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Your Sub Can WOW Too!

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Let’s face it – planning for a sub can feel a little BONKERBALLS. How do you plan a lesson that is easy for your sub to implement, keeps your students engaged, and aligns with your curriculum? Look no further than TinkerClass! 

First things first, TinkerClass is FREE for all educators [subs included!], so no stress there! But there are multiple reasons why TinkerClass will WOW you, your sub, and your students!

TinkerClass Fits into Any Schedule!

When you’re preparing to be out of the classroom, the last thing you want is to stay late after school printing extra worksheets and writing out long instructions for your sub. Safe to say, the last thing your sub wants is to read long instructions for complicated assignments. TinkerClass fits seamlessly into your existing curriculum and uses Google Classroom, an accessible, free, and easy-to-use educational tool already implemented in many schools.

How much time does your sub have to tinker?

Is your sub only covering a class or quick break? They can assign students an episode of Wow in the World and have them complete the Wows and Wonders or Brainstorming Wonders worksheet. Find more ideas for activities before, during, and after listening here

Looking for a longer activity or extended project? This is a great opportunity for your sub to take your students through every step of TinkerClass: Listen, Wonder, Tinker, Make! 

TinkerClass is fun!

We all know kids can get a little BONKERBALLS when they have a sub. When students are disinterested in what they’re learning, it’s easy for them to get distracted or engage in disruptive behavior. With TinkerClass, your students will be on the edge of their seats (if they’re not already rolling on the ground in laughter) as they follow the adventures of Guy and Mindy through scientific WOWs and WONDERs! 

TinkerClass uses project-based learning (PBL), or as we like to call it, podject-based learning. Studies show that PBL can be motivating for students and improve their attitudes toward learning (Thomas, 2000). In a beta study of more than 500 students and 34 teachers, around 80% of students were reported as being engaged or very engaged when participating in TinkerClass.

TinkerClass is educational!

You may be thinking, TinkerClass sounds like a good time, but will my students learn? YES YES YES!

TinkerClass is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and has dynamic content in K-5 science disciplines (Life, Physical, and Earth Sciences) and engineering topics. Episodes include recent and interesting real-life scientific discoveries from peer-reviewed studies! By Listening, Wondering, Tinkering, and Making, your students will follow the scientific process and learn to think like a scientist

And don’t discount all that fun and laughter! Cognitive researchers report that children learn best when they are “active and engaged in learning that is meaningful, socially interactive, iterative, and joyful” (Hirsh-Pasek and Hadani, 2020). As 4th Grade Teacher Emily Nagle describes TinkerClass, “It’s real-world science topics. The way [TinkerClass] presents the information is very engaging to students and piques their interest and makes them want to explore more.”

TinkerClass episodes and podjects can be used across several grade levels for a variety of subjects and topics! Simply go to, explore all podjects, and filter!

TinkerClass is for ALL students!

Differentiating content for students is challenging enough, but even more so with a substitute who is less familiar with your students. TinkerClass is an audio-first tool that meets students where they are. Learning with audio allows students to be collaborators with the content they’re taking in and use their imagination to co-create stories and images. Research shows that students can comprehend two to three grade levels higher than their reading level when they listen to audio stories (Stricht & James,1984). TinkerClass will have your striving readers thinking like a scientist!

Don’t just take our word for it! K-5 Science Teacher Carole Paterson said after using TinkerClass, “My striving readers are my best tinkerers with this program. These students were engaged on a level playing field with their peers as they listened to facts and information shared in an engaging way.”

Resources to help your sub WOW:

All you really need to use TinkerClass is a device that can play podcasts (phone, tablet, or computer) and a speaker or headphones! But we’ve pulled together some how-to’s, handouts, and more to set your sub up for success!