Practical Application: Planning Daily Schedules in the Classroom

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

You're excited to be in the classroom - teaching and shaping young minds. But are you prepared for the various scheduling factors that must be considered? Use the checklists in this lesson to help you be better prepared for your school day.

Classroom Schedules: Keys to Success

Creating and following a classroom schedule is key to your success as a teacher. Whether you're teaching elementary, middle school or high school aged students, you'll need to have a plan in place to ensure that students stay focused and are engaged in learning. You'll also need to allow time for breaks and physical movement. Students typically struggle with sitting still for long periods of time, even in the higher grade levels. To learn more about creating a daily classroom schedule, review the Planning Daily Schedules in the Classroom lesson.

Scenario 1: Elementary Classroom

Imagine that you have a very busy classroom of 25 students and must figure out a way to keep all of them focused and on task. Because you have students who are struggling academically, others who are excelling, and many students in between, you must have a clear schedule to meet the needs of all of the students, while also ensuring that educational requirements are met.

Create a daily classroom schedule. Use the checklist below while developing your plan.

Each subject is allotted an appropriate amount of time.
Extra time is allotted for students who take longer to complete tasks.
Additional projects or work is available for students who finish their work early.
Time is built into the schedule for recess, art, music, library, gym and other special activities.
Transition time is included to help students move from one subject to another.
Several blocks of time are devoted to socialization and mental breaks.

Question: How will you know if your schedule is succeeding?

Analysis: Your students will:

  • Adjust to the schedule.
  • Transition smoothly from one activity or special class to another.
  • Appear comfortable moving around the room.

Scenario 2: Middle School Classroom

As a middle school teacher, you find that your students often struggle to focus and use their time effectively in your classroom. Whether you have students for the entire day or for certain blocks of time, creating a classroom schedule can help maintain student attention and interest. If your students are new to switching classes, you'll have the added challenge of helping them be prepared for and have the books and materials they need for your class period.

Use the checklist below to create your plan.

All class activities are allotted an appropriate amount of time.
Extra time is allotted for students who take longer to complete tasks.
Clear expectations are given to students regarding what materials are needed in class.
Homework instructions are easy to understand and students have time to ask questions about assignments.
End-of-class transition time is included so students can prepare to move to a different classroom.
Challenging projects and easier activities have an appropriate balance.

Question: What are some indicators that your plan needs more work?

Analysis: If your plan needs more work:

  • You may feel frustrated, rushed or unsettled in class.
  • Your students may appear overwhelmed by classwork.

If this is the case, make some adjustments to your schedule. Refer to the checklist to ensure you've utilized the suggestions.

Scenario 3: High School Classroom

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