Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sharing What Works: Work Tasks 3

I'm so excited! I have gotten such great feedback from a lot of teachers and fellow bloggers about my Work Task posts that I've done so far. Seems like I'm not alone in my work task obsession! I've got a few more for you that I currently have out this year. I actually have switched out a few times this year for different reasons so, I have more to share just will have to dig them out at some point! I plan to go more in depth to how I run things in my room as the summer goes on and I can really focus on being super specific. So, here are some more work tasks that are currently working like a charm in my classroom!

Button Sorting w/ an ice cube tray- Color and Shape Discrimination

A while back I was at a garage sale and I found this bag of tons of buttons that were so colorful and diverse in the amount of shapes that they had that I could not pass them up. Did I have any idea what I was going to use them for? Absolutely not! That is what is so great about being a teacher! We always find ways to use junk that no one else can think of. So I took the buttons and velcroed them to the ice cube tray so that students could take them on and off. Also, I was trying to think of multiple uses and if I ever want to change the items that I use the tray for then I can take them off easily and Velcro new items on. 

 Groups of 10 and Rubber bands- Counting and Fine Motor Skills
I can't take full credit for this work box. I got an idea from another picture that I saw (can't remember where I found it to give it credit) but it was showing to use rubber bands to create bundles of objects. The students have to count out 5 sticks and then bundle them up. This is great because as my students are deciding on some transition and career skills that they want to pursue this is something that a student who might want to find a job where they are hands on might have to do. Bundle a bunch of sticks and rubber band it your thinking and look at me?? No, but, the idea behind making a group of something and then utilizing some sort of motor skills is what I mean! 

Blokus Pieces Matching- Spatial Relationships
This work box is using pieces from the game Blokus. It is a lot like Tetris but, not in video game form. I took the pieces traced them onto a file folder and placed velcro on both the pieces and the file folder for students to have to match them up. I have a lot of pieces because my students are older and can focus for longer periods of time. If you have a younger student or a student with limited focus you can always use small amounts of pieces. This can be done with anything that has a distinct shape from other objects. 

Clips onto Paint Cards- Fine Motor Skills/ Color Matching and Generalizing 
This work task is one that just kind of came to me. I was at the Dollar Store in "Work Task" mode and was looking around at objects trying to think of things that could be used in different ways to make unique work boxes. I actually enjoy doing this, it is really weird. So, I stumbled upon the teeny tiny hair clips that you would use in a small child's hair. They were in many different colors (rainbow colored even) and I got an idea. So, I took the multi colored clips and I took my trusty paint chips and created this work box where the student has to put the slip on the card. The interesting thing was at first some of my students would only place the clip on the side that had the exact matching color as the clip. So, I showed them that there is differences in colors. Not every blue is the same color blue and that we have to generalize our thoughts of what blue is. I got the weirdest glares from some of my students when I said this but eventually they were okay with clipping on to the other parts of the cards that didn't match exactly too. 

 Clothespin Grabbing Beads and Sort Task- Fine Motor/ Color Matching
My one paraprofessional calls this the "Box of Cruelty" in my classroom. I swear that is not my intentions at all! She says this with a big heart of course. The whole point of this work task is for the student to grab the pony beads with the clothespin and drop them into the corresponding color container. Yes, this takes a long time and yes the students used to hate me for it in the beginning of the year but, they are awesome at this now! They have improved their fine motor skills and it has helped one of my students with building his ability to write more legibly! So really this box should be called the "Box of Legibility!" 

Well, I hope that you have gotten some good ideas from my work tasks!!


  1. These are great ideas! I know that "work box" mode in Dollar Tree myself! I do the exact same thing! Or I just open my cabinets in the classroom and think, "hmm, what can I come up with??" The Box of Cruelty gave me a good chuckle!!

    Creating & Teaching

  2. Yes Erin! It is so weird how your mind just starts thinking that way. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at a cabinet full of items and whip up 2-3 work tasks just for the heck of it! Obviously, people like us love what we do! Thanks for the comment!


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