Schedules, schedules, and more SCHEDULES!

Categories: Behavior | Resources | Schedules

I have this love/hate with relationship with making my schedules for the school year. Part of me kind of loves doing it. It’s like sudoku or something. Everything somehow always fits in perfectly. But…. it’s such a pain in the butt getting there! And I’m such a perfectionist that I of course just can’t stand it until everything fits in just right!

I think I’m almost there with this year’s! Now before looking farther down this post – I little disclaimer – I’m not crazy. I promise. I just realized these schedules kind of make me look like a psycho. There is a method to the madness I swear.

 

So yea this gives me a headache too! I basically do a schedule for each student by every 15 minutes. Here are some tips for starting this monstrosity:

  • plug in all your specials, lunch, recess, inclusion, etc. first
  • look for big time gaps and consider some rotations; like these two below. These two groups of students rotate between morning group/DI (direct instruction), reading, and language – I run one station and my two aides run the other two stations – this is an easy way to make sure you hit all your IEP goals for each student. We run through this rotation twice (with 2 groups of kids) and the other students do independent work while they are not doing the rotation.

  • consider what students can get grouped together to do the same activities (unless you have unlimited adults – which if you do, I hate you – you will need to group up some kids. Like on this part of my schedule, some students are together for activities:

  • Once I have fit in all the main activities I then I fill in down time with other activities such as table time and work station (independent work tasks), life skills room, and science/social studies (we does these partially independent/partially guided by an adult).
So once I have this mostly done, then I make my adult schedule based off the student schedule. This is KEY. I have a bad habit of expecting my aides to read my mind to know what to do. So it’s so essential to have it broken down for everyone so everyone knows what to be doing, with which students, and where. There is no miscommunication and misunderstandings then. This will also help make sure that you have adults to run all the activities you have set up. And even more importantly – when an administrator tries to take an aide from your classroom (I’m sure this would never happen…) you can bust this baby out to show exactly how busy and needed all adults are in your room.
This year I was (SOOOO) lucky enough to have our specials at the same time each day (AHHH!) – so I actually only made one schedule!  Other years I have unfortunately had to make one for each day – but I promise once you make the first one you can usually adapt it quickly for the next days. As far as therapies – speech, OT, social work, school psych minutes – I collaborate with the therapists to pick times/days and then students just miss their previously scheduled activity. I obviously include the therapy on the student’s visual schedule – but it’s good to have something planned as a back up in case the therapists have to reschedule. IE if they do reading every day at 10:00 expect Tuesdays when they have OT – if OT cancels they can just do reading then!

32 Comments

  1. I am SO glad you posted this! I have been trying to make my schedule and I never thought to break it down into 15 minute increments for each student. Thank you!! Maybe you have already done this but would you mind sharing your lesson plan template?

    -Becky
    Lesson plans & Lattes

    Reply
  2. The 15 minutes makes life much easier – glad it was helpful to you! My principal lets me do a very adapted lesson plan – it’s hard to show basically 10 curriculums going for each day! It’s on my work computer – I can email it to you next week!

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  3. Thank you! I would love to see your plan format. I am teaching most students 1 on 1 and I need a starting point for my lesson plan set up!

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  4. I would love your template as well. I have tried many different things and so far, none have worked the way I want.

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  5. Just emailed you 🙂 Hope it’s helpful!

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  6. Things in my classroom aren’t running as I would like, so I came back to your post about scheduling. I would love to see your lesson plan template as well. I have tried several things this year and none have worked like I want. I check your blog daily! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have helped me in so many ways this year!

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  7. I would love that template as well! I am at this moment adjusting my schedule and lesson plan format…Thank goodness I decided to blog search!!!! Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

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  8. I would love the lesson plan template as well, please. There are so many things on your blog that have helped me. I especially enjoy the videos. Thank you so much.

