Creating a Preschool Schedule in Just 5 Steps

Creating a class schedule can be one of the most important plans you create for you preschool classroom.  Setting up your day to run smoothly takes some thought and consideration.  Because the truth is... your schedule can make or break the classroom behaviors you see.

Just think about it, if you schedule and execute a 30 minute circle time at the beginning of the year... then you will, most likely, have little rolly polly children on your carpet. Or, if you don't schedule snack time in between arrival time and lunch you are going to be having some 'hangry' students because snack or lunch is too far away! How about movement activities... If your outdoor time isn't until the end of the day and you have no movement activities built in, then you may find wiggles to be bursting at the seams!

So, to create a schedule that helps with positive behaviors and works against negative ones is the goal.  But, it takes being intentional.

Through the years I have found a process that I go through that makes planning out my schedule a bit easier.  

I've broken the process into 5 steps to help you create an intentional schedule too!

STEP 1: Ask yourself the Key Questions

  1. How many hours are you with your students?
  2. What age are your students?
  3. Is your class full time or part time?
  4. Which events/activities during your day are mandatory? (ex: Lunch times, recess times, special class times).

STEP 2: Decide Is It Important?

  1. List out the events/activities that you want in your day. (ex: share time, large group, free play, story time, small group, quite reading...)
  2. Now, number the events based on their importance to you. Number one being the most important.

STEP 3: Got Wiggles?

  1. Let's go back to the age you teach. The average attention span is 2-5 minutes per year of life.  Calculate for the age of your students.
  2. When scheduling try to shoot for the mid-range of these time spans.
  3. Be understanding to the fact that at the beginning of the year, you might need to keep group times shorter.

STEP 4: Plan It Out

  1. Now, make a list of time slots. Start by putting your preschool day start time at the top.
  2. List times in 5 minutes increments down the page.
  3. Fill in the non-negotiables from Step 1.
  4. Now, fill in the activities/events in order of importance in Step 2.
  5. Check that you are not scheduling time slots that are larger than your class' attention span (from step 3).
  6. Once your schedule is filled in, leave it alone for a couple of days. Come back to your schedule with fresh eyes and look for any holes, mistakes or missing activities.

STEP 5: Make it Pretty (totally optional)

      What is it about a cute font and adorable clipart? It just makes me feel so much happier to look at when on the wall.  If you feel the same way, you can make your schedule pretty too.  At the end of the workbook (see below) you will find an editable schedule (actually multiple schedules- for 2 day, 3day and 5day a week) that is pretty darn cute.  Just make sure to only try and edit in Adobe Reader.

So... about that workbook..

If you are like me... you need a workbook to go along with that process.  A place to write it all out using colorful flair pens...

Get the workbook by entering your info below:

Sample Schedules