Sunday, August 26, 2012

Attention, Please!

One of the most important skills a teacher needs to have is the ability to get the attention of the class. And, that is no less important for subs... in fact, it might even be more important. Classroom teachers typically have their go-to attention getters, and they know that it is vital to teach these attention getters at the beginning of the year. It's no good announcing, "Give Me 5!" And then the students are confused about what that means.

As a sub, I usually try to figure out what attention getters the students are familiar with... and especially what ones the classroom teacher uses. Those will be the easiest ones to use since the students were taught how to respond to them. Some ways to figure that information out are to ask another teacher on the team, or ask a reliable student. If finding out is proving difficult or if the one used is not one you are comfortable with, then I highly recommend choosing one of your own and spending the first moments in class teaching that skill. How do you go about teaching students to respond to an attention getter?

1) Tell Them. They need to know what attention getter you will be using. Tell them you will use Give Me 5, a quiet sign, a bell, or whatever you choose. And post that information somewhere so the students will be reminded.

2) Teach Them. Then you must let them know what you expect them to do when they hear the attention getter. I like to use students as examples. Little ones often respond to using a stuffed animal as a model. Walk the students through the expected behavior. For example, in a call and response attention getter, the students need to know what to say to say after you give the cue. And they need to know that after they give the response, then they must look at you and be ready to listen.

3) Practice! Finally, you must practice. Give the students something to do, then after a few minutes use the attention getter. Be sure to give feedback like "Not bad. Let's try again." Or "I love the way the red table came to attention immediately. Let's keep trying." Practice multiple times until you feel confident that every student knows what to do. Keep in mind, you may have to remind them throughout the day.

Here are the Attention Getter Posters I made. I did a set in a Polka Dot Theme and a set in a Monkey Theme. They are only $1.50 for nine posters that have the sayings of:
• Give Me 5: The teacher says this and holds up 5 fingers that stand for stop talking, sit up straight, feet on the floor, hands still, and eyes on me.
• 1, 2, 3 Eyes On Me: The teacher says this, and students respond "1, 2 Eyes on You."
• Hocus Pocus Time to Focus: The teacher says "Hocus Pocus," and students respond with "Time to Focus."
• Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: The teacher says "Chicka Chicka," and the students respond with "Boom Boom." This one is good one for kinder and firsties since it's based on the alphabet book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
• SALAME: This is pronounced like the Italian lunch meat. The teacher says SALAME, which stands for Stop And Look At Me. I usually accompany this one with my hands around my eyes like binoculars.
• All Set You Bet: The teacher says "All Set," and students respond "You Bet"
• If You Can Hear Me (Follow Directions): The teacher says, "If you can hear me, put your hands on your head" or whatever action you choose. The students follow the directions to show they are listening.
• Class Yes: This one is from Whole Brain Teaching and has lots of variations. The teacher says "Class," and the students respond "Yes." 

• Blank poster for you to write a favorite of yours if it is not included.

I have my favorites laminated and carry them to my sub jobs. Then I can just pull out the one the teacher uses or I plan to use and post that on the board.

One last piece of advice. Don't use the attention getter too much or the students will tune you out. If they are having trouble coming to attention, then you probably need to practice more.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Therapeutic Thursday and Freebie Friday

OK, I know it's Friday and I missed Therapeutic Thursday, so I thought I'd combine the two. First for the therapy. Teaching is hard, and substitute teaching can be even harder in many ways. It is very important that you remember to take time for yourself to decompress and remind yourself of the positives.

