Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October 2018 Task of the Month


Structuring activities to teach self-help/home living skills

Sorting socks, folding wash cloths, putting away silverware etc. are all good beginning chores for students. Children with special needs may need a more structured method than verbal direction alone when learning these skills. Therefore, we design structured activities or “tasks” that explicitly teach the needed skill. We teach, practice, and then implement the activity in the appropriate context.

The following tasks were designed for a student during TEACCH training held in North Carolina this summer. In the first one, he was to choose a sock from the bin on the left and clip it to the match on the “clothesline.” In the second, he was to locate two matching socks in the bin, combine them with a different kind of clip, and then place these in the finish bin on his right. Both tasks work on matching colors, sustaining attention, strengthening pincer grip, and organizing all the parts. The second task requires a bit more organization with its additional steps. A next step may be to place the socks into a drawer.



For hundreds of more activities and tasks please visit www.tasksgalore.com. You will find books full of ideas along with the “how and why” we structure them the way we do. Our books detail a wide array of curricula. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hurricane Florence: We are open!

Tasks Galore continues to be open for business. Our sale on Amazon is still taking place! Check out our best prices ever! We are actively shipping orders but please be aware the orders may be delayed due to conditions within our state. 

We pray for those affected so severely by Hurricane Florence and continue to do what we can to support our neighbors. We are #Carolina Strong!

If you would like to help those suffering from the affects of Hurricane Florence in NC you may make donations to The American Red Cross. https://www.redcross.org/


Sunday, September 2, 2018

September 2018 Task of the Month


We hope your school year is off to a good start. We always felt the beginning of a new term was stimulating. Getting to know our new students and their skills and possibilities was always exciting as was figuring out what was next in learning for our returning students.


Sometimes in our early learning classrooms, we have new students who have not yet been introduced to activities that require them to sustain focus until completion.




This is an example of a simple put-in task. The objects to put in are visible and can be turned up or down to fit through the opening. The opening is highlighted with white tape. To encourage our beginning students to attempt tasks, we design them so the explanation of what to do is visually clear. They remove each item from the box top, place it in the opening where it disappears into the container. It is obvious when the children have completed the task because all the pegs are gone.


Frequently we add additional sensory components to beginning tasks to make them more appealing to individual students, such as watching the chip float down through the water.



Or textures students can feel while placing the item.



Gradually we change the skills required in these simple tasks. In this task below, the students must figure out which object fits into which opening. Because the cylindrical spool will not fit into the horizontal slit and the buttons will not fit into the circular opening, the students discriminate. This is an early sorting type of task. Focusing attention to problem-solve is an important skill that they can generalize to other tasks as they progress. Such simple put-in tasks have valuable implications for our students.


For hundreds more task ideas and classroom strategies please view our products at www.tasksgalore.com.

Also, continued for the month of September for those of you who shop on Amazon you will find our books at a deeply discounted “Back to School” price! This is an Amazon only offer.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

August 2018 Task of the Month


These two tasks are being used in a classroom whose theme for the month is farm animals.

The first task is a great example of how one toy can be modified to fit the different functioning levels of our students. These chunky, wooden items from a farm lacing bead set by Melissa and Doug have large openings which make them easier for small hands to manipulate. The typical lacing strings which are included in the set, however, are often difficult for some of our students. The flexibility of the laces requires precise two-handed dexterity.

To thread the wooden farm-related items successfully, one student might need a rigid thread, such as a plastic straw; another may be able to thread the piece with a less rigid device that flexes somewhat, such as a pipe cleaner.

By thinking of each students’ emerging abilities, the skills they need to learn, and the products available, we devise different ways for students to achieve the same objectives: using two hands simultaneously and figuring out how to get the threader entirely through the opening.


This second task shows a similar idea of adapting materials (a book in this example) in different ways to meet the individualized needs of our students. The objective here to use clues to draw conclusions. This is an important thinking or inference skill that is needed when comprehending what we read.

The book, Who’s on the Farm written by Dorothea DePrisco and illustrated by Chris Gilvan-Carwright, provides clues about what animal or person is partially hidden.  Before uncovering the picture, children make a guess based on the clues.

