Post #3 in Blog Series: “Self-Contained Class Sample Schedules”
In this third installment of the series, I am showing you my master rotation schedule for students. It is the foundation of my schedule for the rest of the year (see my previous blog post about my first week schedules). I make this master schedule static – meaning it just tells where everyone should be at a given time during the day. I only change it if I get new students or if students move away. It is posted all over the room so everyone can check it if needed. Since it is static, I have a different schedule with special lessons that myself and my paras use during the week – that schedule changes more often.
Study this master rotation schedule (see below) called “Station Rotations” carefully to see how students rotate through groups. Basically, before recess, they rotate through seven stations. After recess from 10:30 to 1:00, they rotate through seven stations again (with lunch in the middle). Notice “As of ____” at the top of the page. I put the date I created it since I will need to make changes in the future. Later in the year when I see an old schedule, I will know it is old because of the “As of” date.
My class has three kidney tables – one for me and each of my two paras. Since I have so many students I divide each kidney table in half because two groups will be at the same kidney table together. When the schedule says LEARN, that is where they will get direct instruction from an adult on one side of the kidney table. The following station at that table is where they should be doing something that they can do independently (they just move to the other half of the table). I have CHROME listed there because often they are working on Chromebooks (laptop computers). So the adult is teaching the first group, but she can see what the second group is doing. So everyone knows that “LEARN” on the schedule is teacher/adult time, and “CHROME” on the schedule is independent time.
There is an additional station called “CHOICE.” During this time they can work on something on the floor near my table or go back to their desk to do something independently. I usually have two choices for them to work on. There are times that they don’t have a choice, but it still says “CHOICE” on the schedule and everyone knows what that means.
The second master rotation schedule, below, is for the adults. It is a brief chart telling all the adults what they are doing for each station (or what they are responsible for). Again, I am not listing the details of the lessons. I will review what we did at stations later. Right now I’m just giving you an overview.
I try to print this on one sheet of paper that I can cut in thirds (one for each adult). I will hand write information like page numbers. But sometimes if one of my paraprofessionals is out, I will need to prepare for the substitute paraprofessional. For some groups, I have a binder with group information. So I try to have everything written out so a substitute paraprofessional can come in and read through what needs to be done at the beginning of class (or after class starts if they are called in late).
It also helps if I don’t have to stop my group to explain what to do with the sub because then there might be 10+ kids not on task and then a discipline issue will likely pop up. (I have learned that keeping kids engaged and on task is the best way to prevent behavior issues). Again, I am trying to focus on the schedules with these blog posts. I will get into lessons and activities we did in the stations in the last blog post of this series.
If you like these schedules, use them to create your own using the app of your choice, i.e. Google docs, PowerPoint, MS Word, etc. However, if you are interested in editable versions so you can change the wording and columns, etc. then you can get the editable versions of these and all the schedules in my blog series by clicking here. I will be adding more schedules to it as I add them to this blog series.
I also have three podcast episodes on small groups and how to plan and implement them in your special ed class. Go to my “Help for Special Educators” podcast page and search for episodes 8, 9 and 10.
The next post will be about your schedule when you are absent and have a substitute teacher.
Ready to move on? Here are other blog posts in this series:
Post #1: Interruptions in your Schedule
Post #2: Schedules for the first and second day of school
Post #3: Master Rotation Schedule, and What Adults do
Post #4: Schedule/lesson plans for when you need a substitute teacher
Post #5: Eight More Schedules
Post #6: Questions and Answers about my Schedules (including activities and curriculum I’ve used in my self-contained multi-grade class)
You might also like:
Five Time-Saving Tips for New Special Ed Teachers