Here are some things I do:
• Focus on my own family. I have a supportive husband and delightful children, so when I need to be uplifted, I look to them. They always can make me laugh, give me a hug, or listen to me whine.
• Food and drink. I know, it's not the healthiest of responses... chocolate and wine. But, a good ooey gooey chocolate dessert will do wonder to lift my mood. And a glass of wine in the evening always helps take the edge off and help me relax.
• Focus on the positive. I keep a gratitude journal and try to write in it every evening. I try to list at least five positive things about each day. Sometimes, I have to reach to come up with a positive, but I promise they can always be found. One day I had to reach so far as to write, "I am thankful that the puddle of water I just stepped in was not a dog mess." Ha! It was true, though.
• Soaking in a bubble bath. I a bath kind of girl. Running a hot bath full of coconut-scented bubbles and reading a good book does wonders.
• Getting enough rest. This can be a hard one sometimes too, but I promise that being tired obscures your perspective. It is truly amazing what a good night's sleep can do for your spirits.
• Having a good cry. Sometimes you just have to let it out.
• Quote mongering. I love to read quotes. Somehow, they let me know that I am not alone in what I am feeling. Here is one of my all time favorties (I have even turned the "dance in the rain" part into my mantra):

Now, for the freebie part. Yay! Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I love to post freebies! Just take a look in my Teachers Pay Teachers store under the FREE category to find 18 (and growing) products for free. Sub plans for grade K-5, a gingerbread unit for the holidays, and plenty of other holiday and other activities. So, go grab all your free stuff and enjoy!

To find plenty of other freebies or link up a post yourself, visit Blog Hoppin'.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach (Sub) Wednesday

Wednesday on Teacher Week from Blog Hoppin' brings Where I Teach Wednesday. Since I am a sub, I teach in multiple places. But, where I teach is in San Antonio, TX in the largest school district in the city. and the fourth largest in the state of Texas. And before you ask, no, we don't ride horses to school. And yes, the Alamo is right smack dab in the middle of downtown, not out in a field somewhere like you'd imagine. And yes, I do actually get asked those questions. :-)

I sub in K-5 classes where class sizes are usually 20-24 students. Texas is one of the few states who has not adopted the Common Core State Standards, and I don't think the state ever will. In true Texas tradition, the state does its own thing and curriculum is driven by the TEKS or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. As I have become familiar with both, there is quite a bit of crossover, but the TEKS are more specific and detailed... and they are available for every subject.

An elementary school day is from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Students are taught all the regular subjects, plus go to special rotations every day. The specials alternate with PE every other day, and the others of computers, art, and music on the non-PE days.

Recess is usually about 15-20 minutes long, which if you ask me is not nearly long enough. Students who qualify can also be pulled out to receive speech therapy, gifted education, and extra help from the reading or math specialist.

Someday soon, I hope to have a classroom to call my very own, but until then, I am proud to sub in best district around!

To see where others teach or link up a post yourself, visit Blog Hoppin'.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Schedule Struggle

As a sub, I have been in a lot of classrooms and worked within many schedules. I have come to the conclusion that there is no perfect schedule. There is just too much to try to fit into any day and too many things grade levels have to share. And I don't think adding time to the day is the answer either. I think we would just jam pack any amount of time given to us.

That being said, I am sharing my favorite schedule I have worked within as a part of Charity Preston's Name That Schedule Linky on The Organized Classroom Blog. This schedule was for a third grade classroom.

I'll start with the parts I liked. I like that the morning started with Intervention/Enrichment. This was a time when I called those sweetie pies to my desk who needed the extra help. We would alternate subjects so on Monday and Wednesday we would do extra reading help, and on Tuesday and Thursday we did math help. The school required that interventions be data driven and research-based. The other kiddos were allowed a choice time of finishing incomplete work or enrichment activities. In case you were wondering, Fridays were left for class meetings or buddy class activities (once a month). This intervention time was a nice way to ease into the day and gave some time in addition to the standard reading and math groups to provide some extra instruction.

I also like that there were natural transitions provided by the times for leaving the classroom (specials, lunch, and recess). I always find it more difficult for students to switch gears without a physical separation, even though I use brain breaks and other transitions. Those natural breaks also provide nice breaks for the students. The active times of the day were spread out.

And I truly enjoyed that there was time for read-aloud built in to every day. Even when we often stayed out a little extra at recess, there was still time to wind down with a little read aloud time. That read aloud time also provided a nice incentive for the students to get packed up quickly since I always told them that I would read when everyone was ready on the carpet.

