Each of our classrooms employs a visual schedule and the benefits of doing so are endless. Here are some of the top reasons we use visual schedules:
- Visual schedules help children transition more smoothly. When a child can see a picture of what activity they are doing, as well as which activities follow it, they are able to prepare for the upcoming transition much easier than if only verbal cues are offered.
- Visual schedules make the teacher’s expectations clear. Unlike verbal communication, pictures resonate much stronger with children. They are able to truly SEE what is expected in the classroom.
- Visual schedules allow children to understand the plan. When the teachers look at the visual schedule with their students, confirming what order the days activities will flow, it takes away the anxiety of the “not knowing.” Our teachers look at the pictures with the students and use language such as “Right now we are having our Snack, and look at what’s next. That’s right, next we will have our Art time…”
- Visual schedules help give the children confidence. When children’s anxiety is reduced by knowing the plan, their confidence and enjoyment of the day increases. And when it’s appropriate for the teacher to give the children options about the order, it gives them a sense of empowerment. While the teacher is still choosing the activities, the children might get to choose the order.
I encourage you to use visual schedules at home as well. You can create a morning schedule (Wake Up, Get Dressed, Eat Breakfast, Brush Teeth, Get Backpack…), or even one for the bathroom or winding down at the end of the day.
This is just one of the many things we do here at Good News that allows our children to develop their confidence and sense of responsibility.