I’ve been having a rough year with some of my early language learners in a self-contained classroom. Keeping them engaged for a 30 minute speech session was just not working. Instead they would protest by throwing all the materials, screaming, attacking themselves or others, or running away. Not great therapy conditions. Many data entries were “Screaming. Would not work, “or “Throwing and running away. Would not work.” Good times.
The self-contained teacher in one of my classrooms then showed me the work system that she had recently started using and was having great success with these same students. Although her work groups are only 15 minutes and not 30, I thought this would be a fantastic thing to try. I’ve known about work systems for over a decade. But knowing about them and actually putting one together is another thing. With the right motivation and my manic tendencies, however, I created a 4 box work system and choice book in one day!
Here are the steps for using this system:
1. Set up boxes 1 and 2 with materials for therapy. Place folder in front of the student with the visual schedule (1, 2, choice).
2. Match icon 1 with box 1. Take out the materials from the box. Do the therapy activity. When complete, place the materials back into the box (or into a finished box).
3. Match icon 2 with box 2. Repeat directions from above.
4. When icons 1 and 2 are finished then it is…Choice time!
5. Choose a choice activity from within the folder and place it on the sentence strip.
6. Work on play-based language therapy with the student’s choice materials. (Read about my communication flip book here.)
7. Back to work… Bring out boxes 3 and 4 and set up the visual schedule on the binder cover.
8. Complete boxes 3 and 4 (follow the same directions as for boxes 1 and 2).
9. Choice time again to finish off the session.
I adore how organized this system is keeping me and how much work my students are getting done! When they know the routine, there are so many fewer battles. So far… this work system is working for me!