Tutorial and Photos: Independent Work Task System

Categories: Resources

I realized recently that I have mentioned my work task system tons of times but haven’t gone into too much depth about how this works. So get ready to find out more than you’ve ever wanted to know. I kind of obsessed with it – only because it saves me tons of time and tons of space. Well who doesn’t like that? This system stores over 50 different academic, fine motor, and vocational work tasks and is used by my students who are both higher functioning and lower functioning. So, yeah. It rocks my world.

I know a lot of autism classrooms use the TEACCH 3 bin work task system – I used to but honestly it takes up too much room! And it takes forever to put in new tasks each day. I tried out a few different options – but this has worked the best for us. We have been using it for years! Β I still use one 3 bin work task for one of my students because I do love the structure it provides for my students who struggle to work independently.

So here is my video tutorial πŸ™‚

 

Here are some of my tasks included in the bins:

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Check out my Work Task pinterest boardsΒ for more work task pictures!

 

 

 

The schedule and structure for this system are available on TpT if you think this is something that may work in your classroom! Check out and here is a product preview:

29 Comments

  1. I love this! I am in the process of creating independent work tasks right now for during my center time stations. Your video had a ton of great, easy to create activities listed! I can’t wait to start making new work boxes!

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  2. Once again, you amaze me! I love some of these ideas and am going to create and implement them ASAP! I especially love the lunch tray with food choices. Cool idea.
    You have inspired me to start my own blog – something I’ve been meaning to do for years. If you have some time, check it out and let me know what you think.
    https://awesomenessandautism.blogspot.com/

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  3. Love it Erin!! I love your spelling tasks in your latest post – smart idea! It’s always great getting other tasks ideas so I’ll be bookmarking your posts πŸ™‚

    ps: also love the letter from an autism teacher! Ditto to all of that!

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  4. We all must know we are in the right field when we get excited for work boxes! Haha! Glad you got some ideas πŸ™‚

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  5. Yay, yay, yay! Now I have two awesome people I am learning from! I am in Australia and have only been in special education for the past year despite teaching for twelve. I have gotten more from your blogs in the way of practical tips, ideas and activities than I have learnt from my appointed mentor this year. Thank you so much! My students are really benefitting from this. And please keep blogging away πŸ™‚

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  6. Awww thanks Kelly! Your sweet comments made my day πŸ™‚ So glad you are enjoying my blogging (sometimes rambling…). Have a great week!

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  7. Kelly,
    This is awesome. Thanks so much for your kind words. Welcome to the field, it’s a great one to be in!!!

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  8. WOW! I love your blog. I am slowly getting into the blogging world and just discovered yours. I hope to start my own over the summer.
    Your TEACCH tasks are great and so creative. I totally agree that their system is great, but you have to do what works for you in your room. I have a small room and only have one independent work center so I have to find different ways to make it work!
    I have a few questions- do students do work centers each day? Do you give them the same work tasks for the week? I like your system of using the letters/numbers and having them match to a container, however how do you remember/know what you have already given them recently? One more question- do the students take the items out of the containers and set them up themselves or does an aide or teacher do this for them?
    Thanks for all of your great ideas!

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  9. I’m just finishing my first year of teaching. I am a K-2 Autism teacher and I wish I saw this in August instead of May! I can’t wait to use these ideas next year!!! Great Help.

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  10. Hey Sasha,
    I love the work task idea you have, I am definitely using it in my classroom this upcoming school year. I had a question and maybe you talk about this in your other blog posts that I haven’t red yet but, what do you have your students do when they are finished their work tasks or any other part of the day ahead of time and there is idle time?

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  11. In the morning we are very structured and switch stations every fifteen minutes – if students are done early there is extra work at each station to keep them busy if need be. In the afternoon – when we do this work station – it is a little more fluid. The kids go through the station and things tend to end roughly at different times. This works out okay because after they are finished with all their work – they have a break at the end. Does that make sense? Sorry – don’t think I explained that well!

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  12. I have been using the TEAACH system for years and you are right, “it takes up a lot of space”. I changed over to your system and it is working great. We can switch the jobs as often as we like with little effort. My TA’s like the system much better. It has gotten rid of a lot of clutter. BUT, some of my kiddos have gotten very sneaky by looking in the boxes and switching the numbers if they see a task they don’t want to do. And they thought these kiddos don’t have anything going on.
    Thanks for all you do, Lori

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  13. Love ALL of these ideas! I’m assuming that since these are independent tasks that the student has been taught how to complete them at some point? Or do you let them figure it out on their own? I have really young kids (3-6) so I am thinking of doig animals, numbers etc. !

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  14. Yes, mostly the tasks have been taught. Some of the students just need to be shown how to get started and can pick it up quickly because they already know the foundational skill. I love the animal idea! I have done colored shapes with younger groups and that works great!

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  15. Are these tasks similar to those in PAES lab?

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  16. Yep!

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  17. Hello, I just purchased this product and I’m confused on one aspect. Sasha says there has over 50 tasks at a time on here table time shelves. Are there multiple tasks in one bin? If so, how do you determine which task you group together in the bin? Also, how do children know which activity/ task to complete first if there are multiple task in the bins? Thanks in advance. This blog ROCKS!!!

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  18. Only activity in a bin! I fit 50 bins into shelves because I use mostly shoe box size bins and can fit about 8 on one shelf. It depends how big your bins are. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

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  19. Hey there! Thanks so much for doing this! Can you tell me what the dimensions are for the independent work bins? I see that you have different sizes – is that necessary for the work items inside? Just need sizes so I can put in my purchase order πŸ™‚

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  20. I have a few different sizes because a few of my tasks are bigger that the bins I have. I have mostly shoebox sized bins. They stack nicely and fit a wide range of tasks. I would get mostly that size and maybe a few big ones for any bigger tasks you’d have. Hope this helps!

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  21. Great ideas! Any suggestions for activities for a 12 year-old with autism with pica? He tends to put most everything in his mouth, so I cannot use small items.

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  22. Sasha I have learned so much from your blog, thank you for sharing.
    What if your students refuse to do the task? I have tried first then and I’m working for but for a lot of tasks they will just sit unless someone stands over them……. which defeats the independent task:(
    Thanks,
    Susan

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  23. Totally get it. What about looking at what reinforcers you are using? If there is a high powered reinforcer that they get when they finish the task – that might help!

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  24. I am trying to write a grant to get money to set up this system. Grant money awarded is between $500 – $1000. How much do you think it cost you to get supplies for the 50 bins (not the unit/shelves that contain the bins) ?

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  25. I get most of my materials from the dollar tree or target so I definitely think you can do these on the cheap! $500 would be more than enough to get 50 bins worth of activities. I always lean on the side of asking for more money though and then getting to make even more resources! You could probably throw in some laminating, velcro, and ink with any extra money and make file folder tasks and other independent work! πŸ™‚

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  26. This is awesome! I am definitely incorporating these work tasks into my schedule this year. I teach HFA and Aspergers 3rd-6th. I might start slowly, because of budget, and try using work tasks that are academic related like measuring and sorting coins/bills during the week, then leave the life skills and others for Friday and call it “Work Task Friday”, allowing students to work with it for a longer period of time…By Friday my kiddos are not focusing on academic work as much, plus they have assessments, and some of them tend to have appointments with the psychologist, OT, or SLP. Thank you so much for sharing Sasha!!

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  27. Love the idea of Work Task Friday. Hit up the dollar store for cheap tasks! Also – I did a “supply collection” at my school for little bins, items to sort, etc. and it was very helpful!

    Reply

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