Monday, August 14, 2017

Student Schedules

Schedules! Hearing the word just makes me anxious. So many things go into making the perfect schedule. I know everyone's classrooms run differently but I can tell you that I do not have a self contained room. All of my students are assigned to a general education classroom and then come to me for reading, writing and math.....some do end up staying with me all day with the exception of specials and recess. So... that means I have to build my schedule around 4-5 general education teachers schedules. It can be a nightmare. However, once I figure it out I really do enjoy creating the physical schedules for my students. Keep reading to see the different types of schedules I have in my classroom.

When making schedules keep your students in mind. While there may be some super cute schedules at Target or on TPT but ask yourself, "Is this really appropriate for my students?" Not all students have to have the same type of schedule. For instance, this year in my classroom I am going to have 8 students (the lowest I have ever had!) and 4 different types of schedules.

The first schedule is for my highest functioning students. They struggle with reading but are able to follow routines. I made an outline of their day on a single page. There is a picture to help with reading the schedule and a place for them to check off with a pencil when they have finished the task. They are also working on telling time so I made sure to add that to their schedule as well. I will print these in black and white, hole punch them and add a stack in their binder (that they will carry with them to and from classes). On the back side I have left a space for notes home and notes to school. This will serve as the daily communication component for these students. If you didn't need the daily communication part you could print the schedule in color, laminate or slip in a page protector and have the students check off with a dry erase marker.
The second schedule I have is for my middle group. This schedule will include a little more prep but is the best for this group of students. This group is able to read and/or understand what the next subject is but needs a little more visual supports when knowing that the task is over and what is coming up next. I have made enough pages to include all of their schedule icons for the day. Some students have more pages than others depending on how much they are doing throughout the day. For this I printed in color, laminated and then added velcro. The student will check their schedule (located in a binder) and complete the task. Once finished the student will pull off the icon and put it on the back of the page (I added velcro there too) or put it in a finished bin/pouch. They will then look at their schedule and move onto the next item. For this schedule book I decided to only have a few schedule components on each page so that it isn't too overwhelming for this group of students. 

The third and fourth schedule I have made are similar in concept but stored in different ways, it is for my most complex learners. I made a color coded schedule (below you can see the color template) that will be housed in a binder or on the way (depending on student need/level). Each student has their own color and will check their schedule, pull off the task, locate the matching large schedule piece in the classroom and attach the little schedule piece to the big piece. This allows the students to not only know what is coming next but is concrete enough for them to understand that where they put the piece is the location in which they will be completing the task. Since I have a few students using this model and have a color coded system I decided to have the main schedule piece in white and then have the student corresponding colors on the bottom. That way they each have their own dedicated space at the center.

**Hint: make a schedule guide so you, your paras or even your students can reset the schedule at the end of the day if needed.
There are many other types of schedules you could set up. For example you could have a google calendar with alarms, write it out on post-its, have an entire page filled with a weeks worth of tasks for the students to check off when completed. You could also use actual objects for a schedule, first then schedule (very basic and limited visual stimulation). These are just a few examples. Do you have any different types of schedules you use in your classroom?

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