I thought it'd be fun to share a peek inside our classroom and show off one of my independent work stations. We have 3 different types of independent work stations set up in our room, this is a peek at #1. I have been exposed to many types of Independent Work Stations during my 5 years teaching students with Autism and it always come back to the same 3 questions:
You got me here. Now what is it you want me to do? Students need to know what work you're expecting them to do. I do this by presenting tasks in 1:1 teaching first and my students are able to know what is expected when they get to their independent work station.
How much work?
Ok, I'm here, I know what I'm expected to do, now how much do you want me to do?! Our visual learners really need to have a clear beginning and end to routines and activities in their daily schedule. To do this, each of my students has a task strip posted at the entry of our independent work stations. When students come to the station, the grab their task strip and take it to the desk at which they will be working. On their task strip, I preload the jobs I want my students to work on. Most students are currently completing 1-2 tasks in a sitting, some are up to 3. The goal is to have students working for about 12 minutes straight by the end of the year.
Ok, you wanted me to work, you told me how much I needed to do and I'm done. Now what am I supposed to do?! I'm sure you're aware that your students having too much free time is a dangerous situation! If they don't know what to do next, we can expect behavior! I have a system set up where my students choose what they will be doing next when they arrive at their work station. When each student retrieves their task strip, they immediately turn and face a choice board. On the choice board are some medium-high level reinforcers for students in my classroom. The goal is for them to work for about 12 minutes with about a 3 minute reinforcement break before transition. I have created a place on the task strip so students are able to keep the visual with them as they are completing work. It helps to remind them of what is coming next.
I think we've answered those 3 questions through our first independent work station. Take a peek:
|Student's task lists are posted on the wall when they enter.|
|Choices are across from task lists.|
|Work station in action!|
|Another action shot!|
|I love data!|
|This is how I keep my tasks organized! Helps with reset.|