In about two weeks, I will have to take a week off of school. It is the week right before our state writing test, too. YIKES!

I need some ideas on how to teach when I'm not actually there. I can leave sub plans that will be passed out, completed, and turned in without any thought or concern to the quality. I can have students work out of the test prep book. Neither one is really appealing.

I cannot Skype due to bandwidth and equipment issues. Nor can I Twitter to them due to the filter.

Does anyone have any other ideas? I can come up with the lesson, just not how to teach it.

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You won't be there, but will you be off grid? Can you teleconference in in other ways aside from Skype? If so, you can use Dim Dim, at least for part of your discussion. How about making videos of yourself with lessons or suggestions of group activities, or use JING to do anything you would write on a blackboard or point out on a computer.

Other idea is to do a mash of videos. Or - have you been to the Making Curriculum Pop ning? They have really creative ideas about using art and cartoons and innovative ways to get kids writing - - - just some thoughts. Good luck, and hopefully have fun on your time off!
In the past I've videoed myself and burned my lecture to a DVD for the sub to show. During the video I'd direct students to do various things and then pause the dvd until completed.
I was thinking of doing a podcast or something similar, but I was stuck on the computer issue (sub have no computer access). I didn't even think of burning a DVD.
When I'm out of the classroom and have time to plan, I create a SmartBoard lesson that has me talking and giving directions. I teach German and rarely do we have a German speaking sub. I put a picture of my face on the slides and link it to an audio file that I created in Audacity. Whenever my face appears, the sub touches it and I give directions to the class on what the students should do with the slide, the vocab, the handouts, etc.

If you don't have a SmartBoard you can do something similar with a PowerPoint. Or you can do screencasts, showing students how to improve their writing scores. It takes time but if you can't connect with them during their class period, this is an alternative. Request a sub that has good classroom management skills and will make sure the students are listening to your voice.
You can record screencasts using Camtasia (30 day free trial), or Jing (free, but web based). I have recorded lectures and uploaded them to YouTube. If YouTube is blocked give SchoolTube a try. If you are using Camtasia, you also have the option of saving it to a popular video format (QuickTime, MP4, etc) for playback on a computer.

I have done several recorded lectures. It seems to work pretty well. I incorporate Google Docs Presentation into my lectures. Here is an example.

Good luck!
Hey thats a really cool solution.
I didn't know Google Docs had such a nice embedder
Yes, it's very nice and you can embed YouTube videos within the presentation. I really like this feature. After providing content via textual information I included a related YouTube video to wrap the content together. This is the first year I have done this regularly, so I don't know how it impacts student learning. At the end of the year I'll evaluate the effectiveness of the model.
There is always e-mail!
How about a class writing blog? One of my writing teachers (I'm a tech specialist) was out for six weeks and had kids turning in their writing on a class blog. Each child had a blog via classblogmeister and posted those links on her Wordpress blog. It was awesome! Kids could work from home and school and have daily feedback from the teacher. Moreover, the teacher's stress load went down, for when she came back, there were no papers to grade or sub notes to plow through!
I have a friend who made a DVD of lessons for sub. He was actually teaching and the students following along. Not sure if you can trust subs with technology. Always paper and pencil lessons for students. Depends on how long you will be out
DVD is a great idea if you don't have internet access. Then you can do anything you want.
Thank you for the ideas. I think I'm going to try Edmodo one day...more to see if it would work than anything. But I plan to start working on DVD's for at least two to of the days. The screen cast idea is good too. I may use it when I make one of the DVD's. I don't think everyday needs to be so involved. They can have a reading day at least once or or twice. The class blog will have to wait another day, but I like it . I just don't have the time to train them on how to use it. Thank you so much for your help.

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