Most of the parts I didn't like are problems with any schedule.. mainly there is never enough time. We were always rushing during that short science/social studies block. And we had so much trouble getting in everything during the reading and writing time, that the team agreed that each reading story would be done for two weeks, with one week focusing on the reading skills and the other on the writing skills.

My other problem with the schedule (and every schedule I have worked with) is that math always seems to be in the afternoon. In my experience, afternoons are much more difficult as students are getting tired and just kind of done paying attention. I started switching things up occasionally and doing math in the morning so I could capitalize on the times when students were more focused. Thank goodness I was teaching in a district that allowed flexibility.

So, there you have it. The good, the bad, and the ugly (as Charity says) of my favorite schedule.

Go see what other's have to say about scheduling at Charity's linky party on The Organized Classroom Blog.

Teacher Week: Technology Tip Tuesday

Happy continuing Teacher Week from Blog Hoppin'! Today is Technology Tip Tuesday, which is a little tricky for subs. Sadly, many subs don't have access to the computer or other of the latest  technology. I don't unless I am in a long-term position. So, I will leave the computer tips to other Blog Hoppin' bloggers. And today I will give you a couple of simple tips using the old school technology of the overhead projector and the CD player.

My first tip is for the overhead projector. I am guessing if there is one in the room, a sub probably has access to it. I personally am not a huge fan of the overhead projector, but I have learned a few things that make it more useful. First, DO NOT turn off all the lights. You are asking for trouble. I turn off one set of lights at the front of the room if possible to make the screen more visible, but keep enough light in the room. Second, get the students involved. They have to have something to do, whether it's completing some work as a whole class, solving problems on white boards or in journals, or taking notes. My favorite thing to do using the overhead is to not just give the students something to do, but to get them involved. If I am doing math problem solving, I put the problem on the overhead, and give the students some time to do the first step in their math journal. As students finish, I give them a sheet for the overhead and an Expo pen and have them copy their solution on that. Then I give students a chance to come up to the overhead and share their solutions. It's amazing how much they love writing and sharing on that overhead! It definitely helps keep them engaged!

My second tip is for a CD player. Again, if there's one in the room, the sub probably has access to it. Anyway, I am a believer in the power of music setting the mood. I like to have a CD with various songs on it. Then I can pop the CD in a play appropriate music to set the mood as I want. It's truly spectacular how much more calm and focused students are if you play some classical music. I use it during writing time especially. Transition times are a great opportunity for music. And, of course, to use a few songs here and there for a brain break. Giving students an opportunity to get out of their seats and move a little does wonders for the wiggles and lack of focus.

To see other technology tips or link up one yourself, visit Blog Hoppin'.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Teacher Week: Must-Haves Monday (The Sub's Take)

At Blog Hoppin, we are celebrating teacher week, and today is Must-Have Mondays. Of course, I will be putting a sub's spin on it.

As a sub, I absolutely, positively cannot live without my cell phone. It's how I get jobs. Now, mine is not fancy, but it doesn't have to be. It just has to answer and make calls.

The second thing I can't live without is my alarm clock. How else would I be able to get up at the crack of dawn to make it to a school across town to sub?

Finally, I must have my sub bag filled with all the things I will need during the day.

What do I carry? Everyday, I have my coffee. I would be nothing without that. Ha! I also bring my own pens, pencils, sticky notes, etc. 

Classroom management items are a must for any sub. I carry some Caught Being Good forms, my punch card positive behavior system, and my treasure bag.

I also have business items. My calendar is important because often teachers stop me in the hall or lounge and ask if I am available for another day. My calendar allows me to answer and schedule more jobs right then and there. I always have my handy dandy notebook... just in case. And I make sure to have a Daily Summary Form to report to the teacher how the day went.

Finally, I make sure to have on hand some extra activities and plans for those just-in-case moments. There are those times when plans don't take as long as expected or the teacher had an emergency and was unable to leave to plans. If you have meaningful things for the students to do, you will never have to panic. I love to have a picture book or two with a couple of graphic organizers that would work for any book. Laura Candler has an amazing book filled with graphic organizers.

