No Lesson Plans, No Nothing

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Ross, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    High school social studies teacher has a medical emergency so I am called to cover the next day.

    Arriving in the classroom, there are no plans anywhere in the room and the sub folder does not have emergency sub plans. The office, another social studies teacher, nor the social studies department head are able to provide information, but I was told an attempt would be made to find something for me. Nothing ever came.

    When the students arrived, I found out they do not use a textbook and they just had a had a section test before the teacher had the emergency. The teacher had not yet let them know what they were going to be studying next.

    So I asked, what was covered on the last test. The U.S. Supreme Court. Ah ha! That is something I know a little about from my own personal studies. Alright, so we will talk about some of the highlights in the history of the court from its beginning to current events with an emphasis on recent cases.

    I was able to consume 55 minutes of the 90 minute block period before I ran out of material from the top of my head.

    Anyone with similar experience? What would you have done?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 12, 2008

    No experience, but Kudos to you for winging it.

    I bet you're the sub that teacher requests next time!!!
     
  4. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Here's what I'm thinking... with the absolute lack of assistance from those around you (how DARE your fellow teachers and admin let you hang like that!! jerks!) you are in a position that any sort of productivity you get out of the class would be impressive and remarkable... to that end, you may choose something that interests you - maybe a topic like "assisted suicide" and divide the students into two teams. Have one group research arguments in favor of and one side research arguments opposed to... go to the library with them - use whatever resources the school has available to you...

    You could also choose a movie from the media center to show and discuss?

    If computers are accessible send them on a web safari looking for answers on an assortment of questions.

    Remember... Social Studies is a HUGE umbrella - everything from History to Economics falls under it so the topics available to you are virtually endless...

    Yours is a good cautionary tale - we should all have a list of ideas for days like this... they can happen to nay of us at any time... and at any grade level...
     
  5. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    I also found this list of essay questions... they could even work in pairs... I have a similar, lower-level list (our district is only k-6) that I keep in my sub bag, just in case I ever need to buy myself some time.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    I enjoyed the day because I actually got to teach!

    After I was done there was still 35 minutes left in the period. I let them chat among themselves for a few minutes, but I could see that the noise level was escalating.

    So I quizzed the class with the same questions given to immigrants taking the citizenship test. They had a good time answering, or trying to answer the questions.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Also, you can always google "lincoln douglas debate topics." As part of high school debate, LD topics are long on reasoning and short on evidence.

    Here's one list:
    Recent resolutions include:

    Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote. (November/December 2008)
    Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people. (September/October 2008)



    Resolved: Limiting economic inequality ought to be a more important social goal than maximizing economic freedom. (NFL Nationals 2008)
    Resolved: That secondary education in America should value the fine arts over athletics. (NCFL Nationals 2008)
    Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States. (Mar.-Apr. 2008)
    Resolved: It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat. (Jan.-Feb. 2008)
    Resolved: In the United States, plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust. (Nov.-Dec. 2007)
    Resolved: A just society ought not use the death penalty as a form of punishment. (Sept.-Oct. 2007)



    Resolved: On balance, violent revolution is a just response to political oppression. (NFL Nationals 2007)
    Resolved: Judicial activism is unjust in a democracy. (NCFL Nationals 2007)
    Resolved: The United Nation’s obligation to protect global human rights ought to be valued above its obligation to respect national sovereignty. (Mar.-Apr. 2007)
    Resolved: The actions of corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals. (Jan.-Feb. 2007)
    Resolved: A victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is a just response to repeated domestic violence. (Nov.-Dec. 2006)
    Resolved: A just government should provide health care to its citizens. (Sept.-Oct. 2007)



    Resolved: In matters of collecting military intelligence, the ends justify the means. (NFL Nationals 2006)
    Resolved: When in conflict, an individual's freedom of speech should be valued over a community's moral standards. (NCFL Nationals 2006)
    Resolved: Juveniles charged with violent crimes should be tried and punished as adults. (Mar.-Apr. 2006)
    Resolved: The use of the state’s power of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust. (Jan.-Feb. 2006)
    Resolved: Judicial activism is necessary to protect the rights of American citizens. (Nov.-Dec. 2005)
    Resolved: In matters of U. S. immigration policy, restrictions on the rights of non-citizens are consistent with democratic ideals. (Sept.-Oct. 2005)
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Using just this list, one could spend an semester discussing these questions. What a great use of time! What an interesting class that would be!

