Student Task Sheet: Helping students stay on task in the classroom
Do you have a student that is struggling to get all of their classwork finished? Maybe they get distracted easily or roam off-course. Do you have a student that requires assignment chunking on their IEP? This task sheet I designed is a simple way of easing your strife in the classroom.
I actually designed this sheet during my first year of teaching to help me help a boy with Asberger's who was in my class. This sheet made him aware of my expectations of him for the period from the very beginning of class, and it helped him monitor his progress throughout the period.
Now, I have on the sheet that if all tasks are completed, the student may receive Honey Money. That is our school's reward program, so feel free to change your task sheet to whatever reward fits you, your classroom, and your students the best.
STEP 1: Before the class period begins, I would look at my lesson plans and make a list of everything I wanted students to accomplish that day. I would convert that list into individual tasks and write in the tasks, in clear and concise directions, in steps on the task sheet.
STEP 2: At the beginning of the class period, I have the students that I have designated need the task sheet come to my desk, one at a time. (I was lucky enough to only have 1 that needed to use the sheet.) They had to read each task out loud to me, this way I know that they actually read the tasks. After reading them aloud, I make them sign their name that they understand the day's tasks. (I made my student sign in cursive because I think it is a skill that needs practiced as much as possible.)
STEP 3: Each time the student completes a task on the list, they must bring up the completed work and the teacher may sign off on that task if it is completed correctly.
STEP 4: After the student has completed every task on the day's list, the teacher will check his/her initials and ask the student to sign again at the bottom. (I didn't put a place for the teacher to sign off, but this is probably not a bad idea.)
Okay, so what if your student also has a hard time sitting and paying attention?
This can be one of their tasks. You would definitely want to explain that in order for you to initial, and for them to possibly get their reward, they must sit and pay attention to the lesson, or to presentations, or to whatever you need them to pay attention to.
This task sheet can literally be implemented into any grade and any content.
My Story: How and Why for the Design
At the beginning of my first school, I had a student who has Asberger's, and he was a handful for everyone in the school. He was constantly getting out of his seat, running around, jumping uncontrollably and yelling things out. I thought to myself, if I could just find a way to get him to concentrate for a few minutes at a time, it could save me a lot of stress.
Alas! the task sheet was born. I designed it to help this particular student in my particular class, and it surely did. He would read his tasks aloud each day and could not wait for me to initial each one.
After a few weeks, I started to explain to him that it was great that he was working so well, but that he would not receive a reward every day. (I know, I know. many of you are shaking your heads saying, "What a meanie!" That was not it. I wanted him to realize that sometimes the best reward is not one that you expect to get. For about a week or so, he started acting up a little bit, and it was definitely because I had stopped the rewards. One day, I got him to sit down with me, and I explained my reasoning to him. Whether he understood my reasoning or not, he began to behave in class again. I used the task sheet with him every day for the entire school year, and I would definitely have to mark it down as a huge success.
During one of my evaluations, the Principal noticed me using the task sheet and asked me about it. She loved the idea so much that she asked me to copy it and give it to a few of the student's other teachers. I got recognized at our next Faculty Senate meeting for my work and patience. I didn't think I created anything special. All I did was see a problem and came up with a solution that worked for me.