If you need emergency sub plans, check out my store. I have a set of free plans for grades K-5.

I have a set of Just Add Paper plans for grades K-5 for those true emergencies... you don't even need to make copies for these plans.

And there is a set of CCSS Emergency Sub Plans for grades K-4 that have a day's worth of lessons based on one picture book and aligned with the Common Core.

Go check out Blog Hoppin for other teachers' must-haves. What are your must haves?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Subs, Never Fear... Back to School Is Here

Or is coming soon. It can be a really long summer when you are a sub, and there is no income... only outcome. But, don't worry! Classrooms will soon be (or possibly already are) humming. And with that humming comes the need for subs.

I used to think back-to-school time would be slow for subs. But that is not necessarily the case. While I have never met a teacher who really wants to be out as school starts (at least seriously... lots joke about it), those unforeseen absences have no idea that it is just the start of school. Emergencies don't know teachers are trying their best to build relationships with students, establish procedures and routines, and overcome the summer slide so they can get to work as quickly as possible helping those students grow, learn, and reach this year's potential.

So, teachers, make sure your emergency sub plans are ready and that a teammate knows where they are. And, be ready as a sub! One year I even got a call for the first day of school! And this year I have already been asked to cover a day in the first week of school even though school doesn't even start for my district until August 27.

If you are an established sub, just make sure you have done what your district requires to renew your subbing status.

Check your wardrobe. If you are like me, your weight may not have stayed the same over the summer, so double check that you have professional, school-appropriate clothing ready that fits.

If you are a new sub or a sub wanting to expand your schools or jobs, then you may want to print up some business cards and visit your target schools. Check in at the office to see if they will distribute them for you, or better yet, ask if you could visit classrooms to introduce yourself to teachers. If a teacher has met you and has your business card, they will be much more likely to call on you.

Finally, make sure you have your sub bag ready with all your necessities. You can see what I normally take in my sub bag in this post. One thing I am going to add this year is a pencil sharpener. One of my biggest challenges each day is students' broken pencils. And it seems that every classroom I am in has a pencil sharpener that doesn't work. I broke down last year and bought a $70 electric sharpener from an office supply store. That works great when I have long-term jobs (although it is not quiet by any means), but there is no way I can haul "the big mama pencil sharpener" on a daily basis. I have found one that is small enough to be portable for a sub to tote, works great, and is so much cheaper than those other fancy sharpeners! You may have seen it on other blogs because lots of teachers love it.

It's the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener. It sets up easily, although it took me a minute to figure out how to set it up. But you don't even have to set it with the provided clamp. Because of the nifty pull-out, pencil-holding contraption, you don't even need to hold the pencil while it sharpens. You can use that hand to hold the sharpener steady while turning the handle with the other. And, let me tell you, it sharpens the pencils perfectly! None of that caddywampus, one-sided sharpening like so many others do. It even comes in a sturdy, reuseable plastic box that makes it easy to transport without making a mess.

It's not totally silent, but it is one of the quietest sharpeners I've ever heard. And I know you've been in the middle of teaching and heard that annoying whir or grinding or traditional pencil sharpeners. I think it's possible for a student to sharpen a pencil during a lesson and not being overly distracting with this one!

It would be nice if it came with instructions, but like I said, it wasn't terribly hard to figure out. One other possible downside is that there is only a one-size hole for the pencils. So, if you sub in classrooms where they use the thicker chunky pencils, this wouldn't work.

But overall, I feel this sharpener is definitely worth the money. I will most certainly be carrying mine every day that I sub since the pencil issue is a huge pet peeve of mine. There's one subbing problem easily solved!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stuff Your Files with Freebies

This is the time of year for amazing Back-to-School events and savings. And here's another great one! It's the Top Teachers Stuff Your Files event hosted by Leanne Baur's Creative Classroom. Thank you, Leanne! Each day she is featuring the freebies of a different fabulous teacher-blogger so you can stuff your files with free stuff. Today is my turn, and I featured all my free sub plans. So, pop on over to Leanne's blog and grab plenty of freebies from me and other teachers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back-to-School Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Starting tomorrow my entire Teacher Pay Teachers store will be 20% off for August 12-13. And for an added bonus, you can use the coupon code of BTS12 at checkout for an additional 10% off the sale prices. That's a total of 28% off!

