This year I have really focused on creating structured work tasks in my classroom. I utilize errorless teaching and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) trials in my direct instruction lessons. If you are not familiar with that technique, basically, I structure the classroom environment and my level of prompting in such a way that when I’m introducing a task, the student only has an opportunity to provide the correct answer. This builds positive behavioral momentum because the student feels success right away, learns the expectations immediately and can appropriately interact with the lesson. As we progress through the lesson and the student begins to demonstrate an understanding of the skill, I reduce my level of prompting, thereby increasing the student’s level of independence in each skill.
I don’t know about you, but I spend a LOT of time working on building work tasks for my students. I run my classroom on a rotation. I have students in Direct Instruction, which is either one on one with me, or in a small group with me, when we do the ABA lessons, and then after each individual student has mastered a topic, I move that activity on to what we call “Independent Work Stations.” In the Independent work task station, students work on activities that they have mastered and we are working on independence and generalization. It is really important that students are able to perform the tasks on their own and in multiple settings, with different materials and different staff members. In that situation, students truly demonstrate mastery of a skill. In other words, if we are using addition facts as an example, I need them to show me mastery with not only this activity, but also adding manipulatives and other hands-on things in my classroom with me and the para professionals that work in my classroom. However, that takes a tremendous amount of prep in creating unique materials and activities for each student!
I have to say, as much time and prep as it takes, it’s worth it! This strategy WORKS! I have seen phenomenal progress with students over the years. In one instance, after implementing this strategy, a student with significant communication and behavioral challenges went from inconsistent basic letter recognition in August to mastery of over 250 sight words and read 1st-grade level readers by May! Because I’m such a proponent of this teaching technique, I’m more than happy to share materials. I want every student in special education (and also those who are not!) to experience this level of success!
Teachers, let’s be real… when our students experience this level of success, we feel pretty good about it too, right? That’s ok! We certainly didn’t go into teaching with grandiose ideas of fame and fortune. We became teachers because of the adrenaline rush we get when we get to help someone else succeed!
This book actually comes in a set of 3 from my Teachers Pay Teachers store, if you are interested. It is a scaffolded activity that incorporates writing number sentences as students begin to understand the number sense in addition with the first book (the free one).
Book 1 is just teaching students number sense in beginning addition. After the book is assembled, students match the number of each animal in the box to create a number sentence. I use velcro, but I’ve also used magnets and individual sheets of paper on cookie sheets before as well.
Book 2 is great for students who also have a handwriting IEP goal or who have a fine motor IEP goal because the appropriate number formation is written under the number sentence. This is perfect for students who are just beginning number sentences.
Book 3 is for students who have already mastered number sense and who are becoming increasingly independent with their number formation.
I hope you find this resource helpful!
For more really fun farm themed lessons, check out this collection!
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Farm CVC Words // A Dab of Glue Will Do
Farm Counting Cards // Playdough to Plato
Expressing Feelings on the Farm // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Count and Graph on the Farm // Sara J Creations
Pigs in the Mud Alphabet Match // The Kindergarten Connection
Farm Animal Puzzles // Powerful Mothering
Farm Play Dough Activity // Mom Inspired Life
Farm Washing Sensory Bin // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Farm Counting Book // Recipe for Teaching
Interactive Farm Book // Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
Gross Motor Farm Game // Modern Preschool
Farm Animal Sorting // Still Playing School
Farm Fence Number Ordering Mats // Fairy Poppins
Farm Letter Sound Matching Clip Cards // Schooling a Monkey
Making Farm Footprints // Pleasantest Thing
Farm Muffin Tin Syllable Counting Game // The Educators’ Spin on It
Farm Themed Old Maid // Stay at Home Educator
Farm Emergent Reader // The Letters of Literacy
Playful Farm Animals Hands on Math // Stir the Wonder
Farm Busy Box // Teach Me Mommy
Farm Animal Ten Frame Cards // Preschool Inspirations
Farm Addition Cards // The Stem Laboratory
Interactive Math Addition Book // Creative Inclusion
Farm Animal Sentences // (Not Pictured) The Simplified Classroom
Old MacDonald’s Farm Busy Bag // (Not Pictured) Adventures of Adam