Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating Tasks

Creating tasks, they are referred to as task boxes most of the time because we use a lot of boxes to put them together. However, in truth, lots of other types of containers are used, including simple folders.

The rules for creating an effective task:
1. Have a clear beginning
2. a clear path to follow
3. and a clear ending.
4. Begin at the left and go to the right, just like we read words.

That’s it! Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words? So for this article I am going to show pictures of some of my favorite tasks and include a brief description for each. Not all students who benefit from this type of structure are low functioning, many can read and are working near their grade level! They need to learn new skills and be motivated to keep moving forward.

This task can be adjusted depending on students skill level: counting one type of coin or a mixed set. Writing the amount or using number cards to identify the amount. The velcro strip along the top is for the number cards. 
Matching objects to a photo

fine motor skills, the tweezers light up as an additional motivation!

Reading simple sentences...matching to the real object.....the finished product goes in the last box.

This task has been modified several times, it started with a real picture, then a line drawing, words were added and then the drawing is phased out, leaving only the words to match.

There are some awesome books with task ideas, once you start making them, you will get your own ideas, it will be based on:

  • your students' skill level 
  • current curriculum 
  • materials you have available
Basic materials: duct tape (gray and colors), velcro, boxes, envelopes, folders. I have a box full of various items that are waiting to be in the perfect task. These are the pieces of games, puzzles, old programs, that you no longer use, but hate to throw away. Task building is recycling!

Remember that if a task doesn't work, don't give up, modify....adapt....sit down at a desk and be the student, does it make sense?  When you present it to your student, you almost always spot the flaw immediately!

I have many more tasks I would like to show here, but for now I think I will finish this. Please contact me, ask questions, make suggestions!