Plus, visit other Teachers Pay Teachers stores for savings as well. The coupon code works for every store, and most sellers are also offering additional savings like I am. Check out the linky at Blog Hoppin to see some of a great sellers who are participating.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back-to-School Product Premiere: Sub Plans

So, the wait is almost over. The Teachers Pay Teachers Back-to-School sale is August 12-13. During this time you can use the promo code of BTS12 to save 10% on all for-sale items. Additionally most sellers (including me) will be offering an additional 20% off, for a total savings to you of 28%! What a deal. 

To help you fill your TpT Wish List, many teacher-bloggers have gotten together to feature some of our favorite products from our stores in a Back-to-School Product Premiere linky. Check out my featured sub plans, and then visit the other blogs linked at the bottom to see what products they recommend from their own stores.

I am spotlighting (what else) my sub plans! I have two different lines of sub plans in my store — Just Add Paper (for grades K-5) and CCSS Emergency Plans (for grades K-3)

The Just Add Paper line is meant for those true emergencies, and you don't have to make a single copy or gather anything more than a book and some paper. The whole day's plans can be done with those simple supplies. You could have these plans ready to go in your Sub Tub or even email them to a teammate in those cases of dire emergency. These plans are available for grades K-5 and have a warm-up lesson, a reading lesson, a language arts lesson, a math lesson, a science lesson, and a social studies lesson. They sell for $5 each, or all grade levels bundled for $20.

The CCSS Emergency Sub Plans feature the same kinds of lessons and are available for grades K-3 (4th and 5th grades are in the works and will be coming soon). They are based on a different picture book for each grade level and aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Never "waste" a day of instruction again. Even when you are out, you can still be teaching the CCSS. These plans also sell for $5 a piece. These plans do require copies and possibly some additional materials depending on the lesson.

And below is a linky of other bloggers showcasing some of their favorite products. So, get busy filling those wish lists and get ready to buy and save August 12 and 13 on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to School Blog Hunt: Day 8, Subbing Freebies

Welcome to Day 8 of the Back to School Blog Hunt! I sure hope you have been following the previous days' posts on various blogs. Yesterday was April from A Modern Teacher. Thanks to her for directing you here. And don't forget to go visit Kathy at Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher who I am sharing today with.

For my back-to-school advice, of course I am headed in the subbing direction. Teachers, in the midst of all your preparations, don't forget about subs. And subs, don't forget you have some prep to do as well.

For Teachers
Prepare your sub tub or sub binder with all the information a sub would need: basic information, class list, class schedule, dismissal list, classroom management strategy, procedures, helpful numbers, etc. And don't forget to include emergency sub plans. Sure, when you know you are going to be out, it's no problem to write plans and gather materials. But there are always those last minute illnesses and other emergencies when you don't have time to write plans. You can find my Free Emergency Sub Plans under the tab at the top of the blog or on Teachers Pay Teachers. Finally, make sure you teach your sub expectations to your class before you have to be out.

For Subs
Make sure you have completed all the requirements for subbing in your district. I have to renew my sub badge every year and leave review forms for the teachers I sub for. Also make sure to gather your things for your sub bag of tricks. Include all your personal and office supply items as well as some emergency activities and plans for those just-in-case moments. I always have a read-aloud book or two in my bag also. And make sure you have some way of tracking your jobs and the pay.

For Everyone
I have created two freebies for those subbing days. Complete packets of forms for both subs and teachers are in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and these freebies are part of those packets. The first is a Daily Summary Form to be left by a teacher or carried and left by a sub.

