A. Daily schedules (including lunch). Identify those on free and reduced lunch for substitute
B. Resource classes and times
C. Class roster/Fire Drill roster
D. Seating charts
E. Student lists for instructional groups
F. Transportation plans for students (walkers, bus riders and bus numbers)
G. Names of students who may have medical problems or who require special attention
H. Directions for locating instructional material and equipment
I. Names of classroom helpers
J. List of additional academic activities (listening games, stories, songs)
K. Other pertinent information specific to class needs
L. Name of a buddy teacher should assistance be needed
All other activities and objectives such as art, physical education and music should be noted and the activities to be covered listed. Plans should reflect required time allocations. Lesson plans are to be used daily and placed on the teacher's desk for easy access.
During my first year of teaching, I was introduced to the concept of a "sub binder" by my mother-in-law. It has proven to be a lifesaver for me, and I've had many thanks from subs over the years. Before my first absence each year, I compile (or update) a neatly organized binder, complete with a front page letter of welcome and thanks from me (which I sincerely mean!), that explains EVERYTHING about my classroom! (class list(s), rules, behavior management plan, incentives, daily schedule, general classroom policies such as helpers/jobs/routines, etc.) I also preserve my name tags from the first weeks of school in a basket and include information on where to find those for the students, in the event the sub would like to use them. My mother-in-law originally recommended to include extra work that could be used to fill time if needed, but I've never found this necessary. (Most often, they don't get to all the plans I leave, anyhow. I guess I tend to over plan.) My lesson plans are detailed. I include examples, etc. so they are very clear to someone who may or may not have any background in education. However, thanks to the permanent sections in my binder, I only need to detail my expectations for the teaching and student activities. I also star a few names on the class list(s) indicating reliable students to ask questions if/when something comes up. I also leave REAL work and plans for the subs. I do this knowing that the lesson will most likely need to be reviewed upon my return, but I have found that students who sense a difference in their academic rigor (i.e. movie vs. lesson) are more likely to act out and push limits. (This is another positive comment I often receive from subs, "Thanks for letting me teach!") Finally, I also ask for a note from the sub letting me know what they got to/didn't get to, as well as kids' behavior, etc.
I'll be happy to let anyone stop in and check out the binder if they're interested. I keep it in the same place all the time and inform my officemates where it is, in the event of an emergency absence. Worst case scenario, I email plans and they've got all the rest in the binder! :)