It's also important to think about the substitute. Substitute teachers are responsible for managing and teaching a group of enthusiastic learners who are thrown off their routine and missing their teacher. I'm not sure if you've ever seen a child thrown off a routine, but spoiler alert: it's not pretty.
So, the subs. You guys, I view it as my personal mission in life to make the day as easy as possible for these saints. Of course the day's success lies largely in the sub plans, but we all know a perfectly laid plan can sometimes be stopped dead in its tracks by other factors. And by other factors, I mean behavior.
Behaviorally speaking, there are different types of students.
Type A: Student Could Lead Class By Himself, Sometimes Better Than Me: this student loves any chance to help, and the sub is no exception. This student probably has a * next to his name as the go-to student for any and all questions.
Type B: The Middle of the Line Student: An overall good choice-maker with an edge, she knows things are going to be a little cray cray without her teacher; will toe the line, trying to decide if it is worth it to act a fool or just save energy and go with the flow.
Type C: The Just. Cannot. Student: This student probably also has an asterisk next to his name in the sub plans, but for a whole different reason. You know who I'm talking about.
In short: My Little Lookout is a miniature teacher meets espionage meets tattletale (in a good way). My Little Lookout is designed to encourage positive behavior while serve as a constant reminder that your teacher WILL find out about your choices.
In Room 65, MLL arrives one day with grandiose (AKA in a pile of glitter, because glitter=magic). She arrives on a day I am NOT absent, and we read the My Little Lookout book together to get to know this intriguing little creature. The book can be printed hardcover or shown electronically, which is my preferred way.
The book will prompt kids to name their MLL, so we always have a ball with that. In the past, my kids have named her to rhyme with my name, but this past year, our MLL was named "Mrs. Mini." You can turn this into a voting event, a graphing activity, whatever---but the name that is chosen is the name that is there to stay. It is written on MLL's name tag (which can be detached if you prefer only the doll and not the name tag).
The premise of My Little Lookout is this: when a teacher is out, he or she calls My Little Lookout.
My Little Lookout then comes to the classroom overnight and finds a nice spot to settle where she can see all of the goings on of the classroom (I'm a big fan of the projector or beside the clock: a focal point where kids can't touch her.) The next day, kids will spot her and she will spend her day watching over the classroom and making notes about what choices the students are making in their teacher's absence. [When, in reality, the substitute teacher will leave a note for the classroom teacher with mention of students making good choices, poor choices, and choices in between]
Any negative feedback is shared privately with the students mentioned, and the consequence is often a note explaining the choices they made and the choices they SHOULD have made. Sometimes, I send these notes home to parents and other times, I simply use them as a reflection piece.
And that's a wrap, ladies & gents! Magical, miniature, and mighty...what more could you ask for?! For more details on what My Little Lookout includes, visit my TPT store to view the full product description.