So as we continue our back to school classroom setup, you can check out other posts in this series by clicking here.
To wrap up the discussion of zoning plans, I thought I would share some ways I have used to make them accessible and easy to use for the staff. Remember that zoning plans are created to decrease downtime for the students, but if they aren’t easy for the staff to use, they won’t work. Our goal in a self-contained classroom, particularly, is to have every activity set up before the students get there, like the one below.
Typically my zoning plans have enough written on them so they take up more than one page–usually 2; sometimes 3 if things are complicated. Flipping through 3 pages to find out where we are on the schedule just doesn’t work for me. So to help that, I make each person on the team their own 1-page copy of the plan that they can carry. Once they get used to the schedule, they don’t need to refer to it much unless you make changes, but at first I’ve found it becomes like a lifeline. As I mentioned earlier in this series, I find staff who routinely didn’t do what was asked of them following the zoning plan exactly as it is written. Often the problem is not with the staff member but with the way the expectations have been provided. So here’s an example of a preschool zoning plan for the whole class. I managed to get this one down to 2 pages without making the print too small. As an aside, one way to alienate the “older” staff (like me) in the classroom is to make the print too small!