Our school library still has some old video tapes hanging around. They weed them out all the time, but I guess because some of us still love them, they remain. Some of my favorites are the old Reading Rainbow ones and the ones about holidays. They are both rich series for elementary kids. I especially appreciate them when I am planning for a sub.
St. Patrick's Day was coming up and I knew I had a holiday video about that. So that's the theme I left for my sub.
Our "sub finder" in my district is web based. When I request a sub, I can write down special things that someone should know before they pick up a subbing job. This time I will request that the person only pick up the job if they are comfortable using my laptop, the projector, and the dvd player. Normally, my subs are not artists nor qualified teachers. Most of them in this area come with accents, as do my students. So there is a lot of room for not understanding what someone is saying. That's why I sometimes make a video that my sub only has to play. But because some come without a comfort level of any technology, I want to make sure that person doesn't sign up for my job.
Here's what I wrote my sub:
Thank you so much for coming in today. You will be teaching kindergarten through fifth grade and my classes are all 55 minutes long.
I expect the children to work with a minimum of noise. Whispering might be okay but loud play isn't okay. Use your own judgment on what you will accept. If the whole class does not respect the noise level, you can have them put their heads down for a couple of minutes. This usually takes care of the problem when it does happen. It doesn't happen often. If only one child is being silly, give them a warning, and if they continue to be loud or silly, you can have them sit in the little hallway by my bathrom. (Light on, please.)
You may see teachers coming and going into my little bathroom all day. It's the only bathroom upstairs for adults. It is never disruptive. The kids barely notice.
When the children come in the room, they should sit on the white lines on the floor. You lead them row by row.
The lessons for today show the theme of St. Patrick's Day. Ask the students if they know anything about the holiday. and let them talk as much abouut it as you want. Then show them the dvd about St. Patrick's Day. It is already in the dvd player under the projector. (Press the red button on the projector once. Press the play button on the dvd player. To turn off the projector, press the red button slowly two times.)
Ask them to tell you about the magical creatures they saw in the video. What did they look like? What did they do? Have them talk about their magic. What was at the end of the rainbow.
Think up a lucky creature that you wouled like to find. Draw your magical lucky creatures and show what magic they could do. You might have a lot of lucky creatures that live together.
Send three at a time to the taller tables and two to the shorter ones. Pick one student from each table to get supplies. They should get the following:
crayons (in the blue boxes)
paper (they should line up in front of you and tell you how many sheets they need for their table)
They should begin by writing their name and class code on their papers. They will draw and color what they would like to happen on their lucky day. Remind them to work hard and use their imaginations.
As students start to finish, you can start playing the videos on the disk related to St. Patrick's Day. Students who are finished can watch the videos. Ones who want to continue to work on their art work may do that as well.
At the time for the end of class, line the children up to wait for their teacher.