Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Teaching the Tasks (part 1)

Now that you have your students’ individualized schedules and work systems in place, it is time to start thinking about the teaching tasks.

When designing and presenting tasks, these are questions we ask:

·         Does the task address the student’s educational goals?
·         Is the task multi-modal?
·         Does the task incorporate student’s interests and strengths?
·         Are visual cues the task?
·         Are pieces of the task organized systematically?
·         Is the task designed so that the student can manage it independently?
·         Has the student mastered the task?

For the next few weeks this blog will discuss each of these questions. First is ensuring your task addresses a goal on the student’s individual education plan.

We use formal and informal assessments to determine our students’ present level of performance. (See 6-22-16 blog entry) We identify their emerging abilities and develop goals and objectives to teach independence with those skills.  We base our tasks on their goals and objectives. Look at your students’ individual educational plans and think about how to design meaningful tasks that will address their goals.

One of this students’ annual goals is to develop strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard and viewed.  A short term objective to address that goal is to match photos/pictures to words. This task, designed to address the goal and objective, has the student matching color + clothing words to pictures. Packing the clothing into cases makes working on the goal much more interesting.




This task requires putting spraying one squirt of window cleaner on the numeral one or the red dot. This task addresses the student’s annual goal: develop domestic skills to assist with chores in the school, home or job site and its short-term objective: demonstrate 1:1 correspondence to complete a domestic activity. We think it is very important to merge academic or pre-academic goals with life-skill ones.



This student matches coins to amounts affixed to the small coin purses and places them inside. To aid his learning, he can use the “dictionary” as a reference. This task will address his long-term goal of understanding the concept of money and short-term objective of identifying value of coins. 



This task addresses the annual goal of reading with comprehension and the short term objective of making inferences. Using pictures from Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer with some text deleted, students are asked to determine what a character might say.



Friday, July 1, 2016

July 2016 Task of the Month


We address theme-based words in multiple learning centers to guarantee that our students get much practice and repetition with the vocabulary.

Here the child practices using fine motor skills to string letter beads. By typing words, assembling words, writing words, etc., children better retain the information.

After a few weeks of our addressing the same theme that has been well integrated into the curriculum, we find many students add the words to their emerging receptive and/or expressive vocabularies plus know how to write and/or spell the targeted words.

Using story books that include the vocabulary also enhances this learning.

Further information about using integrating themes can be found in our 2-book set. This set includes a board book with a food theme, I’m Hungry, I’mHungry, What Shall I Do? and an educator resource book Tasks GaloreLiterature-Based Thematic Units. This resource book includes a multitude of tasks that address this theme across all curricula areas and classroom centers. You will be sure to want extra copies of the board book for guided reading!