Sub Plans

I know I'm not alone when I say I HATE SUB PLANS!  Not only do they take forever to compose, but so often I return to school seeing that my students are totally confused in math, or that absolutely nothing got done.  It drive me bonkers!  I recently discovered an app that I seriously cannot live without!  It's called Explain Everything, and it works a lot like any Kahn Academy video you watch, except you can customize it for your kids!  I was at a training this past week (I'm going to an Arts Leadership Academy training through BYU, and I am totally sold that the arts need to show up in class daily, but I'll talk more about that in a later post), so I missed two days of school.  It just about killed me because I don't like getting behind in math.  Our schedule is pretty tight as it is, and I was getting nervous.  I decided to try making a video on Explain Everything.  The day before I left, I pulled one of my students aside.  I told him that in the video I was going to ask him a question, and I needed him to answer it as I went.  It was magical!  My principal happened to walk in right as the video was starting with my sub, and she texted me to tell me that the kids were totally engaged (possibly a bit nervous that they, too, were going to get called on?)!  Not only that, they rocked their quiz the next day when I got back!

Another way I like to use this app is to create videos to post on my class blog.  This way kids have something to reference at home for homework or to catch up on work if they're absent.  Parents LOVE it because they can see how we are teaching concepts in class, so they feel like they are aware of what's going on in the classroom!  Always a plus!  The app connects with a YouTube account which makes it viewable by everyone on every device.  Here's one I used in class with my substitute:

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