8 More Sample Schedules!

August 29, 2018 5 min read

Blog Post #5 in “Self-Contained Sped Class Schedule Blog Series”

Welcome to blog post #5 in my series on sample schedules for self-contained special ed classes. In California we call this Special Day Class – SDC.  Self-contained classes can be mild/moderate, moderate/severe, multiple grades and/or disabilities in one class, or just one or two disabilities in a class (i.e. autism class). In this blog post I am going to show a bunch of schedules. If you are interested in getting editable versions of them in MSWord documents, see the link at the end of this post.

Special Ed class sample schedules

Sometimes when I had fewer grades in my class (for example second, third and fourth) I was able to teach some lesson whole group. But other years I found that was better to teach everything in smaller groups. I think part of that was when I had many students in many grades (for example 17 students in grades K-4).

First of all, let me say that no schedule is ever set in stone and no schedule is ever the final draft unless it is the last day of school.  LOL! But it is very true. For me at least, every year I usually get 4-6 new students during the year. That almost doubles my class size if I start at 8-9 kids. So, yes, your schedule will change.  However, I did start to get smart my fourth year… that year I set up my schedule as if I had more kids than I started with… it was easier to add new kids to an established group rather than changing everything for all students. Sure there were less kids per group in the beginning, but it allowed me to put high maintenance kids in a group by themselves (these are kids that crave/demand attention all the time). Everyone gets more attention if there are two in a group instead of four or more!

Below you will see that schedules #1-4 are pretty basic, which is good if you are not totally comfortable with technology (i.e. making tables and charts). I would print out and post the schedules as shown below on the wall for all to see. But then I would make another copy each week and write in details of what each para was to do in each group. Also, I apologize if the photos are fuzzy. I was trying improve photo quality from previous posts when I took screenshots of the file in MSWord. The results were mixed. So this time I printed the schedules and took photos that were uploaded. But some of them are still not that clear! So I am sorry. I will keep working on this. If you get the editable versions, they will be clear.

Schedules #5-8 are more detailed and thorough, but might be confusing to someone until they go through a day using them! I like the details because I don’t have to handwrite in so much each week, and if I were to be absent due to an emergency, it would be easier for the sub to jump in keep things as consistent as possible for my students.

Here are the sample schedules:
#1: Basic grid for three groups that each go to three stations. Each group is 30 minutes long. Use colors and/or graphics to help you, your paras and students see who is supposed to be where at what time.



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three group reading rotation schedule sample


#2. Basic grids for four groups that each go to four stations. Each group is 20 minutes long. Again, I recommend using colors and/or graphics to help everyone know where to go. 
Reading rotation schedule for 4 groups
#3. Basic grids for five groups that each go to five stations. Each group is 20 minutes long. 
Rotation schedule for five groups.
#4. Math Schedules.  Here is the first sample of math groups. Three groups that go to three stations with adults. Like above, I would post this on the wall, then make copies with more detailed lesson’s for myself and my paras to use at the kidney tables.
Math group rotation schedule for 3 groups
#5. Second sample of math groups. This schedule is a little more confusing. There were four different groups of kids, but they only went to two groups. I had a limited amount of time for math – 30 minutes total.  Each group had a lesson with either myself or Mrs. N, and they also had a group for practicing math facts on their own or with a partner. For example, on Monday, Araceli’s group started off having a lesson with me, while Rosalyn’s group practiced math facts on their own. Then they would switch and Rosalyn’s group had a lesson with me, while Araceli’s group did math facts on their own. Neither of these groups worked with Mrs. N. And likewise, neither of Mrs. N’s groups worked with me.  We would do this for a month or two then I would switch so that I could work with other half of the class. Similar to above schedules, I would post this on the wall but then I’d make copies and write in lesson details for adults to use at the kidney table.
Math groups lesson plan page from teacher planner
#6: This is a more detailed schedule/lesson plan I gave to my paras for reading groups.  For Mrs. N’s groups I would write in pencil the lesson she would do each day with each group. She worked with discarded textbooks I was able to round up before they were thrown out. Mrs. V worked on spelling and handwriting all week, so all I had to do was write the list of spelling words for each group and assign which pages in the handwriting book to work on.  Having the groups do the same activities each day of the week helped me save time with lesson planning and explaining things when one of my paras was absent and there was a substitute para. It was also good for the kids who find comfort in extra structure, and keeping the schedule the same as much as possible.
Reading groups lesson plan page from teacher planner
You might also notice the top row for independent centers. I had activities like write the room, listening center, and computers. However, I only had three desktop computers at that time, and the bigger groups were jealous of smaller groups because the kids in smaller groups could be on the computer every day. So my solution was to limit everyone to 2 times a week on the computers.
#7: This next schedule is the one I used for myself, except for math (see schedule #5). In addition to reading groups, the rest of the day is included. For example, I could add activities for PM subjects. During PM subjects we usually did whole group activities, where students stayed at their desks and paras roamed the room helping them while I presented a lesson (or also roamed the room). For example, a directed drawing art lesson, or science experiment or a lesson that went with an upcoming holiday. 

#8: This one says it is a “General Schedule for Sub,” however, I didn’t add it to the blog post on substitute schedules since it went so well with all the schedules in this post. The year I used this was the year that my students went to recess and lunch at different times. It was so confusing to remember who was supposed to be where (including adults). So this schedule was to help with that. And as I created it, I realized that it would be helpful to a sub, also. Also, it was good to use this schedule as my lessons plans to upload to the substitute website. Then, when the sub got to my room, I would have everything labeled and laid out on the front table with more details.

General lesson plan for a substitute teacher in a special ed class.
Also, in case anyone is wondering how you could post all these details using a pocket chart on the wall of your classroom… below is a photo of how I did it for this schedule.  You definitely had to leave some stuff out.  
Daily schedule using pocket wall chart.
I hope these schedules give you some good ideas that you can apply to your classroom situation this year and also use in the future!

If you want editable versions of these schedules, please consider purchasing them from my TpT store. They are on sale at a discounted rate until this blog series is finished. Click here to check it out.

I hope this blog post gets you thinking about your day from a substitute’s perspective, which will help you design a good schedule for you as well!  As usual, if you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section or on my Instagram page: @lisagoodellequip

Ready to move on?  Here are all the blog posts in this series:

Post #1: Creating a Schedule and Dealing with Interruptions (This Post)
Post #2: Schedules for the First Week of School. 
Post #3: Master Rotation Schedule, and What Adults do
Post #4: Schedule/Lesson Plans for a Substitute Teacher.
Post #5: Eight More Schedules
Post #6: Questions and Answers about my Schedules (Including activities and curriculum I’ve used)

You might also like:

Five Time-Saving Tips for New Special Ed Teachers

You might also like a series I did on this topic over on my podcast called, “Self-Contained Schedule.” Below are links to the three episodes:

Use images below to pin this post so you can refer back to it.
Special ed class sample schedules blog series.

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