Monday, January 8, 2018

How I Setup my Autism Classroom Schedule!

Schedules are vital to running a lot of things in our lives so it is easy to say that we all become used to them. When you are working with students and furthermore, students with disabilities you will find that it is very true that they need structure, routine, and consistency. The best way to do this is to have a schedule for the students and staff at all times.

Whenever I tell anyone that schedules that go over what to do and when to do it each and every day is a must I get this look like how are we going to fill it and that is what I wanted to talk about today. I get questions about how about students that have very few skills or that can only work for a few minutes at a time?

I still say that those students, and sometimes especially those students need the schedule the most!

When it came to setting up my classroom schedule I opened an Office Excel sheet and filled in the time that the students get there in the morning and the time they leave and every 15 minute increment in between. Then I looked at what times of the days were non-negotiable. This means things like lunch, recess (if you have it), special classes (art, gym, etc.). Those things are always the same so I took an Office Excel sheet and filled those in.

Then from there I make a list and for each person that reads this blog post it is going to be different because a lot of this has to do with numbers. The number of students in the room at any given time, the number of staff members available to work with students and the number of stations that you have in your classroom whether they are instructional or independent ones.

I make a list of what stations I am going to have in my classroom for that school year. This year I have both instructional (run by teachers or paraprofessionals) and independent work stations. I do plan to continue with a series of blog posts after this one to explain more about these different types of stations and what materials I use in each so stay tuned!

Here is the list of stations that are teacher run today:
-Academy- this is run by a paraprofessional.
-Fluency-this is run by a paraprofessional.
-Reading-this is run by the classroom teacher.
-Math-this is run by the classroom teacher.

Here is the list of stations that are independent work stations:
-Life Skills
-Binderwork
-Work Tasks
-Reflex Math

Once the list is made I determine what students are going to do what stations and I fill in their schedules. One of the hardest things is to make sure that no two students are at the same place at the same time and that they have hit every station that they need to during the day. This is the HARDEST PART and usually the most time consuming. I spend a lot of time with my eyes crossed from staring at the screen but, it is most certainly worth it. The finished product at that point looks a lot like this:


Then once the student schedule is done it is basically easy to do the staff one because whatever the students have determines what the staff are doing other then their lunches and breaks. This would change for you based on what the staff in your class get for both breaks and lunches but, their schedule looks like this when it is done:



Then the most important thing I do and suggest that you do is make a copy of each individual  schedule for each student AND each staff member. I do this so there is no questions about where anyone should be or what they should be doing. If I feel it is necessary I have even put more detail on the staff schedules.

I make sure that I have a wall or board in my room where my schedules are posted for the students and I keep the staff schedules at my desk and then they each have a copy for their para binders and their work areas. This has really helped keep everyone on task and knowing what everyone is expected to be doing!

Lastly, I'm just going to share a few other pictures of my students schedules. Take a look!




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