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Sub Plans for Social Distancing

Girl at desk, with mask on

Have you been struggling to write sub plans for your music room, especially with social distancing in mind? Sub plans are always a struggle, because you can't assume that your guest teacher will have musical experience. This year, though, with the challenge of social distancing and no singing, sub plans can take lots of time! Here are a few ways you can approach sub plans for social distancing.

Same sub plans, but with social distancing guidelines

One way to approach sub plans is to simply leave the same kind of plans you normally would, but address social distancing guidelines. For example, if for part of your sub plan, you're letting students choose singing games to play, you can detail that students will speak the song instead of sing it, and that they have to play the game six feet apart. You could have students play a game on the interactive white board–just like you would if things were typical–but explain that students have to sit six feet apart, on their sit spots or chairs. Anything that you have had to adapt this year, you would leave in your sub plan, so that the guest teacher knows exactly how to adapt.

1:1 work

If the classroom teachers have 1:1 devices in their room, on the day you'll have a guest teacher in the room, you can email the classroom teachers and ask them to bring their devices to music. Then, you could assign independent work, such as musical choice boards or virtual music classrooms. Check out this post about choice boards and virtual music classrooms, this Facebook group about virtual music classrooms, and these choice boards:

Students could use the entire class period to make musical choices; you might leave an “early finisher” activity in case, such as time to play in Chrome Music Lab.

Nearpod/ Peardeck sub plans

I have learned a lot about Nearpod and Peardeck over the last year; check out this blog post about Nearpod and this blog post about Peardeck.

To use these as a sub plan, you could put together several pieces of a lesson in Nearpod or Peardeck, then students could watch the lesson all together, on one screen, or they could watch it with a student-paced link, on their own device.

For example, if your students are practicing quarter rest, first, they could learn a new song, such as “See the old witch,” by watching a video you've made, then, they could read and play rhythm patterns with this video, then, they could compose their own rhythm patterns with ta, ti-ti, and rest with a drawing slide in either platform. Finally, they could practice rhythm by creating patterns in Chrome Music Lab.

This does take a little more comfort with technology, but could be a great solution for keeping students “on track” with the other classes, so they don't get one lesson behind.

Would you like a free choice board to use for Kindergarten? Sign up below to get the Kindergarten winter choice board, which is included in my winter choice boards, for free!

I hope this is helpful as you create sub plans for social distancing. Good luck, and happy teaching!

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