I am really excited to link up with a great group of special education bloggers in a summer blog hop for setting up classrooms. Come on, you know you are thinking about it….even if you are sitting by the pool. And my apologies to those of you still in the regular school year….that’s just wrong! You can rag on the rest when you are still sitting by the pool in August.
Two years ago I did a series on setting up classrooms that walked through all the steps of setting up a special education classroom and I thought I would use this opportunity to hit the highlights of those posts and share some of the examples of schedules I have created for different age groups over the years. I’ve set up many a classroom at any time of year and schedules have actually become my strength in our team over time.
And, based on feedback from the survey I did of the readers last week, I have created a free download of the examples so you can see them on the blog and you can download them to look at later. There is also a free Word download that was available as part of that series of the grid I use to create schedules so you can use it for yours.
Everything in setting up the schedule depends on knowing your students. I review the students’ IEPs and determine what curriculum we need to use. From that, I can then have some ideas about how long group activities should be, how many small group or individual instruction is needed, etc. In order to plan out what type of instruction each student needs, I use the Comprehensive Autism Planning System and you can read more about that HERE.
Essentially when I set up a schedule I use a grid that has the day broken down into regular increments–usually 15 minutes (the freebie has blank times and 15 minute times set up for you). I put the students’ names across the top and the times down the left hand side, like the pictures below. I follow 5 basic steps when I do a schedule. You can read about the steps HERE.
I start with the things I can’t change, like specials times for each student (assuming they are different grades). Then I schedule the student whose engagement and behavior would be most affected by the order of the schedule (that one that needs a work-break-work-break) type of schedule. Then I schedule the students who can be more flexible.
Below are some schedules to check out. I’ve written about some of them before so I will put the link in the caption so you can go and check out that post.
|This is a preschool schedule. The greyed out areas are times when that student is not in the classroom. In this case they are students who only attended part day. You can get more details about this schedule HERE.|
|This elementary schedule was a pretty typical classroom but we were lucky that all the students attended specials together and they were scheduled pretty consistently across the week. That made it much easier to schedule. You can read about this schedule HERE.|
|I included 2 middle school schedule because sometimes I think they are more difficult because the way that scheduling in the school is so different. This one is an example of a class that had 1 teacher and 1 aide, so there is a longer time in leisure after lunch to allow for lunch breaks. You can read more about this schedule HERE.|
|This one was a classroom that eventually was divided. We found we needed to divide our group activities because they were just too large a group to keep everyone’s attention during a full group activity. You can read more about this schedule HERE.|
|And finally this is a high school classroom that is a typical self-contained classroom with more vocational tasks scheduled. You can read more about this one and life skills on A Special Sparkle, a collaborative blog I’ve contributed to, HERE.|
So, I hope those will give you some ideas about setting up schedules for your classroom and some things to think about while you are sitting by the pool (or the ocean, or the mountains, or teaching ESY).
Click on the cover page below to open a folder that has the Word documents for working on your own schedule and a downloadable printable of the schedules in this example so you can use them. Many folks noted on the survey that they liked to be able to share for PD or training staff so I will try to do that in the future.
Below are some books I’ve talked about in these posts that might be helpful. Disclaimer: These are affiliate links. The books cost you the same but their proceeds help to support me and this blog.
Finally, click on the beach ball to bounce to The Organized Planbook and gather more ideas about creating special education schedules.
Hop through the series….and then go back to the pool!