Daily Archives: September 2, 2017

Visual Schedules in kindergarten and primary classrooms – the benefits!

The benefits of using a visual schedule in kindergarten and early primary classrooms | That Fun Reading Teacher.com

Photo credit: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_luislouro’>luislouro / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Do you use a visual schedule in your classroom? As a special education teacher working in many kindergarten and primary classes, I’ve seen how beneficial they are for the whole class!

The origin of visual schedules

In special education, we had been putting picture symbol schedules in place for our students with autism for years, as they provide

  • an overview of the student’s day, in parts or as a whole, so the student has an idea of what to expect (this helps prevent anxiety)
  • a means of communication for students who struggle with oral language and / or auditory processing (they can point at the pictures to help get their message across, follow the pictures to understand what they might have missed verbally)
  • structure and increased independence, allowing students to manage transitions with less support
  • the flexibility of making changes to only the necessary parts of the schedule without having to change the entire day.
  • a sense of understanding how their day works, and counts down as blocks of time wrap up, helps kids feel a sense of accomplishment, more safe and in control of their emotions

The shift to whole class schedules

Our consultants began recommending visual schedules for more groups of students as time went on – students struggling with anxiety, managing behavior, transitions.  I began to notice that a few classroom teachers had just stopped using the individual student schedules (too cumbersome with multiple students with schedules in the class) and gone to a classroom one instead – and the effect was amazing.

Students checked in on that schedule all day. As time passed, a card was moved or taken down. If plans changed, the teacher simply switched out the card, and the kids understood and accepted it. The morning schedule was discussed at the carpet in the morning, and the process repeated in the afternoon.

Why it’s becoming the new normal

How many times have you heard this lately?

Kindergarten is a social communication program.

Do you agree? My very first class was a kindergarten class, in 1996, and the catch phrase at that time was ‘We’re teaching them how to play the game of school’. 

There are so many children in our classes now that struggle with social-communication, anxiety, self-regulation, learning disabilities, being in an overcrowded classroom, among other things.  And teachers have more to manage than ever before.

Consider that:

  • students regularly referring to the schedule throughout the day are prepared for transitions and managing themselves with greater independence
  • the visual schedule takes on the role of a ‘first-then’ board, as students are able to see things they are looking forward to coming up (for example, homesick students can see blocks of time disappearing as it gets closer to home time; students who dislike pencil / paper tasks can look forward to recess etc.)
  • students take pride in showing a visitor to the class that he or she can read, and knows what’s happening next
  • it is easy for a substitute teacher to step in with an already established structure in place (and it can be left prepared for the next day without having to write an explanation!)
  • With my Reading Recovery background, I can’t help but love the fact that this is just another way to drive home ‘reading the pictures’ for meaning first!
  • it can be used as a tool for teaching ‘time’ (some teachers add clocks beside each item) and sequencing events in order
  • The visual schedule makes a nice link to learning centres / centres

Have you tried using a visual schedule in your classroom? How has it been going for you?

Best wishes with your littles,

Ida Mae

If you are looking for a visual schedule and center / centre cards set, please check out mine below. The cards fit nicely into a pocket chart, can be used with adhesive magnets on the back, or simply pinned to a bulletin board. I’ve included months, days and Troll-themed editable name cards as well. Click the image to take you to my store to see the preview!

Are there cards you would like to see added to the schedule?

If so, please click the ‘ask a question’ tab in my TpT store, or email me at thatfunreadingteacher@gmail.com to suggest it for an update!



Back to School posts, resources, links and more! | That Fun Reading Teacher.com

The Dealing With Feelings Series


Poetry Unit : The Art of Interpretation No Prep



Poetry Unit : The Art of Interpretation No Prep


Product Description

Poetry: The Art of Interpretation – is designed to teach students how to interpret, appreciate, and analyze poetry.

There are nine complete lessons (estimated to last approximately 60 minutes), therefore two weeks of lessons.

