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Portable Schedules in Special Education

As special educators, it is SO important to set our students up for success throughout the total school environment. In early elementary years, this often includes visual schedules that we post up on the wall and have our students check when it’s time to move from teacher time to speech, or any other type of ‘switch’ of task/environment. However, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for our students! Some students may require an object schedule, a word schedule, a real picture schedule, etc. What about those students who are in and out of your classroom but also require some type of schedule? They certainly can’t be posted on your classroom wall if the student isn’t in the classroom to check it! That is where portable schedules come in! Here are some of my favorite ideas from fellow special educators to create a portable schedule that can be used throughout the TOTAL school environment.

portable visual schedule made with a paint stick

This one has been used by many teachers over the years, and it is a simple (FREE) way to create a schedule that moves with a student! Head to your local paint store or hardware store and grab a few paint sticks, add some velcro, and voila! The one pictured above is one I used in the home environment with a client since we are not in the classroom setting. I created the icons using the editable template pages inside my Real Pictures Visual Schedule Pack.

checklist visual schedule for students with special needs. checklist is laminated inside a 3 ring binder and can be checked off with a dry erase marker

I love this checklist schedule from Erin at You Aut-a Know! She made them completely editable, and you can easily laminate this, throw it in a binder with a dry erase marker, and the student can check off each activity as they complete them. I also love how you can create a different one for each day of the week since we all know that each day can be different! This is a super appropriate and discrete way to give your students a portable schedule. A great option for older students!

portable visual schedule that is attached to a supply pouch with velcro. visual schedule pieces are laminated and attached with velcro to outside of pouch.

Another great option for portable schedules is using supply pouches (that you could also stick inside a binder that goes from class to class!). This idea comes from School Bells N Whistles and is a cheap way to access a visual schedule throughout the day. As they finish something on their schedule, they can remove the card and throw it inside the supply pouch so that the piece doesn’t get lost!

real picture visual schedule that is printed in color and laminated. sides fold over from red check schedule to a green finished checking schedule when checked.
Jenn from Teach Love Autism created these Editable Visual Flip Schedules that can both be posted on a classroom wall but ALSO can be created to take with the student throughout the school day. I love these because you don’t have to worry about losing random schedule pieces! The student just flip the schedule closed after they complete something on their schedule. Such a great way to move around the school environment with a schedule in hand!
Hopefully this gave you some new ideas on creating accessible and appropriate schedules for your students that can be used throughout the total school environment! If you use portable schedules a different way, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Want to save this idea for later? Be sure to pin the image below for the future!

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