Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Classroom choreography Part 1: Master Schedule

A day in my classroom is like a very complex dance. My paras and I move through the classroom, guiding the students and reacting to their behaviors. We all know our roles & the expectations of our roles. At three weeks in, we've got our routine down and things are running pretty smoothly- well, as smoothly as you can expect in my classroom!

I believe that behind every well-choreographed classroom routine is a color-coded, detailed class schedule. Or four. I create one master schedule that includes the time, the name of the activity, my role, each paras roles, and any "extra" information- such as kids that leave for speech/OT. I also make an individual one for myself and each para to keep with them at all times. Things just work better if I'm not constantly asking someone to do something.

{Master Schedule}
I set up our master schedule using a table in either Word or Publisher. At the top of the chart I list time, class, teacher, para 1, para 2, and therapy. The rows are labeled with the time. I color-code based on the type of changes- when paras are out of my room, when paras have break, and when students have therapies. I highlight the time as well so that I know that there is something different then when I quickly glance between activities. I've received many questions about scheduling so I'll work on posting a detailed daily schedule for my class to share some ideas. Stay tuned!


  1. I'm completely new to teaching in a sped classroom with severe/profound disabilities. I've already spent many hours on trying to establish a schedule and am tickled to find your post. I can't wait to see your detailed daily schedule!

  2. I too will be teaching autistic support for the first time this year and was very excited to come across your blog on pinterest. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  3. I am so glad that you two found this post helpful! Good luck with your career moves:)