This Tasks Galore Publishing blog entry continues addressing the questions we ask when designing tasks:
• Does the task address the student’s educational goals?
• Is the task multi-modal?
• Does the task incorporate student’s interests and strengths?
• Is the task created using visual cues that will be meaningful to the individual student?
• 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?
We addressed the first question in the blog entry on July 13, 2016 , the second question in the blog entry on August 9, 2016, the third in the entry on September 18, 2016, the fourth in the entry on October 23, 2016. This entry will discuss the fifth question:
Are pieces of the task organized systematically?
It is so helpful to the students if they can look at a task and know where to begin and when finished. Many students need stabilized or segmented pieces that are easy to manipulate and do not fall apart. Determine how you can make your tasks organized with pieces separated for easy pick-up and parts affixed so they will not drop or disassemble when the students handle them. With systematic organization, you can incorporate left-to-right and top-to-bottom routines to define the sequence.
To help students sustain attention throughout “This Little Piggy Went to Market” rhyme, they remove a cut-out pig following a left-to-right pattern. A picture, representing each verse of the rhyme, is placed in front of each piggy. Students remove the first piggy, listen to or say the verse represented by the picture, and then place that piggy in the “finish container.” Students enjoy the game because the order is predictable and, thus, understandable.
The pieces of the task are systematically contained within a shoe box with the “finish container” nearby. Moving the pigs becomes a simple process without distractions from items being hard to handle. To complete a collating assignment, students choose one paper from each tray by following a left-to-right routine. They staple the pages together and place these in the clearly marked “finish box.” Segmenting the pages by providing spaces between them as they are positioned upright in the trays allows for easier manipulation. Such thoughtful and systematic organization of a task encourages independence and competence.
This task address the issue of quality control, an important job skill. Students choose a fork and examine it to determine whether it is “ok” or “broken.” They then place the items as the labels direct. See how all the pieces of this task are contained inside the box and how forks are segmented for easy manipulation. Students, therefore, do not need to address how to handle the pieces and can instead focus on the concept being taught.