ESY Routine for K-2 Special Ed

ESY routine for k-2 special ed

Are you teaching ESY (Extended School Year) this year? Do you have your students or other students from your district? I am teaching ESY for my district this year, and I have a few tips for creating a simple ESY routine for K-2 special ed.

Visual Schedules

visual schedule used during the school year and during ESY
This is an example of a visual schedule I will use during ESY. It is the same type of schedule I use during the school year. All I have to do is make sure I have all visuals needed for ESY.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with ESY. You know what works during the school year, so use that during ESY. One of the most important pieces of your ESY routine should be a visual schedule for your students. Once you get the schedule for ESY, make a visual schedule for each of your students that is similar to their schedule during the year. I will also write the schedule on the whiteboard of our classroom for ESY for the staff.

Morning Meeting

morning meeting routine used during ESY
This is the morning meeting routine I use during ESY. I love that there is a print and digital version. Click the picture to shop!

Another routine I like to incorporate into ESY is our morning meeting calendar group. I like to use this calendar routine ESY- shop it here. My ESY program is half day, so I like to do morning meeting first thing when the students arrive to begin our day like we would during the school year.


ESY schedule to keep track of rotations and other activities.
This is the schedule I write on the white board for the staff in my classroom. We are in and out of the room with rotations, so this is an easy way to keep track of our schedule.

At my ESY program, we do rotation classes. In years past, we have had social skills, adapted PE, math, etc. During these rotations, we travel to different classrooms to participate in the activities. If your program does not do this or if ESY is full day for you, don’t worry! There is a perfect solution for you. The Simple ESY Bundle (on TPT here) has all lessons and materials you need to teach ESY for 8 weeks!

Download the plans and everything you need to get started here.

There are tons of fun recipes, science experiments, adapted books, comprehension, and much more. There are also schedules and choice boards included that would be perfect to use for ESY.

IEP Goal Work

IEP goal bins used during the year and during ESY
These are the IEP goal bins I use during the school year. I bring these with me to ESY to track progress on my students’ IEP goals. Learn More.

If you’ve read any of my blog posts, this won’t come as a surprise- I bring my IEP goal bins to ESY! For any of my students that I have for ESY, I will just take their IEP goal bins with me. It is a no brainer for easy data collection. For any students that are not mine during the year, I just make a quick makeshift IEP goal bin for them to have during ESY. Check out my blog post on how I setup IEP goal bins in my classroom here. For our IEP goal time during ESY, we (my IAs and I) rotate between each child to work on their qualifying IEP goals.


The next part of my ESY routine is lunch. During lunch, I put my focus on communication skills. We practicing requesting help, requesting more, requesting needed items, talking with peers, and more. We also work on cafeteria skills during this time, such as going through the lunch line, staying in a seat, throwing away garbage, etc.

Reward Time and Pack Up

cubbies used for student belongings. We practice arrival and dismissal routines at ESY.
We practice our pack up routine after lunch to finish our day at ESY.

Our ESY day ends after lunch, so when we return we begin our pack up routine. We work on toileting, cleaning up, packing a backpack, etc. I also give my students a reward time during this time after they are packed up and waiting for the bus. My students love watching music videos on our Smartboard for reward time.

ESY is such a fun time in the summer! It is a great change of pace from the school year, and for me it is the perfect mid-summer job. I hope it was helpful to see my ESY routine. What does ESY look like for you? Is it all summer? Full day? Let me know in the comments!

ESY routine for K-2 special ed

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