Task Box Ideas That Are Simple and Cheap to Make for Basic Skills
IWInspiration| Structured Work Systems | May 12, 2021
This week’s task box ideas for Independent Work Inspiration use muffin tins and magnet tape to create all sorts of easy tasks for students to practice basic skills. And I have a few extensions at the end to show you other things you can do with it. The best thing about it is that it takes almost no time to make these tasks. Even better, it takes almost no money.
This post includes affiliate links. I only recommend items that I use myself. The cost is the same to you but give me a small commission.
Independent Work Inspiration: Material List
- Muffin Tin. Grab a 6-muffin or 12-muffin depending on your student. You can find 6-muffin tins at the Dollar Tree online here. You can get them Amazon but they are more expensive, so I say buy them for $1 and buy multiples. The 6-muffin tins have the advantage of fitting in the task bins more easily than the 12.
- Magnet Tape. I used this type in the video [affiliate link from Amazon]. But you could use one too which is a bit cheaper [Amazon affiliate link].
- Card stock or construction paper cut into small squares
- Permanent Marker to write on the paper
Task Box Ideas With Muffin TIns: Who Is It For?
Depending on what you put in the muffin tins you could use this for any age. For basic math facts and counting, you could use with erasers, as I did in the video, for younger students. But you could use it with money amounts or counting coins for older students as well.
Free Task Box for Filing by Color Video Tutorial
Tips for Making Task Box Ideas with Muffin Tins
As you can see in the picture to the left, there are lots of task box ideas you can use with muffin tins. In the video, I showed you how students can count items to match the numbers in the muffin tin. You could use erasers, coins, counting bears, or any type of small manipulatives. You can see those in the bottom of the picture on the left.
In the top picture on the left, you’ll see that I used the mini-erasers and wrote words for the students to match to in the tin. You could do that with mini-objects of any kind. You could also do it with mini-pictures like little task cards.
And finally, you can get more complex and work on basic math facts like addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. You can see how it works with addition in the middle picture. I also showed this in the video.
So you can see there are lots of task box ideas with muffin tins that you can use. I love the magnet tape because it holds the labels in without being permanent. In the examples I’ve given I’ve put numbers in order, but there is no need to do that in yours. In fact, I would probably skip numbers and move them around. That’s another advantage of the magnet tape. You can move things around and make it a different task every time. That makes it great for students who tend to memorize.
Need more ideas for task boxes? Check out the resources below.
More Workbasket Resources
Looking for more ideas on work systems and how they can be used? Check out the links in Resources below for more posts. And, I wrote about a book about them! Click on the book to the left for an Amazon Affiliate link (see my disclosure policy for more information about affiliate links).
GET ALL THE VISUALS AND ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS YOU NEED to start independent work in your classroom.
These kits include an e-book with directions on setting up independent work systems and using the materials included, data sheets for tracking progress, visuals for the bins and schedules, what’s next visuals, and mastery sheets to keep track of which students have mastered which task.