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Streamlining Sub Plans: The Power of a Digital 'Sub Tub'

If you’re an elementary teacher, you know that keeping the routine as close to normal as possible when there is a sub is critical. I found it was hard to create sub plans that followed our normal routine when subs didn’t have access to any of our digital curriculum or tools. The solution: a digital “Sub Tub” 

Named after the Pinterest-popular Sub Tub, a digital Sub Tub is a Google Drive folder that you drop resources in for your sub. Some keys when creating your digital Sub Tub:

  • Make sure the folder’s sharing permissions are set to “Anyone with the link can view”

  • You can drop shortcuts to files into the folder, just make sure the original file is also set to “Any with the link”

  • Create a shortened URL for your folder ( or to include in your sub plans

Check out my actual digital Sub Tub here:

Some things I include in my digital Sub Tub:

  • A dedicated folder for Emergency Plans

  • A document with links to commonly used tools like a timer, spinner/dice, specific playlists, etc.

  • The audio file for the music I use daily during our end of day clean-up

  • The Slides I use in the morning with lunch information and important reminders

For Benchmark and IM Math materials, you can take screenshots or download the lesson plan to drop in the folder. Tools like Screencastify can help a ton to capture specific video or audio from either site. 

The biggest challenge to using the digital Sub Tub is making it accessible to subs! I’ve found two strategies to help make it easy for subs to find:

  • A welcome note with instructions that I use a clip to attach to my computer monitor so it can’t be missed

  • A note at the top of my actual sub plans

Often, I include actual links in my sub plans and then add the sub plan file right into the digital Sub Tub so that the sub can follow along online and click the links as the day goes on (see the EXAMPLE file in my digital Sub Tub

I hope this helps you the next time you have to make sub plans!

The title was created by Chat GPT.

Stay Techie,

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