Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Taskbox Time-- Sorting by Color, Size, and Shape

Structured Work Systems can be a great way for students to practice basic skills using a variety of taskbox activities. In today's Taskbox Time we will focus on taskboxes used to practice basic sorting skills by color, size, and shape.


sort folders into magazine holders
Laurie Maravetz
Shaefer Middle School, Springfield

sort paint chip colors
Teach Love Autism

sort checkers into slots 

soft clothespins onto colored tagboard 

sort pocket chips into painted cups

separate and sort colored links into Ziploc Bags


sort bear counters into stamped Ziploc bags

sort objects into labeled Tupperware


sort lego by size and shape

sort lid to container

sort pattern blocks by shape and match lid

Many taskboxes can be made simply with common household and office supplies. The Target dollar bins and Dollar Tree also offer affordable materials for easy taskbox assembly. Other organizations provide donations. In the Miami Valley, many teachers volunteer at Crayons for Classrooms or attend the Montgomery County Material Reuse Facility's Teacher Shopping Days.

For more ideas check out some of our favorite structured work system books.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Around Town Round Up-- MORE Reinforcement Systems.

Earlier this year, we featured an Around Town Round Up on Reinforcement Systems. We are thrilled to share that we have gathered even more examples of this fabulous evidence-based practice to share with you!

To read our first Reinforcement Systems post click HERE! Read below to see our new ideas.

Many of the teams we teach are working with students who need an immediate system of reinforcement and respond well to edible reinforcers. One of our favorite containers for holding edibles is a pillbox labeled to match the corresponding tasks.
find these at Walgreens

We also love this creative use of magnetic spice containers at a structured work station.
Beth Young
Snyder Park Elementary, Springfield

To store student-specific edible reinforcer storage check out this great idea from Little Miss Kim's Class. Each student's initial is on the top of the craft caddy filled with their favorite goodies!

Once students are able to delay reinforcement, it is a good idea to use a token system to help them visually see how many repetitions or tasks need to be completed in order to earn reinforcement.
Tabitha Eaton
Main Elementary, Beavercreek

Brittany Sword
Valley Elementary, Beavercreek

Some classrooms use a token or point system to earn reinforcement at the end of the school day. Typically, these types of systems are used for general classroom behaviors and not solely work completion like the token systems and edible rewards above.
Tabitha Eaton
Main Elementary, Beavercreek

Using the systems below, students can earn or lose reinforcement. Reinforcement was given for different amounts of Dojo points or depending on what color the student was on the penny chart.
Carrie Prickett
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg

We love this schedule-specific token system from The Autism Helper!

For older students or students with strong reading skills, it is important to still incorporate some type of reinforcement!

We love this use of our Get Ready-Do-Done visual contract. Students with executive functioning deficits benefit from the detailed list of items to gather. This example also incorporates forced choices to help the student feel more in control of their learning. And finally a reinforcement menu is provided at the bottom for the student to choose from before getting to work.
Emily Ottmar
Stevenson Elementary, Mad River Local Schools

This simple Now & Then T-chart is a great way to display natural reinforcers this teacher has built into the day. The question mark denotes a special surprise for students.
Natalie Griffen
Smith Middle School, Vandalia-Butler
This written contract was a great way to keep track of ongoing reinforcement over the course of a week. Each day the teacher would sign off on the paper once the student completed the agreed upon 35 minutes of P.E. class.
Laurie Maravetz
Shaefer Middle School, Springfield

We hope you have gotten more ideas for incorporating this evidence-based practice in your classroom! Thanks to all of the teachers who have welcomed us into their classrooms and allowed us to share their great resources!

Monday, December 11, 2017

ALIST Spotlight-- Stephanie Foreman, South Vienna Elementary School, Northeastern

Northeastern Local School District's South Vienna Elementary is home to one of our fabulous ALIST teachers, Stephanie Foreman. We are excited to highlight some of the strategies in Stephanie's room in today's ALIST (Autism and Low-Incidence Support Team) Spotlight.

Stephanie uses some of our favorite visual supports with her students including a Visual Contract (or "Working for" folder) and the visual countdown. The contract is a great way to incorporate positive reinforcement especially for students who are tangibly motivated. The countdown provides a visual way for students to see the passing of time when they are waiting for something or preparing for a transition.

Stephanie also uses visual supports for student schedules. Additionally, she differentiates schedules based on student needs. Students who have limited reading and/or comprehension skills benefit from a picture symbol schedule, while students who can read and comprehend written words get a written checklist schedule.

