The Autism Helper Classroom: Class Schedules

I love my excel schedules. I hate my schedules. I love my excel schedules. I hate my excel schedules. Okay – you get the picture. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with my schedules. Once they are made – it makes my life a SO MUCH EASIER. My staff knows where to be. I know where my students are at every minute. I can make sure that all of my students’ IEP goals are meet and they are busy bees all day. That being said – making them can be a kinda of a pain in the but. I promise you it’s worth it. A detailed staff schedule and student schedule are a MUST. Check mine out (numbers are in place of student names):

TAH Student schedules

TAH Adult schedule

Download the PDFs: TAH Student Schedule and TAH Adult Schedule

Download the excel documents: TAH adult schedule 1314 and TAH student schedule 1314

44 Comments

  1. Hi! I’ve been following your posts for awhile now. While they are always so insightful and helpful, this one made my day. I’ve been working in a schedule revision for hours now and was getting so frustrated. But, you are right. Student/staff schedules make everything so much easier, especially when you can know where everyone is at all times. Thanks, Sasha.

    Reply
  2. Your website is great! My comment though is about the number of students in your class! 13! That is way too many! I can’t believe a school system is putting that many kids with autism in a classroom together! It seems like a disservice to the kids. In our school system we have a maximum of 6 kids in a class and have a staff to student ratio of 1:2. I have 4 kids in my class this year. My other comment is that because you have so many students your lower kids are spending way too much time doing nothing. No student should be in break for almost half of their day, especially the lowest kiddos!

    Reply
  3. Hi Christine – thanks for your comment! Yes I absolutely agree that 13 is too many but I have to do the best in the situation I am in!

    Also – about the amount of break time, the schedule may have been misleading because none of my kids are in break for half the day. Students 1 and 2 are both students who have dedicated aides – so their day is formatted completely differently. While it may look like they are spending half of their day in break – they are actually on a very structured work/break schedule. All work time is run one on one with their para (and me at times). After a specified amount of work (often they need to work up working for longer periods so it might start out as 5 min work/5 min break on repeat all morning), they get a short break. This gives enough time to enjoy whatever reinforcer they are working for and allow the para to set up for the next set of programs/IEP goals. The rest of my class really only has break at the very end of the day (with the exception of 2 students who have a short break in the morning when they have finished all of their morning work) – which I love. I feel like by the end of a busy day we can all chill for a little. It’s also a great time to work on play skills, social skills, class jobs, etc. during that break time. Just wanted to clarify 🙂

    Reply
  4. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  5. I have 13 students as well in a multi-categorical self-contained classroom with 6 students on the spectrum this year. Two kids have dedicates aides, plus two classroom paras and myself, so you are definitely not the only school with large numbers of students and like you, I agree it’s not ideal, but with some ingenuity and careful planning, it can work. I have a couple kids on a work/break system because that’s what they need. The ratio of work to break slowly increases throughout the year as the student is able to tolerate working for longer periods of time.

    Reply
  6. I have 7 students. 2 paras and myself. I have 3 very intensive students. 1 who put everything and anything in his mouth. I am doing everything I can to get more help but it is not happening. I posted my schedule at my site but it is not working any recommendations? You can email me at
    Natysol215@gmail.com

    Thank you in advance.
    https://autismelements.blogspot.com/2013/09/schedule.html?m=1

    Reply
  7. I was looking g at your schedule and see that you have 4 paraprofessionals and 13 students. I was curious what the student to para ratio is with autism. Do you know? Thank you.

    Reply
  8. Do you have any nonverbal students?

    Reply
  9. I love your site and it’s been very helpful to me to get fresh ideas. I’ve been able to incorporate some with mild changes as none of my kiddos are independent in much more than computer (& sometimes not even at that), but just love it. I agree that 13 kids seems like a lot, but since some are higher I guess it works itself out, especially with 2 dedicated aides & 2 other paras. I have 7 kids & oneof those has a dedicated pasta as well (although that para has to assist when physical restraint is necessary of some more aggressive students). Besides that para it’s only me & 1 other para with 6 kids thatall have some form of intense behavioral needs & most are nonverbal & have minimal independencewith work activities (some just require supervision & minimal promoting for some activities). Any tips on best ways to lobby for more help & prove the need so it’s almost impossible for it to be turneddow down would be much appreciated! My students are suffering from the lack in staff. Thanks.

