The Algebra Toolbox

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. – Abraham Maslow

My Favorite Sub Plan


My favorite plan to leave for a sub is the FACEing Math  activity.  It takes most of my students two 42-minute periods to complete, is self-explanatory and easy for classroom management, provides review for students of concepts we’ve previously studied, and gives me great pictures to put on my walls!

Students complete 27 problems. Each problem is multiple choice with 2 answer choices so it’s moderately self-checking.  The answer choice tells students what feature to draw on the face template or what color to make each feature.  There are numerous FACEing Math books for all different levels, but my favorite is the “Create” books which are blank templates so you can put in the problems you want your students to do. 

I know we are only supposed to put free resources on here, but this is money well spent.  The author allows people to download the first lesson from each book for free, so I’m hoping not to violate any copyright laws by posting one of the templates from Create Book #2 for view.  In honor of World Series Season, here is a FACE template that makes a Baseball player ( page 2)  with the answer key (Lesson 16).  You just need to look at the answer key to see which letter (A or B) the correct answer choice needs to be for the face to come out correctly. 

My students really love this activity. They can talk quietly as they work.  I require them to show work either on the worksheet or on another sheet.  Even though all the students’ drawings should have the same facial features, each face will look unique.  We have contests to see who has the silliest, neatest, most unique, etc face when finished.  Students will need access to colored pencils or crayons and a pencil. I keep copies for emergency sub plans of content we’ve already studied so students can complete it independently.


Author: lzlomek

I teach high school Algebra I and am constantly looking for ways to improve my practice and engage my students!

6 thoughts on “My Favorite Sub Plan

  1. I love these and so would my kids! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sorry for the upside documents…I’m a scanner rookie 🙂

  3. Pingback: Sub Plans – MS Sunday Funday | I Speak Math

  4. What a great idea! I am considering investing in one or more of the books. I wonder if my 8th graders would remain as interested and busy if I left it when they had a sub. They have a tendency to be quite naughty. Do you have the sub collect it before the end of the period? I’ve used the Pizzazz books with subs because they are self-checking, but might see if I can use this instead. And I have a district math meeting once a month, so I am out of class. Thanks!!

    • I have some squirrelly students too, and this keeps them pretty occupied. There are always a few who don’t do any of the work, but they do really great pictures, so at least they are busy. I don’t have the sub collect them because it takes my students more than one 42-minute period to complete them. I let them finish the next day when I get back…makes it easy for me to ease back in after a day away.

  5. This is great! I actually was thinking of an activity like this today!!! Our science teachers have a similar project and I was contemplating adjusting it to math!!! And here it is…thanks!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s