Schedules and routines help your students learn independence, responsibility and agency…and serve as a great way to keep your classroom running smoothly.
If you are out for the day, do your students know what to do? Can they navigate their day with minimal prompts from you or your classroom staff?
Let’s discuss how to create, teach and implement a routine that helps you and your students stay on task throughout the day.
Creating a routine requires quite a bit of planning. It’s easiest to think of your end goal for the routine and work backwards from there. For example, if your end goal is for students to independently complete and turn in their morning work, what do the in-between steps look like that are needed to achieve this?
These steps may look like:
Just like any task analysis, students with different levels of needs will need different levels of the routine broken down. For example, a student who needs less support could have steps 2 and 3 combined.
Looking at all of these steps can seem overwhelming. Are you wondering, “How can my students learn to do all of these steps without constant prompting?”
The good news is that you can teach a routine in the same way that you would teach any skill:
Ideally, you will have several smaller routines that you can program into your classroom schedule. Doing so will allow your day to run as seamlessly as a room full of students can run!
Smaller routines may look like:
As wonderful as routines within schedules can be, if your students do not have independence with these routines, the burden will fall to you. This means that when you are absent, have a substitute, or your students are in a different environment, their routines go out the window.
To make sure this is not what happens, you can teach your students to be more independent with their routines.
Here are some helpful tips to foster routine independence:
What do your schedules and routines look like?