Michelle’s Classroom Tour: Task Box Center

I am so excited to show you my classroom’s independent task box center!  

Independent skills are a must-have in any special education classroom.  In fact, the more independent skills we can teach and promote, the better!  I have a total of four independent centers in my classroom but my favorite is this independent task box center.  

Keep reading to learn how my students use this center and what activities are inside of my bins!

 

Visual Schedules

Here is a photo of my bins labeled with shapes and alphabet letters.
This is a photo of my independent bins labeled with shapes and numbers.
When my students come to this center, they each have their own color-coded wall schedule to work off of.  This has been explicitly taught to them in the beginning of the school year.  They take the first icon off of their schedule, walk over to the shelves, match the icon, and take the box to the table.  Once the box is opened, they perform the task inside, put the activity back into the box, and take the box to the all-done bin.  They then check their schedule and repeat the process.  Depending on skills and levels of independence, students do 2-4 tasks each day.  When students have completed their schedule, they have earned some iPad time.

My visuals are from Simply Special Ed however, The Autism Helper has this very same setup that can be found here.   

Each area/symbol on my boxes have different subjects and work tasks as follows: 

Shapes = Fine Motor

Here is a photo of a student performing a put in task from my independent task box center.
This is an errorless task used for fine motor independent task box center.
This is another great errorless put in task using beads and a recycled coffee creamer bottle.
My shapes boxes all have fine motor tasks inside.  Because of the age group of my students, these are typically errorless “put in” style tasks that I make out of recycled materials.  Here are some ideas for simple, inexpensive errorless fine motor bins:

The idea of these “put in” style tasks is for the student to open the container and use a pincer grasp or tongs to push items through the opening.  These tasks work on hand strength, eye coordination, and crossing midline as well as important life skills (opening containers)!  These tasks are also great for building behavioral momentum for the center.

This is a task box I made out of a shoe box, empty paper towel roll, duct tape, a cup, pom pom balls, and buttons.
For non-errorless tasks, I love making task boxes using shoe boxes, empty paper towel rolls, tape, and simple materials.  You can expand on tasks like these by having students use tongs or chopsticks.

Letters = ELA

Here are two task boxes used for my task box center.
Here are two task boxes used for my task box center.
The letter bins in my independent task box center are all ELA tasks.  I use a variety of tasks for these bins such as:

Numbers = Math

Here is a handmade task box where students stick colored sticks into the correct slot.
All of my numbered bins in my independent task box center have math activities inside of them.  Again, due to the difference in my students, I need a variety of tasks for these bins.  My tasks include:

  • Errorless “put in” tasks geared towards math
  • Color Shape Matching Eggs
  • Colored Craft Stick Sorting Box – this one I made myself
  • The Autism Helper’s assorted task cards using clothespins
  • Matching cards/books from Especially Education’s Made for Me Math

My classroom alternates tasks frequently, especially our work boxes.  I like to use these photo storage containers to help keep and store our work boxes.  They are such a great organizational tool!  The task boxes that are on the shelves for student use are stored in these clear shoe storage boxes.

To take another in-depth look at my independent task box center, watch my YouTube video below, and for a comprehensive tour of my classroom, check out this video!

What questions do you have?  Do you have an independent task box center in your classroom?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

 

7 Comments

  1. How many kids are typically at that table at a time??

    Reply
    • Hi Margaret! Thank you for reading. Depending on my student groups, I have anywhere between 1-4 students in this area at a time. The table I use is a large one but I wouldn’t recommend more than 4. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  2. How many students work in your independent task box area at a time?

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa! Thank you for reading and for your question. Depending on my student groups, I have anywhere between 1-4 students in this area at a time. The table I use is a large one but I wouldn’t recommend more than 4. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. What’s your system for keeping track of which student completed each bin? Do you have a different finished box for each student?

    Reply
  4. Love your whole work task system!!!! Do you have a list of the work tasks you use? I would love to see it ( or buy it) I want to create one in my learning center. Thanks so much!

    Reply

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