.

Now I teach 5th grade math and had to really think this through. So here is what I did.

I wrote 10 questions that had multiple parts to each problem and assigned each student a problem (one problem per page). Depending on the size of the class, two to three students had the same problem. This was toward the end of the first six weeks, so the questions were also a review of the topics we have covered so far.

The directions to the sub were to give the students their problem (I had written each students name of a problem that I wanted them to work) and let them work individually for 5 to 6 minutes.

The next step was to let them get in their groups to work together on their problem and discuss how they would present the problem to the class. They had directions that stated they were to explain HOW to solve the problems, but not to give any answers. They had to about 15 minutes to prepare their presentation.

Next the sub had a packet with all 10 problems on it and instructed everyone to go back to their seats. Each student got a packet and were told to work all the problems after they heard from the presenters on how to solve the problem. Of course they did not finish in the one day I was out. But I am actually glad. When I returned, they continued their presentations and I was able to hear some of them and it really was interesting to hear their explanations on how to solve some of the problems.

Next week I am going to be out again for another meeting. So I took those same problems and tweaked them a little and the students will have them to work on that day. I am using this as one last evaluation of their knowledge of the concepts that I have taught so far this year.

My main goal any time I am out of the classroom is that I do not want them to just sit there and do busy work. I want them to be working on math and it is not always easy to find a good sub that feels comfortable teaching that subject. So I have to find things that they can do that keeps them occupied on the current topics.

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Aaron Morris

Oct 07, 2012@ 08:34:47Great idea! I want to try it with them with me first, and then maybe I’ll leave it for a sub! Thanks.

instillnessthedancing

Oct 07, 2012@ 08:46:35We’ve been struggling with word problems. I could adapt your idea for my algebra 1 students! Thank you for sharing.

algebrainiac

Oct 07, 2012@ 16:03:33Ohhh…I like this idea! I too have been out already for district meetings and one sick day and the subs I had were not comfortable with teaching math. My school stresses NOT to leave busy work, which I agree with, but when you don’t know what sub you are getting and what their math comfort level is…it can be hard to put plans together. I also have a meeting coming up and may see if I can get this to work. Thank you for sharing!