This complete, no prep unit is a great way to start! This unit includes a student guide, 9 detailed lesson plans, 2 multimedia presentations (no internet connection required), a detailed answer key with annotated poems and answers, and an end of the unit evaluation with rubric, and answer key.

Just print it and teach it.

Poetry is a very subjective form of art. Some poems you love and others, you hate. What we need to realize is that this is the beauty of poetry. Poetry is not a mystery to be solved. Rather, it is the masterful manipulation of language that has the power to transform the ordinary and to immerse its reader into the world created by the author.

This unit incorporates art to help students understand and appreciate the beauty within words. Also, students will learn how to analyze themes in poetry through paintings and art work.

This HUGE bundle includes:

Each lesson focuses on a different skill set including:
– Knowledge and manipulation of figurative and poetic language
– How to read and understand (appreciate) poetry
– How to analyse poetry
– How to annotate poetry
– How to paraphrase effectively
– How to use symbols
– How to effectively develop themes from poetry
– Creative writing
– Creative activities to learn how to analyse

The unit includes a student packet (20 pages), a teacher packet (with nine complete lessons), and a comprehensive answer key with annotations to the poem (with 17 pages). See the preview for more details.

Poets studied include: (8 poems total)
– Billy Collins – “Introduction to Poetry”
– Anne Marriott – “As You Come in”
– Phyllis Gotlieb – “First Person Demonstrative”
– Edgar Allan Poe – The Raven
– Robert Frost – “Nothing Gold can Stay.”
– John Crowe Ransom -“Janet Waking”
– Woodruff – “I am a Poem that Tells a Lie.”
– Tennyson – “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

The unit also includes: 

1 – The teacher guide (Contains nine comprehensive lesson plans to teach the poems included in the unit. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO TEACH THIS UNIT HAS BEEN DONE FOR YOU. )

2 – The student package (Contains students’ notes, poems, and questions) (20 pages)

3 – The answer key includes annotated poems and answers to all student activities (saving you time – 18 pages).

4 – Included is a test with multiple choice questions as well as a development question. All answers are included. (Word format for easy changes)

5 – 2 PowerPoint presentations – one multimedia presentation to introduce the unit (17 slides) and the second to reinforce the use of imagery and symbolism (19 slides) – NO INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED

6 – Images to project or print

7- An end of the unit creative evaluation, which includes clear and concise directions and rubric. (In a Word document for easy modifications)

– An interactive multimedia Jeopardy game to review figurative language and poetic devices (PowerPoint – no internet required)

– A multi media PowerPoint on how to read and interpret poetry

– A PowerPoint presentation on how to understand symbols and imagery in literature (19 slides)

– A final culminating evaluation with evaluation rubric (left in Word format for easily made modifications)

The unit has been created in such a way as to simplify the teacher’s life. Photocopy the three packages included and don’t worry about it for the rest of the unit. You literally can begin teaching it without any other preparation.

A total of 43 pages + 64 slides are included in this package.

This unit is complete and does all of the thinking for you. All you need to do is to print out and photocopy the student package, and you’re set.

Other poetry units you may enjoy:
Poetry Unit (for senior students)
Poetry Unit for Intermediate Students

It’s teaching made easy!

Total Pages
43 pages and 64 slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

FREE MATH LESSON – “FREEBIE Interactive Notebook for Second Grade – Money”

by Reading and Writing Redhead

1st – 3rd Grade



FREEBIE Interactive Notebook for Second Grade-Money
Grab this freebie of several pages from my soon to come math interactive notebook for second grade. Includes a coin equivalent chart for student reference and several flap books where students record different ways to show money amount. Could be used to differentiate with first grade and third grade as well.

Please let me know if there is anything to fix by using the “Ask seller a question” feature. I’d love to fix it before you give feedback.

If you liked this product you might also like:
Second Grade End of Year Mega Math Review
Second Grade Mid-Year Math Review Pack
Spring Fraction Task Cards
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