The second freebie is a Caught Being Good ticket classroom management system. The sub fills out a ticket for students exhibiting exceptional behavior, sends one part home to the parents and leaves the other part at school for the teacher.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for Day 9 of the Back to School Blog Hunt brought to you by Jessica of Mrs. Stanford's Class and Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten. Happy blog hunting!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Goal Achievement Pack Helps Keep Students on Track

This summer I have tried my best as a parent not to let my children succumb to the summer slide. I think some of it is inevitable, but I have kept them to a schedule that includes some academic time, even if sometimes that academic time is disguised in the form of museum visits and other such fun outings. Getting them to read has not been a problem at all, but providing some incentives to get them to do writing, math practice, and other subjects has been very difficult.

When ETA hand2mind (previously ETA/Cuisenaire) contacted me about doing a review and giveaway of a summer home learning pack, I thought it was perfect! And when it arrived, I was even more excited. What I received was the Home Team AdvantageTM SUMMER Grade 2 Goal Achievement Pack. I had gone online to see what they were sending me, but I was still amazed at how many things were in that packet. I just kept upacking and unpacking. There were so many tools to use with my son (who will be entering third grade this fall). And even better for me was that my son had his nose in the box and was even more excited to see all the materials than I was. But who can blame him? I mean, look at all the fun materials! And it even comes in a handy storage bag!

The first thing that drew his attention were the Reading Rods in the Simple Sentences Kit. I think he liked them because there were so many of them, and they connect together like Legos. He is a HUGE fan of Legos. He started asking what he was supposed to do with them, and I showed him the two flip books that have activity after activity with kid-friendly directions. He must have spent an hour just seeing if he could follow the directions and find the words in the activities.

His next favorite item was the Versatiles. He was not familiar with them, and neither was I. Essentially they are a hands-on way for students to answer multiple choice answers and self-check. Since I had never used them before, I was pleased to find step-by-step instructions on the back of the "Note to Family." My son got the hang of them really fast and discovered the science book that goes with the Versatiles. He started working his way through. There are three books that come in the pack to be used with the Versatiles... Science Process Skills I (that my son fell in love with), Let's Add and Subtract with Regrouping (proved to be an excellent refresher for my son), and Read for Meaning.

My favorite part of the pack as a parent is the Summer Fun Calendar that provides six weeks of activities using the materials in the pack. The directions are easy to follow and everything you need is provided. The calendar even comes in a Spanish version. It is beautifully organized with checkboxes to fill in and date to note that an activity has been completed. You don't have to be a teacher to use this pack to help children practice their skills. But looking at the pack from a teacher's perspective, it continues to hold up. The pack focuses on cross-curricular activities and encourages family participation in learning, which is what every teacher hopes for. The activities are all standards based, even though the standards are not stated (because a parent wouldn't really care about that). If a parent were to go through the complete six weeks with their child, that child would be so prepared to come back to school!

Also in the pack are five high-interest reading stories... three nonfiction and two fiction. I happen to love that nonfiction stories are included since the standards are putting more emphasis on nonfiction reading and students tend to have a harder time with the comprehension of this type of reading. For all five books, there are discussion questions and activities either at the back of the book itself or on the Summer Fun Calendar. Again, love that it is reading with a purpose, and all a parent has to do is follow the directions!

For writing, ETA has included a writing journal that is open-ended with nothing but lined pages and space for illustrations. Again, there are suggested activities in the Summer Fun Calendar. Those activity suggestions are based on or are responses to the reading books, and some use the Reading Rods to help build sentences. But there is no reason, you couldn't also use it for other types of writing.

Finally, the last item in the pack is a pack of Figuro Triangle Fact Cards. These are a more interesting alternative to old-school flash cards that are in a triangle shape and focus on all addition and subtraction facts through 12. And I also like that they work off of fact families. Great practice and compact enough to fit in a backpack for summer travels.

The pack I reviewed was for second grade, but ETA hand2mind has the packs available from PreK to eighth grade. Each pack varies in its specific content, but they are all priced the same and contain the same type of materials: a parent letter, a Summer Fun Calendar with motivating games and activities, books and a writing journal, Versatiles and books to accompany them, and other grade level manipulatives. I would definitely say for the amount of materials you receive, the completeness of the program, and the clarity of the directions, they are well worth the money. In fact, I was trying hard to think of one constructive suggestion I would make for the product. Given that they are intended for use by parents, I really can't think of any.

