Why and How to Use a Visual Timetable Effectively

Why you should be using a visual timetable in your classroom and how to use one. Add our ready to print visual timetable cards with real life photos to our classroom now!

One of the most effective tools I've used in my Early Years classroom is a visual timetable. 

Recommended by occupational therapists, special needs specialistsspeech therapists and behaviour management coaches, a visual timetable is a must for any classroom.

Using daily schedule cards can support young children a number of different ways either individually or as a part of a whole group routine. Like anything to be effective, you need involve the children in the use of the timetable.

Visual Timetable Cards - one of the most effective tools in early childhood. Why and how to use one at home or in the classroom | you clever monkey

Like most of my printables, I made these schedule cards for our daily routine because I couldn't find the one I wanted few years ago when I first looked for one to use one in class. I wanted one which was simple and clean looking with real photos rather than cartoons. I also created some clock face cards to match.

I know there will be many of you saying you prefer the Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS picture cards but did you realise that real photos are preferred and more effective but it's just too difficult to find real life photos of everything you sometimes need PECS cards for?

I have managed to find photos suitable for every subject I needed so created my own visual timetable cards which you can also use in your classroom!

Visual Timetable Cards - one of the most effective tools in early childhood. Why and how to use one at home or in the classroom | you clever monkey

WHY USE A VISUAL TIMETABLE?


Visual timetables are often recommended for use in early childhood both at home and in educational settings but should be used as an interactive tool. Used consistently, they can help establish independence in young children. 

A daily schedule can also help young children connect the real and the abstract - what I am doing now compared to what I might do after lunch and allows prepositional language to be used in meaningful ways - first, next, before, after.

It can be a useful tool to help communicate tasks that otherwise might not be understood by every child. 

The cards all include an image and simple printed words which encourage children to read building on their growing understanding of the directionality of print. They also become more familiar with key words relevant to their day.

ViVisual Timetable Cards - one of the most effective tools in early childhood. Why and how to use one at home or in the classroom | you clever monkey
Using a visual timetable can also help reduce anxiety in young children. 

By using it daily and referring to it often especially when you first use it, you can help children understand how to 'read' it which allows them to become more independent and helps some individuals better prepare and cope with transitions. 

For children with Speech and Language difficulties including those for whom English is their second language or those who require extra processing time, having a visual to refer to as they need can also help them focus or refocus on the task at hand. 

Your visual timetable should always be visible. You can see mine is situated at the front of our classroom at a height every child can see.


Visual Timetable Cards - one of the most effective tools in early childhood. Why and how to use one at home or in the classroom | you clever monkey


Knowing that visual timetables need to be made to suit the child and the environment to be most valuable so I've also created some blank timetable cards with images only to allow people to add their own text/labels to.

Visual Timetable Cards - one of the most effective tools in early childhood. Why and how to use one at home or in the classroom | you clever monkey

There are over 100 ready to print timetable cards and over 80 photo only cards to add your own label in your chosen font. Download include PDF and editable Word doc file.

EDITABLE VISUAL TIMETABLE CARDS
US $5


YOU CAN FIND OUR CLOCK FACE CARDS HERE



1 comment

  1. I couldn't agree more Nichole! In my 10 years of teaching I've always used a visual timetable (actually now that I think of it - no one at my school used one when I started - they just wrote the lessons up by hand - but now everyone uses one.)
    It helps the children so much to know what's coming up next, and how much longer until a break time. In the very early days of reception I would put a marker where we were up to, and as the year went on and I was trying to manage their behaviour I would 'tick' a lesson that went well.

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