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Sharing What Works: Work Tasks

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sharing what works

** This was originally posted on my blog on April 24, 2015. One of my first blog posts and I got a great response from it so I thought I’d re-post and let some of you new followers check it out!! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

There are a lot of things that I do in my room that I LOVE. One thing that I think I might possibly need rehab over is work task creation. I am a work task junkie! I can’t get enough of them. I love looking on other blogs to see what other teachers have thought of. I love thinking outside of the box and finding things that can be used that maybe no one else would have thought of.

It is probably one of my weirder obsessions when it comes to teaching but, what can I say?!? They are so helpful in keeping students working on things that are still important (not busy work) and reinforcing skills that they need. They can be done independently and they are vital to teaching our students about schedules and routines.

I have gotten a lot of great ideas from other blogs and teachers. I’ve used products from TPT and turned them into work boxes. That might perhaps have to be another blog post when I learn how to appropriately tag blogs and TPT stores.

For now, I’ll just share a few of the work tasks that are currently in my classroom that are working so well and I’m proud to say they are either my own concoctions or they were adapted from an idea another blog or teacher gave me. Also, please note I teach middle school. My students vary in abilities so some of these tasks might be harder or easier than what might work in your classroom. Especially at this time of the year my students know how to complete a lot of simpler tasks and I wanted to start working on more multi-step work tasks. Also, sorry some of the pictures are sideways. I’m still figuring out how to post pictures (such a newbie)!

autism work tasks matching
Matching Bottle Tops to Bottle Bottoms– I took travel size bottles from the dollar store and placed stickers on both and require the students to assemble the bottles by matching the exact sticker of the bottom to the lid. I made it tricky so they have to match both the letter on the sticker and the color!
autism work tasks
Paint Chip Matching-  I love Lowes! I took the two sets of each of the free samples and laminated them. One set I cut up into individual pieces and placed soft velcro on the back and the other I left whole and put pieces of hard velcro on each section. My higher students match more towards the name of the colors. My lower students will match on color.
autism work tasks
Safety Word Bracelets- These I found at Dollar General over the summer. They were a set of bracelets that had letters that you strung onto like beads on a piece of yarn. So I created words that the students had to make with them. In the beginning of the year I started with student names and have progressed from there. Now we are doing functional safety words.
autism work tasks
Edmark Word Writing- I found this little magnadoodle in the Target Dollar section over the summer and just thought to myself that I could use it for something eventually. Ta da! My work task reinforcing those Edmark words! My students have to take the word cards  and spell and write them onto the magnadoodle.
work task geography puzzle
Geography Puzzles- I told you I teach middle school. In middle school we learn geography. I adapted this by creating a work box that is a refresher on what we did in the beginning of the year. I printed two maps (only the states is shown) and I laminated both sets but cut one out and left the other whole. Then I added velcro so that multiple states were together and continents were cut out for students to match and place in the appropriate place on the puzzle.

I hope that some of these give you some thoughts on some great ways to fill in every extra minute of your day so that your students are constantly engaged. I know that my students are worked to the bone because they are doing something all day long whether it is working with an adult or completing work tasks at their desks. It helps to make a variety of these for your room because then some of the students don’t see them all as work. There are actually some favorites that my students love to do and I have kept them all year! They asked where they went if I changed them out! Feel free to share thoughts and ideas of what works in your room! Happy Work Tasking!

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