Little changes in the classroom can have BIG effects

Today I thought I would share with you a little change that made a big difference for me in my classroom. Sometimes its the little things you do in the classroom that can make teaching life easier or help things go smoother in your classroom. And wouldn't we all like that?
In my classes, I served a variety of skill levels, ages, grade levels and disabilities ranging from moderately to significant.  One thing they all had in common over the years was that they could all learn independence in the classroom at some level and in some capacity.

As teachers, we spend a lot of time not only assessing students, but assessing the workings of the classroom as well. I realized during one of my own assessment times that classroom time was being wasted looking for, and retrieving schedules or choice boards for students.  I found that all the adults (paraprofessionals and teacher) were needing to take time away from more important things to locate visuals needed by the students.

You know how fast things move in a classroom. Keeping things convenient and within reach was imperative. The more children I had with serious behavior issues, the more important this was.
 In my self contained classroom, I designed it so the students moved around the room from station to station and from adult to adult. This way, each student worked with every adult throughout the day. Using this setup, every adult needed each child's schedule or visuals set and they needed to be able to reach it quickly without fumbling for it or passing it from adult to adult. It encouraged the students to use/read their schedules and learn to move within the room.

One way I came up with to help with this schedule/visual problem was a tabbed visuals book. Each child's schedule or choice board  is put on a page in a tabbed book with their name on the tab.  I made a copy of the entire book for each adult in the room and even hung copies near the exit doors for when we were lining up or exiting the room.

 The pictures below come from a prototype a made for a product I currently working on to sell in my TPT store. The actual product will be up within the next week and I will announce it on the blog.

 You can see in the cover page picture,  the book has tabs on the bottom of the book with student names on them. 

The page above is Sarah's choice board. When she completes her work at each station, she is allowed to have a quick reward time and these are some of the things she can select. 

John's page (above) and Brian's page (below) are schedule pages. It shows them what they are supposed to do in the morning all the way up to lunch but are individualized according to what stations they go to. 

One of the best changes I made to the schedules and choices booklet is that is adaptable. Who has ever known schedules and choices to stay the same? So the book needs to adapt to needs quickly.
Each piece in the book is attached to the book page with hook and loop fasteners. This way it can be changed quickly and as often as is needed.
Making multiple copies available to each adult in the room and around the classroom made a big difference in my class and freed up time that can be well used in more important ways than looking for materials.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today! Be sure and stop by next week when the Schedules and Choices booklet will be available for sale in my store.


  1. Awesome! Do you just have three kids who need this or just three per book?

    1. Thanks for stopping by and asking a questions about this post. This book only has 3 names because it was a prototype for a product. When it is used in a classroom, I would put all the students in one book. I usually have 8-10 students and most of them would need some type of reinforcer, choice board or schedule so if that was the case, then I would put them in one book or possibly separate them into 2 books. You definitely could put more than just 3 students in one book.
      Thanks for asking and please let me know if you have further questions.

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