Weekly Calendars

The weekly calendar is a further expansion on the theme of expanding time further into the future and further into the past. Weekly calendars are a necessary tool for teaching concepts that happen further away from the “now”. The concept of time can be expanded into “tomorrow”, “yesterday”, “today”, and the days of the week.

This is an example of a weekly calendar with tactile symbols.
This is an example of a weekly calendar with tactile symbols.

Prerequisites for a Weekly Calendar:

    • Student starts to ask (or become anxious) about upcoming events that are further into the future than “today”.  Examples might include trips to the doctor’s office, birthdays or holidays, weekend events, etc.
    • Student remembers (and can reminisce about) things that happened more than a day into the past (e.g. wanting or needing to talk about the trip the class took to the zoo, and seeing the tiger last week).
    • Indicates an understanding of the past by noticing when familiar events are completed.
    • Anticipates a number of activities in response to object cues or symbols.
    • Maintains joint attention, attends to the environment, and interacts with others for several minutes.
    • Usually works left to right without support.
    • Understands and participates in daily calendar conversations and routines.
This is a two-week calendar combined with a daily calendar with an expansion strip.
This is a two-week calendar combined with a daily calendar with an expansion strip.

Instructional Strategies Menu

    • Assessment
    • Communication Overview
    • Calendars
      • Time Concepts
      • Sequencing
      • Using Calendars to Expand Concepts
      • Calendars Support Social Interaction
      • A Form of Literacy
      • Anticipation
      • Daily
      • Weekly
      • Monthly
      • Timelines
    • Choice-making
    • Concept Development & Experiential Learning
    • Interaction and Bonding
      • Factors to Consider
      • Avoid Pitfalls
      • Hand Under Hand
      • Building Security
      • Imitative Play Strategies
      • Turn-taking Play Strategies
      • Be a Good Playmate
      • Use Interaction to Teach
      • Additional Resources
    • Routines
      • Experiencing Routines
      • Literacy Related to Routines
      • Turn-taking Games
      • Level 1 Routines (Sharing the Work)
      • Level 2 Routines (Participation with Support)
      • Level 3 Routines (Independent)


How to use the Weekly Calendar:

    • The weekly calendar should be used in conjunction with (not in place of) a daily calendar.
    • Each space on the weekly calendar represents a day instead of just an activity (e.g. gym) as in a daily calendar.
    • Weekly calendars should have all of the days of the week listed left to right.
    • Each day of the week will need to have a distinct visual or tactile cue so that the student learns to distinguish one day from another as it is physically located on the calendar. 
    • Students first learn that one day of the week is different from another by particular activities (e.g. Wednesday is swimming, Tuesday is grocery store, and Saturday is Grandma’s house). Therefore it is helpful to select a major activity and tie it to a particular day of the week. 
    • It’s best to start by listing one important or preferred activity for every day of the week. After that day is labeled, and the one event is discussed, move to your daily calendar for more detailed information about what will happen “today”.
    • As the student moves through the week, the days that are in the past (to the left) should be covered, but still allowed for access to show the passage of time and delineate past from future.
    • During each calendar conversation, discuss activities that are scheduled later in the week.
    • Start your calendar on Sunday and end on Saturday just as a traditional calendar would.
    • Use of a visual or tactile marker to indicate “today” may be needed to highlight today as the starting place (i.e. the present moment in time)..

Weekly Calendar Vocabulary:

    • Add new vocabulary and teach concepts of “future”, “past”, “this week”, “next week”, and “last week”.
    • Days of the week: “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, etc.
    • “today”, tomorrow”, “yesterday”, “weekend”, “cancel”, “vacation”, names of holidays.
    • “night”, “morning”, “afternoon

Video Example

Weekly Calendar Example: TVI Chris Montgomery works with Jarvis, a student who is deafblind.