Classroom schedules are one of the most difficult things an elementary autistic support special education teacher has to complete. Keep reading to see how I use schedules in my elementary autistic support classroom!
Draft a Schedule
First and foremost, before I do anything else, I draft out a schedule. I start with my non-negotiables, such as lunches, recesses, arrival, dismissal, related services, and specials. From there I can add in my other activities for the day. Unfortunately, day-to-day schedules look different based on related service provider schedules, so I have to prepare for that.
Whole-Group Daily Schedule
Once my schedule is drafted out, I transfer the main aspects of our day to a central location in the classroom. Above, you’ll see my whole-group daily classroom schedule. It is hung on the chalkboard using sticky tak to make it easy to switch out or change the schedule as needed. Next to the daily schedule is the related services schedule. I have each student’s name in a block, and move OT and Speech visuals to their block on days they have that service and write in the time next to the visual. Both of these schedules help to keep staff focused throughout the day.
Individual Student Schedules
I utilize two different types of individual student schedules in my classroom. The majority of my students use a “To Do/All Done” schedule. On this type of schedule, all of the schedule pieces start on the left side, and as the student finishes a center, they move that piece to the right. In the photo above you’ll see that the students have completed five center rotations. They each have three rotations remaining for the afternoon center rotations. At each center, I have a larger visual of the center color that is visible to the students so that it is easier for them to find where they are to be at that time. Their schedules are located at a central location within the classroom, and each student schedule is placed outside of their locker/cubby so they are able to easily find it.
The second type of schedule I utilize in my classroom is a travel schedule. The students who use this type of schedule are traveling outside of my classroom often. This schedule travels with them and is updated as necessary throughout the day. When a center or activity is complete, the students move the schedule piece from green to red to indicate that it is “all done.” This is the same concept as the schedule my other students use, except this is portable while theirs is not.
Classroom schedules can be difficult to organize, but once you figure them out, they are a lifesaver! You can find all of these schedule pieces and templates in the Simply Special Ed shop!
What types of schedules do you use in your classroom?