To help our students understand what to do, we made two adaptations based on their emerging abilities. Adaptation #1 offers scanned pictures, identical to those in the book, of the possible answers. The children choose their answer from among the visual choices and Velcro the picture on the back of the flap that covered the answer. Below our student has Velcroed the pig correctly. Adding this additional visual component of scanned possible answers allows even a nonverbal child to participate, provides multi-modal interest, and helps students use clues to answer the question of “who.”

Adaptation #2 is designed for students who can answer questions but are learning the concept of making guesses. This visual support reminds the student to make a guess before uncovering the picture in the book.


ADAPTATION #1

ADAPTATION #2

All of our Tasks Galore products demonstrate various ways to use the same task for a variety of learning experiences. To learn more about thematic studies and how to adapt a full curriculum based on one unit please visit www.tasksgalore.com and click on Tasks Galore Literature-based Thematic Units.

Reminder we will have a Back To School Sale through our partnering distributor Amazon.com during the month of August 2018.




Sunday, July 22, 2018

Upcoming Sale!

We have an exciting Back to School sale planned for August and wanted you to be on the lookout for it! Please visit Amazon.com for special pricing on all of our Tasks Galore products. Be certain to look for us as the seller. 


Monday, July 16, 2018

July 2018 Task of the Month


These two examples show a couple of ways we use picture dictionaries with our students. These dictionaries pair the written word with its picture and offer visual support while students are learning to read or spell these words. Both examples also illustrate our emphasis on teaching skills based on a monthly theme in early learning classrooms.


In this lotto game, the objective is to take turns selecting cards from the container. Each student reads the card and then matches it to the lotto board. If the students do not remember the word or want to check if they are correct, they refer to the “dictionary” that pairs the words with their pictures. As students have more practice with the words, the picture dictionary is no longer available when they play the game.




The theme is about beaches. We integrate vocabulary words originating from the monthly theme throughout activities. We start with book(s) about the theme and then incorporate the words and associated concepts across curriculum areas (science, math, social studies, art, games, music). This strategy gives our students many opportunities for practice with the words and related concepts. This expands their reading and speaking vocabularies as well as their understanding of the world.


In our literacy book set, Tasks Galore Literature-Based Thematic Units, we illustrate how to take a theme about foods and making choices and design activities across the curriculum that represents this theme. The two-book set includes a storybook with vocabulary focused on food words and choice-making and a teacher resource book with activities associated with this food theme.

Below is another example of using a picture dictionary and is one of the 100’s of literacy activities featured in the resource book.

In this scenario, a picture dictionary provides an intermediary step as our students learn to spell vocabulary words from the book text. We eliminate this visual support once students become proficient with the vocabulary words.




Over our years of teaching, we have seen students’ progress when we utilize such an integrated approach, we highly recommend theme-based or units of study for learning.

We are currently running a special on our literacy book set Tasks Galore Literature-Based Thematic Units so that teachers can see more examples of how this strategy can be used. This special pricing is available only on our partnering distributor Amazon. 

During the month of August, we will incorporate a “Back to School” special on our books, again on Amazon only! Be on the lookout!!

Teachers will love our titles. Parents what a great gift for your teachers or therapists working with your student. These books are a fantastic way to begin the school year! We have books for all ages and levels.




Monday, June 11, 2018

June 2018 Task of the Month



Our students typically have strong interests and prefer engaging in those interests when they have leisure time. This type of choice board has been used successfully in getting students to try something new. When the students have free time, they are shown the choices. For this student, the list includes written choices. For students who understand they are to make a choice but do not yet read, pictures or even objects can indicate the choices.


Students learn to pick one option during their first break time and place that written word in the “My Choice” box. When break time is finished, the students move the written word into the “Finished” box. When it is time for the next break, they recognize that the first option chosen in no longer available in the “Today’s Choice” box and is finished for the day. The students realize they must pick some other activity.

This structured routine, while giving several choices, encourages expanding interests. We often find that when students are guided to try some new leisure activity, they often like it and it becomes a new interest.