Believe it or not it is time to start looking ahead to another school year! Over the years, although the times may change and I may add or modify some activities, my classroom schedule was pretty streamlined. I always followed the same sequence of steps when scheduling which made the process so much easier!
Steps for Scheduling
- Develop a scheduling grid.
- Rows: Determine best time increments (5 or 10 minutes) to develop the schedule layout. Boxes can be merged to account for longer activity blocks.
- Columns: Each person (staff and students) has their own row. Color code students for added organization.
- Denote in red to prevent you from rearranging later.
- It is important to schedule non-negotiables for staff too such as lunch and breaks.
- Calming breaks can be helpful to prime students before more sensory-rich times like lunch, specials, or inclusion or can be used to help them get regulated afterward.
- Typically, schedule one break in morning and one in afternoon but possibly more based on student needs.
- For some students, it is important to be careful not to diminish the effectiveness of work time reinforcers by scheduling a time for students to have free access to that item.
- Include before and after school duties or prep work
- To limit interruptions, give all staff members a copy of their schedule and post schedules for all in centrally located area of classroom.
- Designate somewhere for staff to write down discrepancies during first couple weeks of school such as an area on the whiteboard or on a clipboard
- Determine a way to communicate schedule to students that they can interact with. In my classroom I always used a location-based schedule.