One size does absolutely not fit all when it comes to schedules. If you are using several different types of schedules with the students in your classroom – you are on the right track. Just like everything else we do schedules NEED to be individualized. A visual schedule may not be right for every student in your classroom – and that’s okay. Let’s review 8 types of student schedules so you can pick the one that works best for each of your students:

1. Object Schedules

  • Most basic and concrete type of schedule.
  • Use actual objects as the cue of what activities are to come.
  • Good for students with visual impairments, severe/profound cognitive disabilities, and early learners.

2. Picture Schedules

  • Pictures help our learners make meaning of the words we are telling by providing a visual representation of the activity.
  • Even readers benefit from the use of pictures.
  • Picture schedules traditionally start out on the wall.
    • Activities are lined up in the sequence they will be done.
    • Student physically moves the visual piece and matches it to the identical picture at the station they are working at.
    • After each activity is complete, visual piece is removed.

3. Color Coded Picture Schedules

  • adds an additional cue to discriminate between pictures

4. First Then Schedules

  • make it even simpler but just using two schedule pieces at a time to show first – then

5. Real Photo Schedules

  • use a combo of clipart images and real photos
  •  or use all real photos {great for older learners!}

6. Binder Picture Schedules

  • Laminate a piece of paper and put 1 or 2 long strips of velcro.
  • Order visual pieces on velcro.
  • Put finished pocket on inside cover.

7. Paper Picture Schedules

  • Can use paper schedules that have visuals or words, are laminated or paper, lots of options!
  • Biggest change: not bringing the physical visual piece with you.
    • Paper Schedules: students cross off each item with a pen or pencil
    • Laminated Paper Schedules: students cross off each item with a dry erase marker.

8. Written Paper Schedules

  • remove visuals and have only writing
  • great for your readers & higher functioning learners

Select a Schedule

If you aren’t sure about the needs of your students yet, choose a more supportive schedule. It’s easier to fade away than add in more supports. Be flexible and willing to change schedule types as you get to know your students better. Schedules should be evolving as our students gain more and more skills. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat and choose a new type of schedule this year for one of your veteran students! They can probably handle it 🙂