    Reply
  10. There isn’t necessarily a preset ratio. It depends district to district and with your group of students. In my district it is typically 2 paras for up to 13 in a class. But then I also have 2 dedicated aides (for specific students).

    Reply
  11. Yes, I have 2 completely nonverbal and two that are very low verbally.

    Reply
  12. It is such a struggle! My biggest advice is DATA. Take tons and tons of data to prove that your students are not getting their needs met with the staff situation. Good luck 🙂

    Reply
  13. Just curious if you have a magic formula…:) How are all your paras about to go to lunch for an hour and all at the same time? I would love that for mine, but it seems impossible.
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  14. Haha! I WISH there was a magic formula. One para goes to lunch while the students and I go to lunch with one para. And then when that para comes back the other one goes. So my two classroom paras switch off. The two one on one paras take lunch at the same time and then their respective charges have break time during that time. Although I did recently have to adjust that… Does that make sense?

    Reply
  15. Love your comment “with ingenuity and careful planning it can work” I’m going to use that line in some meetings I have coming up.

    Reply
  16. Yes! Thanks for reading 🙂

    Reply
  17. Hi Sasha, I am truly ADDICTED to your website! I love this post about your Excel schedules because I set up my student & staff schedules almost exactly the same way. I and another special education teacher share 24 students in grades K-6 and because a significant number of our students require 1:1 support, we also share a lot of parapros. So when trying to coordinate that many students & staff across all seven grade levels and up to 10 gen ed teachers’ schedules, I need something I can refer to quickly. I definitely feel your pain in the love-hate relationship with schedules. I’m just glad to see that I’m not the only one who does scheduling this way! Thank you!

    Reply
  18. Haha! Good to know we aren’t alone, Kim!

    Reply
  19. Hi Sasha!
    I’m slightly confused about your schedules. I see that morning group/DI starts at 8:45 and ends at 9:00 for student #1, but for students #2,3,and 4 , does morning group/DI start at 8:45 and then end at 9:30? Im also confused about why some boxes are bigger than/take up more space than others.
    Thanks,
    Sophia☆

    Reply
  20. Hi Sasha!
    I am slightly confused on how the schedules work in your classroom. I see that morning group/DI starts at 8:45 and ends at 9:00 for student #1. But for students #2, 3, and 4, does it start at 8:45 and then end at 9:30? I’m puzzled on why some boxes are larger than others . Sorry for the trouble!

    Thanks!! 🙂

    Sophia M. West

    P.S. your blog ROCKS!!! 😀

    Reply
  21. The needs of each student are different so that’s why some of them have shorter or longer sessions in each area! Hope this helps 🙂

    Reply
  22. Hello! I love your website! I teach Life Skills in the elementary setting. I only have one student diagnosed with Autism. However, your resources are a great help to me! I’m trying to re-work my schedule in order to allow for more one on one time with each student. In your schedule, do you allow for this and what are you teaching during your small groups? Do you have a curriculum that you follow or do you just specifically follow the students’ goals? This is my second year in this position. I’m just trying to do what’s best and right for these kiddos!
    Thanks!
    Nikki

    Reply
  23. Depending on your case load sometimes one to one isn’t an option but is of course optimal! All IEP goals and academic instruction is done in small groups or one on one depending on the kids in my class. I create my own curriculum (https://theautismhelper.com/literacy-curriculum-maps/). Hope this helps!

    Reply
  24. Hi Sasha!

    I love your schedule–it’s so helpful! I was wondering what DI means on there. Is it “direct instruction?” If so, is that a subject that changes daily based on student needs?

    Reply
  25. Hello! First of all, I love your blog! I was looking at your schedule and was wondering what AM Routine and Factory are? Thanks!

    Reply
  26. Hi Sasha – I’m so inspired by your class schedule, and am trying to create a similar one for my class this year. At what point do you make the schedule? I’m struggling with where to start since I don’t know most of my students and what their needs will be. Thanks!

