I absolutely LOVE my work centers! In this blog post, I will only be discussing the system of work centers.Here is where I will be discussing the actual work and curriculum that takes place at each center!I have fine-tuned this system to make it the most efficient system for my students. I love my work centers because they promote independence and are consistent!I have three work centers during our work center rotations.
There is a RED, BLUEandGREEN table.
Above each labeled table is a cute little sign to make it more noticeable which table is where.
Morning work centers takes place right after our Morning Meeting. Students check their schedules and get their working card. They are passed out once they check their schedule.
I come around and let them choose a toy/activity that they are going to “work for” from our token economy folder.
Once they all have their working cards and activities picked, work centers start! Students are grouped into three groups (three students per group.)Each student group has their own group color: purple, orange and yellow. I have the student groups posted on the back cabinets so that all the staff and students know where they are supposed to be when!
Each group’s working card has the color table schedule on the bottom so that the student knows which table they are to go to first!
Working cards are carried by the student from table to table. Each group’s working card has visual cues at the bottom of the card indicating the order of tables they will attend to (Ex. 1st Red table, 2nd green table, and 3rd blue table).
The working card serves as a great reinforcer for my students. When a student becomes unmotivated or begins to act out, a simple prompt to the working card reminds the student that they will be rewarded for good behavior and hard work.
At the end of the rotation, if the student has completed their work and behaved appropriately they receive a colored clip to clip on to the working card.We spend an hour total during the morning work centers. We spend 15 minutes at each center totaling 45 minutes of work time.If the student has earned all three clips after work centers, they place their working card on their desk and “trade” it in for their preferred task/activity. For those students that did not earn all three clips, they return back to the table they did not earn their clip from and finish their uncompleted work. Students are held accountable for their behaviors, and must earn free time. The students have about15 minutes to play and clean up before snack time!
Melissa is a moderate/severe special education teacher and author of the blog, Autism Adventures. Melissa creates resources in her TpT store that help build independence for her students and that focus on functional academics, behavior management, and communication development. Melissa lives in Long Beach, California with her husband and enjoys sunny days at the beach. You can visit Melissa on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest. To learn more about her teaching methods, visit her at her blog Autism Adventures.