Independent Work Schedule for High Functioning Students

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.

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

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.

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

No more quiet reading on repeat! This pushes my kids to do activities that they might notΒ prefer.

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

 

Here are their choices of activities:

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center
The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

We have a few internet programs included on the checklist I have QR codes displayed so kids can easily get to the website.

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

We store all paperwork and a finished bin nearby:

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

Of course – right by that checklist is a velcro-ed pencil. How would they complete it without a pencil?

The Autism Helper - Independent Work Center

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 πŸ™‚

36 Comments

  1. I love this! This would be great for a few of my students!!

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  2. LOVE the QR codes to the websites. Brilliant!

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  3. What is included in your language binders? Love that idea for independent yet targeted goals.

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  4. This is such a fabulous idea! I love how you have given structure to a very unstructured time. Genius!!!

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  5. I will be copying this IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! What a fabulous plan, and a great way to get them to do a variety of activities in their down time! I’m so excited about this!

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  6. Hope it’s helpful πŸ™‚

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  7. The QR codes make my life SO much easier! No more having to log in for everyone or repeating the website a million times! And my kids love them!

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  8. It’s had such a major impact on our daily schedule! No more “What should I do now??” whining! haha

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  9. Glad to hear, Erin! The variety is key – there were so many resources that I did not utilize and now I can switch things around so easily!

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  10. Fantastic! I can’t wait to implement this next year!!

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  11. I work in a high school and we have bells that ring about every 45 minutes. How long are your time periods you have the kids working on things?

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  12. It depends on the students. With higher functioning students we do some activities/groups for up to an hour. Most other activities and centers rotate every 15 minutes.

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  13. First, I am ever so grateful for your website and wonderful ideas! You have a very well organized room as well. Question, where did you get the word of the week? Is it a part of a series? Thank you!

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  14. Help!! Teaching an English class to 7th graders on alternate curriculum! I have 3 with reading/writing skills at probably 2nd or 3rd grade, and 3 with none. The other 3 use a switch, dynavox, or eye gaze, but are able to make choices and such. I am rusty on this level and am struggling to get started on relevant functional ideas. We have absolutely no curriculum to follow!

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  15. Hi Sasha love your blog, what do you have in the writing center binders? How I can orginized the word of the week?

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  16. Thank you so much, I definitely going to have it, mi group is the high functioning kids. This works so well with them.

    Do you have something specific for language lesson, receptive language, comprehension skills, expressive language and commenting for high functioning and middle functioning students?

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  17. Can you please post your file for the independent work centers checklist? I’d hate to reinvent the wheel when you already have a fabulous resource! πŸ™‚

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  18. Sure! I will next week!

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  19. I want to know how to make and use the QR chores. I always have to log my kids on and get them on websites. We use regular old computers. I can not install anything on then either, I have to send for IT and wait on then.

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  20. You need a camera for the QR codes (to scan them) so I’m not sure if a computer will work with QR codes. Sorry πŸ™

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  21. What do the students do in the typing station activity?

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  22. They type the journal that they write as part of their Leveled Daily Work.

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  23. How on earth do you use the QR for the desktop computers?! Boy would that save me time!

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  24. Yikes – I don’t think you can πŸ™ Sorry!

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  25. What are your students using to access the QR codes?

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  26. They use the website xtramath.com for fluency practice and mobymax.com for independent work! πŸ™‚

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  27. Sasha you are amazing!!!!!

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  28. You are too sweet! Thanks for reading!

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  29. Where would I find the word of the week? I looked at lakeshore learning and didn’t see it.

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  30. Aww bummer it looks like it was discontinued! Sorry πŸ™

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  31. This is exactly what I needed in my classroom!!! What do you use for your typing station?

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  32. I actually just printed out a few paragraphs and had kids copy them. I have also had them type out their morning journal each day, answer common personal info questions, or complete a typing website.

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