Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Schedules Are So Important In My Classroom

First off...WOW I cannot believe I have finally started blogging!

I wanted my first blog post to be something that is a big part of my classroom and my heart. This past year I was blessed with having three sweet kiddos in my class with Autism. I want to share what worked with them.

First off, the most important thing that helped my kiddos was the organization and routines that drive my classroom. Starting the school year I kept the visuals basic, because I did not know what each child would really need. I had a basic schedule and the morning routine up on the board. I did not take a picture of these things because I knew that they would change. The morning routine had words and photographs. I took pictures of the actual things that they needed to do. Like put their binder in their desk, the Turn In tray where they would turn in their homework, etc.

As the year went on I adjusted the schedule to be more specific. However, there were still the little stresses of "When do I go to speech/resource..." I am sure that you all deal with these inquiries on a daily basis. It stresses me out just as much as it stresses them out. After I was able to nail down all of their daily schedules I created their own individual schedules that they kept in their personal binders. This is just one of the kiddos schedules. They each had their own depending on what they had on each day (speech, resource, OT, behavior intervention, etc.).

WOW, uploading all of those images reminded me how much work went into making those schedules for all three of my kiddos. However, it was well worth it. Not only did it help them in my classroom, but it also helped their parents at home. One of my kiddos had A LOT of doctor appointments. Every time they would have one scheduled his mom would take out his schedule and show him when she was going to pick him up. He would come in much calmer because he knew exactly when she would be coming to get him. Before this he had a very hard time focusing on anything else.

We do have a class schedule as well. It is on the board in a pocket chart, so that I can move things around/add things as needed. If there is something that I do not have a schedule card for, like AR Store, I will write it down on the board with the time that it will happen. These are a few of the schedule cards that I use this past year.

I also have a monthly calendar that I keep on the door that shows important things that are happening during the month like field trips and assemblies.

With all of these visual schedules and calendars I have dramatically cut down on the "What's next/When are we..." questions because they know where they can find that information. Not only does it help them, it also helps keep me on track. All of my other kiddos really loved it as well.

In my next post I will continue exploring all of the things that help my kiddos with Autism in my classroom. I would love to hear what works for your kiddos in terms of scheduling in the comments!