    Reply
  27. Great question! I would make a rough schedule to start out the year but don’t finalize anything (ie. laminate anything yet!). Take notes each day on what works and what doesn’t and after a week or two make changes. And then make changes again 🙂 During the fall, it will be a process!

    Reply
  28. Great post. New teacher. First day today. Will take notes all week and create schedule this weekend. 2 paras, 8 kids with ASD (8&9 years old). Soo tired. Zzzzzzz

    Reply
  29. Haha! Good luck and hang in there 🙂

    Reply
  30. I’m not a new teacher but new at teaching life skills in middle school. I have 15 students and 3 paras. (hopefully they will split this class smaller next year). I’m trying to reinvent my wheel to look more like yours so I can capture all their strengths , weaknesses and IEP goals. My very few students that read are at 1st/2nd grade level. The rest barely know their letters/numbers. It’s quite a challenge. Thank you for all your work and blogs of information!

    Reply
  31. I don’t teach autism but I have 3 students who are labeled as so. The rest are intellectually disabled. I have 10 kids and one para. All of my kids go in and out of the classroom as they go out 50% of the time for inclusion. My students are very prompt dependent and sometimes it is difficult because my para is out with my other students in inclusion. I have 8 kids at one time sometimes. Any suggestions to make this schedule work?

    Reply
  32. I feel you! Understaffed and overcrowded! I would make sure you have plenty of easy (ie. can do on their own) and time consuming (ie. can’t be finished in two minutes) independent work tasks that will help teach your students independence. Identify some high powered reinforcers and give them the chance to work for them. This will help students be less prompt dependent and also allow you the opportunity to work in small groups or one on one with other students with the other kids still actively engaged in work tasks. Hope this helps! 🙂

    Reply
  33. I have a schedule set up for my aides just like yours. It took forever to get it all together and figure out how to make it all work. How do you go about having your aides use their schedules? I have been printing them out each night for them to have and I am finding it exhausting. I’m trying to think of a better way without having to a. waste so much paper and b. keep doing them each night and wasting valuable time. Do you have them posted somewhere in your room or do they have a binder of masters? Each day in my room is different, so I have a different schedule each day of the week. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

    Reply
  34. I have an Excel sheet for each of my aides. Since each day of the week tends to be different, I create general schedules for the whole week (e.g., Music, PE, Speech, IEP goals, student’s gen ed class, lunch, etc.). This way, I only have to print schedules once for each aide. The only times I print new ones are: a) if there is a permanent change in the schedule, or b) if there is a substitute in for an aide. Although is seems to take forever to do each year, doing my schedules this way has made my life A LOT easier.

    Reply
  35. I have a different schedule for every day as well (Mon, Tues, Wed, etc) I print all 5 out and give copies to each aide. It doesn’t change week to week though so I only need to print once. Can you try to keep it roughly the same each week?

    Reply
  36. Great ideas!

    Reply
  37. Looking at your schedule what does the factory mean at 1:45-2:00 for student 3 mean?

    Reply
  38. Factory is just another independent work center I have. I rotate tasks every week and put bigger tasks that don’t fit in my work bins 🙂

    Reply
  39. What do you do when a student is non-compliant for an aide? Do they still move on to the next part of the schedule? Do they complete the work at another time? When a lesson is going well (both aide and student feeling successful) and its time to switch, do they go to the next activity/student or continue working? I have some students that take the first half of a fifteen min “block” to respond to the adult.

    Reply
  40. Hi Tara! It depends on the student. If it’s work avoidance, you may want to have them stay and finish the work. Maybe you could make the blocks longer to allow for that transition time, look at upping the reinforcers, or introduce some consequence that occurs if they don’t finish the work. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  41. All I have to say is thank you! I have only taught ICT in the past and this year I will be teaching ABA K/1/2 self contained and you have really helped me!

    Reply
  42. Awesome! Good luck in your new role! You will do great! So glad my website has been helpful to you! 🙂

    Reply
  43. I need the visual for the template visual template. Please help!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.