I love schedules. For so many reasons. We all use them weather they are written or not. Some need them more than others but we all use them in some way. One of the first things you do as a teacher at the beginning of the year is solidify your schedule. I know this. I've done this. Sometimes it is a very daunting task when you are working with mutliple teachers, specialists etc. When I go into a classroom to observe this is the first thing I look for. Not only does it help me know what academic areas my observation is going to take place in but I know that when I am looking at behavior this is one of the simplest things to help improve it. If a student is having trouble sometimes I ask the teacher, "Do you have a visual schedule?" I am not saying it always has to have pictures but it needs to be visually present, not just assumed (although I will add, most times if you have a student with behavior difficulties especially in the younger grades or with more severe older students.....it should include pictures...and why not...pictures are great!) They will sometimes reply, "Yeah, its posted in my room." To which I usually ask, "does this particular student follow that exact schedule (usually not), Does the student have his/her own copy?,(if it is written) can they read, (if pictures help them process bettter) does it have pictures? " Anyway I thought I would share some examples of schedules I have used or seen. This schedule was one that I used in my classroom for the whole class. Not to mention each of my students had their own personal schedule, but we will just start there. Schedules can double as many other things and I will post many more over time. If you have a cool schedule to share.....Do it! I would love to see it!
A few reasons why classroom schedules are so great:
A lot of students have trouble with transitions. Schedules can help students prepare for transitions by knowing whats next and when it is coming.
Individualized schedules are a nice way to put a little more responsibility on the student. Sometimes they have speech or reading help or other services at different times. Its nice to have that on their individualized schedule to help them help you remember.
Answering the when question? Some students will continually ask, when is recess or when do I get to see Mom etc. It nice to refer them to the schedule and show them the things they still need to do before they get to that point. Its also nice for them to see that it is actually coming-in case they don't believe you.
The skill of creating and navigating a schedule. It was nice to create my schedule every morning and have the students help me. They would have to find the appropraite picture (Comprehension and Receptive language) and some would even write the word next to it for me. Then during our calendar routine a student would read the schedule and use important words like, first, next, then and last. Its just another thing to use as a teaching opportunity.
Changes. I found that if I had a posted visual schedule that was reviewed daily, my students adapted better to changes. I would put a star next to the change and we would review the schedule before any changes we about to occur.
P.S My fridge made the perfect substitute for the white board I had in my classroom....just in case anyone needs one for home!