September 21, 2022 | Bea Lim
A visual schedule includes words and pictures that supplement an individualized plan designed to match the strengths and needs of each child. It sets classroom expectations and goals that prepare students to tackle each assigned task and independently move on to the next.
The ability to reference the schedule and confirm what to expect reduces the need to ask teachers or parents for extra guidance. When students feel confident about when and where they should be in an upcoming sequence of events, it empowers them to participate and put more effort into their school work.
Benefits of a Visual Schedule
Students can better understand learning concepts and cooperate with others when they develop healthy habits and are accountable for completing daily routines and responsibilities.
Among special education and primary students, it’s normal to experience stress from homework, tests, activities, social events, and other personal matters going on in their lives. Students might feel anxious, overwhelmed, and possibly discouraged from staying engaged in school when various factors affect their stress levels.
Visual schedules allow students to manage their priorities, track their progress, and feel accomplished when they fulfill their agenda. When a student has a tangible schedule in front of them, it could reduce their anxiety over what could possibly happen next. Implementing this activity enhances their memory, sense of autonomy, and self-esteem!
Children who struggle with speech may also struggle to process and complete lengthy verbal requests, such as directions on where and what to do during an activity. They can use visual schedule cards to communicate their progress, move a schedule card from a “to do” to a “finished’ section, or simply flip over a card when a task is complete.
A visual schedule is an essential tool that helps verbal and non-verbal students master transitioning from task to task, no matter what unexpected changes might happen. It helps provide organization, structure, and predictability throughout the day!
Download VariQuest Visual Schedule Cards with Spinitar
In partnership with Cathy Henry, an educator and founder of The Curriculum Corner and Free Word Work, VariQuest created a lesson plan activity with visual schedule cards, planning organizer mats, and timesaving tips to help educators and students follow a daily schedule.