Task boxes develop independence, work stamina, and social skills. These skills are best developed at a young age. Learn how to run a transitional kindergarten task box center below.
What are task boxes?
Task boxes are hands-on, engaging activities that can be differentiated to fit a wide range of students and student abilities. They are perfect for morning work, centers, early finishers, small groups, or extra practice.
In the transitional kindergarten level, we use hands-on, tactile activities in our task boxes. Examples of activities include sorting, making letters/shapes with playdough, making patterns with unifix cubes/legos, and/or practicing fine motor skills such as tracing, and cutting.
Why do I like task boxes?
Task boxes help students gain independence. They help prepare students for the more robust Kindergarten program. Additionally, students are encouraged to work on their task boxes with a peer. This develops social skills.
How to prepare for a transitional kindergarten task box center?
Materials needed to prepare the task boxes include printer, scissors, laminating pouches, laminator, and any specific materials for the activities (e.g. playdough or legos).
Your transitional kindergarten students will require pre-teaching prior to independently completing task box activities. Preteaching should happen during direct instruction, following the “I do, we do, you do” procedure. In addition, students also need pre-teaching on how to rotate through the stations. For our young students, I like to create a visual rotation chart with students’ names and stations they are at. This way, students can refer to the chart at any moment and figure out where they should be and what they should be doing. This, again, helps students develop independence. See below for an example.
Be sure to schedule daily task box time in your class schedule. In our transitional kindergarten program, task box time is written into the daily schedule 3 times a day – once during drop-off, once after recess, and once before pick-up. Task box time lasts for 10-15 minutes each rotation. It is essential to keep task box time short but frequent so that students are able to develop work stamina.
How to run a transitional kindergarten task box center?
Using a visual rotation chart, divide students into three groups. Once students get to their respective spots, set a timer. Students can work on their task boxes independently or with a peer while the teacher circles around the classroom supporting students as needed. When the timer goes off, students clean up. Display the new visual rotation chart and students transition.