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Home » Blog » Fall » Back to School » Emergency Sub Plans for 1st and 2nd Grade
Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

A wise teacher knows to expect the unexpected. Sick days. Quarantine. Mental health days. Chances are you may need to take a day away from the classroom this year! Be prepared for the unexpected and take the stress out of substitute lesson prep with these ideas for emergency sub plans for 1st and 2nd grade!

emergency sub plans and ideas for 1st and 2nd grade

Ready to Go Sub Plans

Many administrators are requiring teachers to have at least two weeks of substitute teacher plans ready for this year. Lucky Little Learners is here to help! We have prepared a full month’s worth of 2nd grade plans, and 2 weeks worth for 1st grade! These digital sub plans are great for in-person learning on individual student devices, and can also be used for remote learning.

Download Emergency Sub Plans HERE

Create a Sub Tub

sub tub created from a hanging file folder box

A Sub Tub is a hanging file folder crate or tub that has everything a substitute teacher will need for the day. Put it in a place that is easy to find in your classroom.

What to Put in the Sub Tub

Substitute Teacher Binder with essential information:

  • Class list/student photos
  • Daily Schedule
  • Seating Chart
  • Student Accommodations
  • Student Allergies
  • Plans and Procedures for school drills
  • Class routines and procedures
  • Class call and responses
  • Important in-school phone numbers and extensions
  • Technology information (class codes, passwords, sign on information, etc.)
  • Lesson Plans
    • Organized by subject
    • All worksheets/pages printed
    • List of materials needed

Leave a Note for the Class

Some students may be upset or surprised by your absence – and that’s OK! Have a pre-written note ready for the class for the substitute teacher to read to let the students know you are thinking of them.

class note to announce a sub day in 1st or 2nd grade

Dear Class,

“I am so sad I can’t be with you today for another fun day of learning in ___ Grade! I know you are all going to have a great day with (substitute teacher’s name). Be sure to show (sub’s name) how kind, thoughtful, and smart you are! Even thought I’m not here today, (sub’s name) is going to tell me all the wonderful things you did today – I can’t wait to hear all about it. I’m thinking about you and can’t wait to be back with you all soon!”

Love, (your name)

Helper of the Day

Do you have a student who is a little future teacher? The student knows the classroom rules and schedules inside and out? Leave a note for the substitute teacher with a list of students who can be super helpers of the day.

“Anytime” Lessons folder

Some days there’s just not enough time to fit in all the awesome lessons you have planned! Don’t toss those papers and activities – put them in the Anytime Lessons folder. Clip a lesson outline and the materials needed for the activity, and place them in a hanging file folder. Revisit these lessons when you have time, or let a sub pull from the bin to fill gaps in the day. These should be activities that revisit learned skills, and make a great review for all learners! A great example, is the Spiral Day Math Review!

Communicate with the Substitute Teacher

Create a space in the sub binder for the substitute teacher to leave detailed notes about that day. This “Notes from the Sub” freebie download is a big help! How did the day go? Were there any issues that need to be addressed? What activities were a success? Knowing how the day went can help you readjust your plans for when you return to the classroom.

teacher note template

Meeting students’ needs is important, but it is essential to take care of yourself, too! Read these tips from our amazing group of teachers in the Lucky Teacher Facebook Groups!

Join in the conversation with our active and inspiring! Facebook Groups:

Lucky First Grade Teachers

Lucky Second Grade Teachers

Have you tried our Digital Emergency Sub Plans? How do YOU prepare for a substitute teacher in the classroom? Tell us in the comments below!

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Emergency Sub Plans and Ideas for 1st and 2nd Grade


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Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 20,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.