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CPM Teaching Tip #15

January 19, 2012

In the CPM workshops the mentor teachers are often asked how to plan for days when their class will have a substitute. By this point in the year the teams should be functioning reasonably well, so they should be able to complete most lessons with a substitute present. You might want to avoid starting a new chapter or using a lesson that is just one big problem (although you could use the “further guidance” questions or create some questions for the class to help them with the lesson). Team assessments or the closure problems from a chapter are also good activities that a substitute can supervise. It is okay if the students learn something new without you there. Have them each write you a note at the end of class (or to start the next class) about what they learned.  This can serve as a formative assessment so that you know what they learned from the lesson. It is interesting that a day with a substitute teacher does not seem to create a gap in the students learning as much as it keeps the teacher from knowing how the students processed the lesson from that day. Talk to your students about their increased responsibility when you are not there to help them. They might just impress you.

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