Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week: When (Visual Schedules for an Organized Classroom)

It's Day 4 for Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week 14' and today we are blogging about "when" schtuffff goes on in our room.  So here is a peek at my scheduling system that has effectively worked in my classroom:

This is our Check-In area.  Each morning, the students unpack their belongings, turn in their homework to the polka dot bin (I will have to change the mismatched pink for this year...because that will just drive me bonkers...) and turn their traveling folders into the file organizer.  This table is also where they will find morning work materials.

Here is an up close peek at the bulletin board.  I do not have my schedule for the 2014-2015 school year yet, so last year's will have to do.  I also got rid of my lunch menus and student pull out schedules from the previous year, but you can see where they are located.

Many of my special learners last year made excellent transitions from one task to another, and the schedules at the front of the room were sufficient for most of my students.  I like having the Check-In area right as you enter and leave the room because it is easy for both students and staff to refer to on a daily basis.

As the year carried on; however, there were two students in particular that needed a bit of motivating to get work finished.  The majority of my student population is classified with an emotional disturbance or behavioral disorder.  Keeping schedules consistent is crucial.  For these two students, I decided to incorporate visual schedules into their days to help keep motivation flowing.  Typically used for children with autism, these charts can be implemented for a student no matter what his or her needs may be.

Image graphics are from the Autism Classroom News.
The If/Then board is rather self explanatory. I give  my students a choice of three "then" or reward cards, and they choose the one they would like to earn.  Students feel they are in control of their choices, but I am still the one in charge of those choices, which is important for me to maintain a consistent, organized schedule.  I love this scheduling system because it is easy, quick, and highly-motivational for my students.

Smiley Face graphics are from Creative Clips.  iPad graphic is from the Autism Classroom News.
This is similar to the If/Then chart, but is more appropriate for longer work periods.  For example, if I have a student that needs to get through his Morning Work, Spelling, and Math before he can earn his free time, then I would implement this chart.  Each time the student completes a task he would earn a check or some other type of graphic (depending on the student).

Some Tips about the Visual Schedules:
1. Laminate the Boards: This gives you the option to write choices instead of using picture cards.  It also prolongs the life of the board.

2. I allow my students to pick their board color schemes and graphic checklist choices.  This helps make the board more cheerful and personalized.

3. I don't always use picture cue cards.  Sometimes it is more appropriate to write actual words for students, particularly if they are higher functioning.  Often, I have students fill in the board themselves.

Visual Schedule Systems are excellent resources to incorporate even in the general education system.  You can grab my boards on my TpT store.  I have 4 color schemes available, as well as black and white printer friendly versions.  These boards come with 44 pre-made cue cards (21 color/21 b&w) as well as 12 blank cue cards for customization.

Only one more day left in the Blog Hop...tomorrow we are talking about "WHAT" are our favorite teaching resources.  Fun fun fun!

Also, if you haven't registered already, tomorrow is the last night of my BTS Giveaway 1.  Giveaway 2 goes live at midnight!
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