I implemented a new station in my classroom this year that I am so excited to share with you! I have always used task boxes and work bins in my classroom but wasn’t very organized about it. I had math boxes over here and ELA boxes over there and they were all mixed up and mislabeled- it was confusing my staff, made my students less independent and drove me CRAZY! I was so excited to take the summer to work on this project- and it was a lot easier that I thought it was going to be!
This year, I made it into it’s own independent station. This is a standing station so kids stand and work. They may request a chair or use a seat if they have mobility issues, but I find it good to have some standing, some sitting, and some floor work each day to switch it up and keep them engaged!
Once kids are taught the routine they should be able to follow their visual schedule, match the boxes, and put them in the all done bin. There are prerequisities to this system of course, matching skills, number, letter, and shape ID. It always could be a way to introduce and practice these skills with support, or help them generalize these skills in the natural environment 🙂
All of my bins have laminated labels taped to them with clear packing tape. ON TOP of the tape I put soft velcro, and on all the matching pieces I put hard velcro, keeping it consistent makes things so much easier (Just remember: hard on the card!)
I keep this sign up by the work bins to remind students and staff (and MYSELF) what is what, but you catch on quick. Shapes are functional/ fine motor, blue numbers are for math, and coral letters are for ELA. In my Simply Special Task Box System I also included coral numbers and blue letters to give more variety, and add room for more levels. (white backgrounds from numbers and letters also included) Someday I hope to have blue for level one, and coral for level two across both math ELA, the size of my label product will allow you to do so!
Here is how it works!:
At the beginning of each day I set up student schedules for “green work” (as they call it) and “independent work” as my staff calls it- but in reality it is just workbins- no matter what words you use! I created these with some bright tape and a simple strip of soft velcro.
I give my students anywhere from 2-5 work bins in one period. This is based on their tolerance and independence level at this time. Everyones schedule is posted from the beginning of the day, so if they don’t finish they can go back when there is time. If they are flying through staff can add more to the schedule for later on.
When students get to green work, they take off the top card on their schedule.
The students goes over to the shelf and matches the card to the box.
When the student is finished completing the box, they put it back in the box and drop the box in the all done bin. This way, staff can check their work, “undo” the work (a lot of my tasks are clothespin tasks) and place it back on the shelf for another student to use.
A popular question that I get about my workboxes is- “So what’s in them?” Inside my workboxes are lots of work tasks that also target fine motor and do not include any writing- perfect for non writers. I design new boxes each year targeting student IEP goals and review. All the tasks give to my students are tasks they should be able to complete independently once taught the skill and routine.
Some of these tasks include:
(Just click the image for the link!)