Sometimes it helps to have examples of autism daily schedules to work from when setting up your own. So I wanted to share some examples and go over some main strategies I use in organizing the classroom schedule. The download includes 5 special education classes’ schedules and cover all ages from preschool through high school. They are all self-contained classrooms with one that also served as a resource classroom. I have a variety of posts that include tons of information about how to set up all types of special education classes. The best place to start is with the ultimate guide to setting up special education classes.
Steps in Creating the Autism Daily Class Schedule
Everything in setting up the schedule depends on knowing your students. I review the students’ IEPs and determine what curriculum we need to use. I use the Teaching Implementation Plan (TIP) for that. From that, I can then have some ideas about how long group activities should be, how many small group or individual instruction is needed, etc.
Essentially when I set up a schedule I use a grid that has the day broken down into regular increments–usually 15 minutes (the freebie has blank times and 15 minute times set up for you). I put the students’ names across the top and the times down the left hand side, like the pictures below. Then, I follow these 5 basic steps when I do a schedule.
I start with the things I can’t change, like specials times for each student (assuming they are different grades). Then I schedule the student whose engagement and behavior would be most affected by the order of the schedule (that one that needs a work-break-work-break) type of schedule. Then I schedule the students who can be more flexible.
5 Special Education Classes Schedules
Below are some schedules to check out. For each classroom, I’ve written about them in a post to give you more context. I’ve included a link to those posts so you can can read about them there.
Preschool Full-Day (Some Part-Day) Autism Daily Schedule
This is a preschool schedule. The greyed out areas are times when that student is not in the classroom. In this case they are students who only attended part day. You can get more details about this special education class schedule HERE.
Elementary Special Education Class Schedule With Inclusion Times
This elementary autism daily schedule was a pretty typical classroom schedule but we were lucky that all the students attended specials together and they were scheduled pretty consistently across the week. That made it much easier to schedule. You can read about this special education class schedule here.
Middle School Classroom with 1 Teacher & 1 Paraprofessional
I included 2 middle school schedule because sometimes I think they are more difficult because the way that scheduling in the school is so different. This one is an example of a class that had 1 teacher and 1 aide, so there is a longer time in leisure after lunch to allow for lunch breaks. Read more about this special ed classroom schedule here.
Middle School Mixed Classroom Schedule: Two Teachers
This one was a classroom that eventually was divided. We found we needed to divide our group activities because they were just too large a group to keep everyone’s attention during a full group activity. Read more about this special education class schedule here.
High School Life Skills Classroom
This classroom was a self-contained life skills classroom with a teacher and 2 paraprofessionals. I’ll come back and add a link with more information and a link to a floor plan of it when I get it finished. It was set up with 2 portables-an academic portable and a life skills / vocational portable that we used in the afternoon.
So, I hope those will give you some ideas about setting up schedules for your classroom and some things to think about while you are sitting by the pool (or the ocean, or the mountains, or teaching ESY). If you are looking for more help with setting up your classroom, come try out the Special Educator Academy Setting Up Your Classroom course with a 7-day free trial here. Or grab one of the resources below for more ideas.