Even though they are meant for families and students to be used over the summer at home, there is no reason they couldn't be used throughout the year as reinforcement or review, as part of a homeschooling program, or in a classroom with one-on-one or small group instruction or in centers. I am sure you can think of a myriad of uses for such a high-quality product!

Thanks to ETA hand2mind, I am able to offer a Home Team AdvantageTM SUMMER Grade 2 Goal Achievement Pack for one lucky Sub Hub reader. Just fill out and submit the form below by 5 p.m. CST on August 9, 2012 to be entered to win.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to Sub Hub!!!

Awwww! My baby is one year old today! They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday when Sub Hub was just a little bitty baby, and now it's grown into a bumbling toddler. Ha! Where did the time go? Starting Sub Hub has been such a good experience in my life. I thought to celebrate my cute little blog's birthday, I would do two things. First, what I know you all love... a freebie! I made (what else) a birthday freebie.

This is my You Are Special Classroom Birthday Card to celebrate your students' birthdays. Print one out (the two pages, front and back) and fold the card in half. Then the birthday kiddo's classmates can sign the card saying something that they like about the birthday kiddo. Now, the birthday kiddo has a special momento of their day.

The second thing I wanted to do to celebrate Sub Hub's birthday is to take a look back... a sort of Sub Hub retrospective. I have chosen my favorite post from each month that Sub Hub has been around. So, take a look back at the first year in the life of Sub Hub.

August 18, 2011 Give Students a Punch... No, Not That Kind. This is a quick and easy classroom management system that works well for one-day subs.

September 5, 2011 Easy Classroom Birthday "Presents." Of course, I had to choose another birthday post to give you another option to celebrate.

October 29, 2011 Easy (and FREE) Multiplication Lapbook. This is one of my all-time most popular posts. This lapbook template has been downloaded thousands of times. And I love that it has been able to help so many!

November 20, 2011 Run, Run, Run As Fast As You Can... And Catch These Gingerbread Lessons. Another super popular freebie, great to use in those last couple of weeks before Winter Break.

December 18, 2011 Filling Holiday Downtime with Snowman Stumper. A holiday twist on Hangman.

January 13, 2012 Need Tips of Getting Sub Jobs? I offer suggestions from my experiences that have earned me a good reputation as a sub and keep the calls coming in.

February 8, 2012 You Need a Thneed... and Some Free Lorax Lessons. By far my most popular post/freebie/lesson I have ever created!

March 5, 2012 Personal Word Walls. Classroom idea for differentiated personal word walls inside file folders.

April 9, 2012 Discover the Natural World for Earth Day. A hands-on idea perfect for Earth Day.

May 15, 2012 Let This Year's Students Help You Transition Next Year's Students. A freebie advice book template for the end of the school year.

June 25, 2012 When Subbing, Set the Tone Early. A helpful tip to get your subbing off on the right foot.

July 17, 2012 Feeling Swamped. A free Swamp Powerpoint Presentation.

Well, there you have it. Twelve months of blog posts highlighted. I have to close by saying thank you to everyone who has helped me and follows me. I owe a big shout out to Lorraine at Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies. She is my friend in real life who started her blog around the same time as I did. She was gaining followers way faster than I was, so I asked her for advice. And she gave me the best suggestion ever. She hooked me up with Charity of The Organized Classroom Blog and so many more, but also Teaching Blog Traffic School. Between her blogging course, her friendship and support, and the collaborative connections I made within that group, my little baby blog grew up to be a healthy toddler. Also big shout outs to all the teacher-bloggers and Teachers Pay Teachers sellers. So many have helped Sub Hub along. It would certainly not be the blog that it is without the support of countless teacher-bloggers. I count myself lucky to be able to be a part of such a supportive and helpful community. Here is my Pinterest board listing this great community. Teacher-bloggers rock!
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