Students also benefit from Stephanie's differentiation of sensory supports. In her classroom, each student has a designated bin of sensory items individualized to meet their specific sensory needs.

Stephanie also knows the importance of reducing visual clutter for her students through the use of covered shelving so they do not get overwhelmed visually and aren't too distracted when learning.

Another important element of Stephanie's teaching is data collection. As an ALIST teacher, Stephanie knows how critical it is to track student learning to determine their progress and determine appropriate goals.

She also can quickly access the data to communicate with other staff memebers and parents through the use of these great data binders.

We want to thank Stephanie for welcoming us into her classroom and for being such a wonderful example for other teachers in the region!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Regulation Rendezvous-- Superflex

Have you heard of Social Thinking's Superflex curriculum for students with social and communication difficulties? We LOVE Superflex for teaching self-management (an evidence-based practice!) and love to see it in action in our region. Today's Regulation Rendezvous will share a bit more about the curriculum and some of the great ways we've seen Superflex in action with our teams.

Superflex is designed to give fun and motivating ways for students to develop further awareness of their own thinking and social behaviors and helps them learn strategies for better self-regulation. Many students love this curriculum because the stories are comic-based, the lessons are hands-on, and they get to be a part of their very own Superflex Superhero Training Academy! In the academy, students learn how to defeat the Team of Unthinkables using their superflexible thinking and taught strategies. The Team of Unthinkables are "villans" who represent different challenging behaviors. You can click on the curriculum image below to be taken to the Superflex curriculum or click on the Unthinkables image below to be taken to the poster site.
Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum Package

Superflex is one of the social curriculums being used at McKinley Elementary in Xenia. In addition to the hands-on lessons in the book, they have also created a calming sensory corner called the "Superflexible Thinking Zone" for students who need time to think of strategy to use when defeating their own Unthinkables.
Lisa Storm
McKinley Elementary, Xenia

They have also documented each of their stratagies in their own Superflex Journals.

Students in the MAAP (Making Actions and Attitudes Positive) program in Vandalia have also learned about Superflex. They have a classroom strategy wall which reminds students of each Unthinkable they have learned about and the strategies for defeating them.
Leslie Mann, Kelsey Biggar, Butch Wise
Smith Middle School, Vandalia-Butler

The team at Smith Middle School in Vandalia has also incorporated some fun supplemental lessons when practicing and reviewing their strategies for each Unthinkable.

If you are interested in learning more about how the MAAP program uses Superflex and other social curriculums come see their December 8th presentation: Strategies for Teaching Emotional and Behavioral Self-Management!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Organization Station-- Centers

Many of the teams we coach have time dedicated to their day to small group and 1:1 rotations frequently called "Centers". Today's Organization Station will share some of the great ideas we have seen in the region for organizing staff and students during these centers rotations.

When organizing the classroom layout for centers, some teachers have a designated location for each center.

Rachel Hatton
Normandy Elementary, Centerville

Jessica Ward
Rolling Hills Elementary, Northeastern

Brittany Sword
Valley Elementary, Beavercreek

Jody Chick
Yellow Springs High School, Yellow Springs

Other teachers use the same areas for multiple centers and will use visuals to indicate all of the different uses.
Jennifer McGowan
Smith Middle School, Vandalia-Butler

Kate Tipple
Helke Elementary, Vandalia-Butler

There are also teachers who use generic visuals to mark one location so that it can be used for a variety of centers.

Jessica Ward
Rolling Hills Elementary, Northeastern

To help students transition during centers times, many teachers use location-based schedules.

This team combines structured work with their student schedules and designates the tasks to be completed using numbers next to each scheduled subjects.
Carrie Prickett
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg

Toni Mallott
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg

We love this use of schedule cross-bars for the centers times.
Emily Ottmar
Stevenson Elementary, Mad River Local Schools

For students who are readers, a written checklist is a great tool for organizing centers time. In this resource room, students rotate to different centers daily so each day has a different written checklists which students can get each day when they come in for their intervention block.
Sandy Beck
Broadway Elementary, Tipp City

In some classrooms, the centers may only change daily so a chart can be used to group students and let them know where to go.
Kate Pennington
Kettering Early Childhood Education Center, Kettering

It is important to organize staff each day as well and to provide them with schedules and reminders. Adults need visuals too!
Amy Beanblossom
Arcanum-Butler Elementary, Arcanum-Butler

Amy Beanblossom
Arcanum-Butler Elementary, Arcanum-Butler
Carrie Prickett
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg