The PBIS World Book

Individual & Visual Schedules

Why should I do it:

  • Provides more specific routine, agenda, and instructions for a student’s daily procedures in class, between classes, and during unstructured times
  • Provides student with organization
  • Structures and organizes time for student
  • Decreases wasted time
  • Reduces confusion and down time
  • Helps student to initiate tasks more quickly and efficiently
  • Helps students to gain more accountability for their behaviors, academic work, and expectations
  • Provides a visual reminder and cue of what to do and what is coming
  • Addresses specific needs and students

When should I do it:

  • When students exhibit significant disorganization
  • When students get lost or have difficulty figuring out what is next in the daily routine
  • When a student is on the Autism Spectrum
  • When a student is a strong visual learner
  • When students are frequently off task, inattentive, and unfocused
  • When students fail to complete tasks in a timely manner and/or lose or misplace work
  • When students need more structure
  • When students are defiant and oppositional

How do I do it:

  • Use one of the forms below or make your own to divide the student’s daily routine or schedule into logical partitions. Using graphics can be helpful for more visual learners or autistic kids.
  • Sit down and explain the schedule to the student and how they will use it, where they will put it, etc.
    • You might tape it to the student’s desk or in their planner or folder
    • Laminating the schedule can allow the student to make marks next to items as they complete them and then wipe it clean for the next day
  • Remind the student frequently to refer to their schedule when they don’t know what to do, are finished with the current task, are inattentive, off task, unfocused, distracted, etc
  • For oppositional and defiant kids, refer to the schedule as the authority on why and what they are to be doing
  • “blaming” the schedule can help with confrontational kids by making the schedule the authority rather than the teacher directly challenging the student
  • Be sure to include the parent in the intervention, calling them and explaining the schedule to them as well as sending a copy of the schedule home

Resources & Support for technique: