You know what drives me crazy? Those spare five minutes with nothing planned that seem to pop up like chickenpox throughout your school day. A fast working student finishes their work early. A para is out and you have nobody to run a station. Some students are working longer on an activity and the other few students have nothing to do. My go-to for my higher functioning students for those pesky few minutes had been quiet reading. But quiet reading is a nicer way to say my kids stare blankly at pictures in a book. They pretend to quiet read when I glare at them. Can I blame them? Quiet reading is boring and unstructured.
I created a new independent work center that seems to be the perfect combination of structured & unstructured. I made it a little unstructured on purpose. I want to push and challenge my kiddos. Sometimes they need to learn to problem solve on their own. This station is not in their schedule. I know. The horror. They need to figure out when to this station. When they have down time – they need to check into this independent work station. Of course, I gave a bit of a prompt.
Yes I know independent is spelled wrong in that picture! I fixed it. Of course, my OCD self wouldn’t allow that. The beauty of this station is that it limits how often a student can do each activity. We use one checklist a week and once the item has been completed the specified amount of times – that activity is done for the week.
No more quiet reading on repeat! This pushes my kids to do activities that they might not prefer.
Here are their choices of activities:
We have a few internet programs included on the checklist I have QR codes displayed so kids can easily get to the website.
We store all paperwork and a finished bin nearby:
Of course – right by that checklist is a velcro-ed pencil. How would they complete it without a pencil?
This has gone AMAZING. All caps was necessary. My kids regularly check and select different activities. On Friday I go through their finished work and they get points for work that is well done. It’s great to teach kids to respond to delayed consequences! A video tutorial for this is in the works as well 🙂