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  9. This is my 5th year to teach a class of 10-12 students with Autism and I thought I was organized, but I came across your blog and WOW! So impressive. I’m not sure I even compare. I still struggle with some areas and plan to visit your site daily. I also am looking forward to collecting some of your items on TPT. I would love the lesson plan template too! 🙂

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  10. Love, Love, Love your website 🙂 your organization is very impressive and i have learned tons from your videos. I struggle with schedules and finding a good lesson plan template to use in my multiple disabilities classroom and love your ideas. I would be so thankful if you could email me your templates or even if you put them on TPT…they are fantastic 🙂

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  11. Thanks for the great feedback Kellie! I’m so happy you have found my ideas helpful 🙂

    I will be doing a post on Tuesday with my lesson plan template! Hope it helps!

    – Sasha

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  12. We need to stay organized don’t we?! Thanks so much for your sweet feedback! I will be doing a lesson plan template post on Tuesday – hope it is helpful!!

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  13. So glad to hear the videos are helpful to you Mary! I’m such a visual learner so I always love video tutorials! I will be doing a lesson plan post on Tuesday so check back in (my Sunday was taken over by football so it didn’t get done today…!). Hope it is helpful!

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  14. Thanks Nikki! I tried to get a lesson plan template post done today but football ending up taking over my Sunday 🙂 I will be posting it on Tuesday so check back in! Have a great week!

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  15. That is so sweet to hear Jodie! I would love to share my lesson plan template! I won’t be able to have it posted until Tuesday so check back in then 🙂 Hope it will be helpful to you!

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  16. I am sooo glad that I came across your blog and all of the great ideas on schedules. I teach a special education class for students with multiple disabilities and ages. I have already made several different schedules this year and none seem to work. Would you please email me a copy of your templates for the students and the adults? I love the way you have color coded them. Thank so much!

    Reply
  17. Hi! I love your blog! Thank you for such wonderful tips! I am currently teaching n a k-3 intensive ASD room and will be transitioning to a 3-5 ASD room. I wanted to know if you could email your schedule template?

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  18. Thanks so much for your WONDERFUL blog! It has been a great resource and the videos are great! I love the letter that you have shown that describes your class and explains why you don’t have daily lesson plans. Is this document listed in your TPT?

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  19. I love your schedule and have a question. Do you not get a lunch? I didn’t see it on your schedule.

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  20. Can you add me to that email? Please and thank you.

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  21. Ugh. Caught me. I don’t really take a lunch. I technically get one of course – but I can’t ever figure out a great time to take it. Right after my students’ lunch, my students get started in reading groups and have some independent tasks at first – this gives me a little time to eat and relax a moment.

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  22. Hello, I just found your blog. It is amazing! I will be frequently checking back for sure! I am just curious as to how you do your lesson planning with all of the various skill sets that the students have. Do you have any examples of your lesson plans that you would like to share?

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  23. Hi Sasha – Your schedule has just helped me tremendously! I have two kids that require 1:1 daily, one small group that can work together, and 2 sets of partnerships. Your suggestions just took away the stress I was having about creating a schedule. Could you also send me the adapted lesson plan that you mentioned earlier? I would love to see that.

    Thank you!

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  24. I love love love this! Would you mind e-mailing your scheduling to me?

    I’m having a headache of a year dealing with these

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  25. Hello. I just love your blog. It has helped me in many ways. Do you still share your lesson plan template? I would love a copy if so. Thank you and have a blessed day.

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  26. I love this schedule set up! I am trying to do something similar to this for the upcoming school year. I definitely want to implement more independent work stations. I have a few questions though: What is the difference between work station, table time, and factory? Also how frequently do you change out what you are doing at centers, or are they pretty much the same throughout the year? If so, do you feel that the kids get bored easily of the same centers?
    Thank you so much for your input!

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  27. Great question! Those are 3 different independent work centers – since at this point the classroom I was in didn’t have a ton of adult support we needed a lot of independent centers. It depends on the center – I wouldn’t recommend anything ever being the same all year. Set up systems to rotate material and build up skills. Check out this post: https://theautismhelper.com/making-independent-work-center-flow-year-long/

    Reply

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