At the beginning of the year, I am always that hot mess teacher; HOWEVER, there is always one thing I make sure I have running smoothly by the end of September… independent work stations. Without independent work, SPED teachers would literally never get anything done. Plus, work boxes are a great way for students to learn how to work completely independently on previously mastered skills. This allows you to make sure they have mastered the skills and provides maintenance to ensure they don’t lose skills previously taught/mastered.
This year, I have a younger bunch of elementary students, so I started the year with a TON of put-in tasks. These kinds of tasks are perfect for students that are beginning with task systems. I am always mindful of saving containers — coffee containers, downy containers, clorox wipe containers, yogurt/food containers, tennis ball containers, and baby wipe boxes can all make amazing put in tasks. Tip: send an all-staff e-mail at the beginning of the year, reminding teachers about saving their containers for you. It’s amazing how many clorox wipe containers can stock up in the teachers lounge after the first few weeks when all those cuties start coming to class with colds.
As my students have gotten used to the routine of independent work with the put-in tasks, I’ve started to incorporate different types of tasks past just basic put-in tasks. Be sure to come back within the next few weeks to see a round up of my favorite assembly tasks, color tasks, sorting tasks, reading and math tasks! Basically… ALL THE TASKS
Below I’ve included a few of the independent work stations I’ve used in the past. There are so many different options for set ups. If you click on any of the pictures, it will take you to a blog post with more examples and an explanation on how to set up your own independent stations that can foster independence in your students.