In our school environment, it is necessary to make creative schedules for several reasons:
– Students will become too reliant on the same staff if they have to work with them day in and day out. This can hamper independence and also limit how the students respond to others.
– Staff need change as well. With the sheer amount of talent staff have, they need to be able to use those talents with different students in different ways. Not only will it keep them refreshed, it will also help them grow professionally.
– It’s just the way the world works. As students get older, they will be in many different environments, experiences, etc. They will have to deal with a diversity of people with many different ways of doing things. To get them exposed to this at a younger age is very beneficial.
One of our great educators, Brittany, approached me today looking for an quick and easy way to randomize a daily schedule. After a few minutes, I came across the Random Lists Team Generator site. Not only is it free from bells and whistles, it is just easy to use. Here is what we did:
1. Create a Google Spreadsheet with the left column being the schedule and the top row being staff names.
2. Added the students to the generator and told the generator to create 4 groups (one for each teaching assistant).
3. Pressed “refresh” and kept getting random groups (that you can obviously tweak based on dynamics or other reasons) to add to the Google spreadsheet. In under 30 minutes, an entire schedule can be made.
Word to the wise, this is much easier with 2 windows open at once. And it appears that the Random list site creates a link that you can save right to your list!
I hope you find this helpful.
Mark Giufre (deTechtive1) 2013