    I am printing this list to add to the other items I carry with me to class as a reference. Pulling this out will add to the quality of discussions that students need to engage to excercise their brains.

    Alice, thanks for providing this great tool.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2008

    Yeah, LD debate is incredibly interesting. In competition, the kids have 10 days to prepare arguements on both sides of each issue. On the day of competition, they alternate sides of the arguement against different opponents.

    There are lots more out there, just google it.

    And an important part of each argument is sometimes the definitions of the terms.
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2008

    I'm so impressed! Now I know why I am an elementary teacher.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 13, 2008

    Now, now, lemon: betcha Ross either had a copy with him or looked it up on the Internet.
     
  12. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    This would have been me!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 13, 2008

    That might be how you'd be FEELING - but I bet the students wouldn't have a clue that that was so.
     
  14. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2008

    LOL @ Lemon - I have definitely had days like that but as TeacherGroupie suggests, at least I am good at hiding it!

    Awesome list, Alice! TY! :D

    And Ross - that was a great idea! I think you did way better than average for that day! Bravo!
     
  15. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2008

    I was laughing so hard when I saw that picture I almost fell over!!! I can't stop laughing!

    You are right, I am not that clever. A have several resources I use repeatedly and am comfortable enough using them that sometimes I can pull them out of my memory. But not often. I always rely on the written word in front of me to keep me on track.
     
  16. Alisha

    Alisha Cohort

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    Nov 13, 2008


    This happened to me once when I was subbing as well. Luckily it was a large enough school that I was able to find out from a neighboring teacher who taught the same subject specifically what they were learning about that day, but I still had to wing the lesson.

    Did I mention when this happened it was my first day of subbing EVER!?

    Glad you were able to figure out something, 55 minutes is quite a bit off the top of your head!
     
  17. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2008

    Oh Lord I had almost the same situation today. I was pulled from another class and the teacher had left a worksheet, which took them exactly 10 min to complete. Did I mention they do block scheduling? I taught them to play dots and boxes and they were actually entertained by that for quite a while. By the next class I had a TV/DVD player brought in and we watched a movie. Oh yes, I love the deer in the headlight pic too--what a riot. !st day Alisha. Well you earned your stripes.
     
  18. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Nov 24, 2008

    I had another one today and I'm proud of myself b/c I think I came up with a fun one for a MS math class. No lesson plans, no note, no nothing. So I picked up the textbook and was idly thumbing thru it, and saw pictures of fractals and thought, "Cool." So we did constructions of fractals and I called it "Math as Art." I don't think they were entirely impressed, but it was an inner city school, so I was just proud that they didn't mutiny on me. Tip: keep a box of colored pencils in your bag of tricks, but don't expect to get them all back.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 25, 2008

    Sounds cool, stepka!
     
  20. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2008

    Nice job thinking on the go!

    I find a great deal of satisfaction of a job well done in instances like that. It is so much better than putting on the movie and accomplishing nothing.

    You are right about the pencils. I loaned a student one of my favorite pencils and forgot to get it back. I am usually fanatical about watching stuff that I loan out.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 26, 2008

    I'm considering buying some really neat pencils and loaning them out to kids that have good behavior (small easily impressed by anything they can touch boys--upper elem). The problem is I find a pencil I think worthy enough on an odd site or two and not all in one place. I can't afford shipping/handling on that many sites. Do you have a favorite resource?
     
  22. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2008

    Have you tried Oriental Traders? They have a lot of great stuff cheap, and they're quite popular with teachers.

    Thanks Ross--there was a great deal of satisfaction as well as lucky stars in that one--also I didn't have the option to pop in a movie since it was a low income school--no TVs anywhere. You do what you have to do. You know what was the best part? Right as they reached the peak of their engagement and were real quiet, the principal paid us a visit. Ahh. Talk about luck.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2008

  24. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2008

  25. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 26, 2008

    I bought some smencils for my own kids. They liked them too. They said they lost the scent too fast though. This is for them to "borrow." I'm not sure I want boys sniffing on my pencils. I'll have to clean them as it is. Hehe. I started a new post. You guys have good ideas. I LOVED the small toys site but they only had a few random ones in scattered areas of the site.

    My new post:http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?p=828412#post828412
     
  26. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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  27. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Dec 6, 2008

    I'm impressed! I know nothing about the SUpreme Court. You did a great job!
     

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