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Structured Work Systems: Objects

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Ever have a student who has difficulty differentiating pictures and then realize how many pictures we try to use to communicate with the student (for his receptive understanding)?  If he can’t differentiate, or match pictures, for instance, how can he use a picture schedule to complete a structured work system.  Same issue with students who are visually impaired on the spectrum–how do you communicate to them what work you want them to do in their work system?  Here is a solution that one teacher I work with came up with for a student who can’t match pictures yet but can match objects.  Instead of matching pictures, he matches objects and places them inside the container velcroed to the front of the bin.  It really helped him to be more independent at using the schedule for the work system.  Kudos to the teacher at Roxbury Elementary School!

In contrast, for a student who is visually impaired, think about putting a tactile or object cue INSIDE the bin so that when he pulls it forward to work with it, he can feel it with his fingers hooked inside the basket.  I have seen students who are completely blind be able to complete a structured work system without any assistance using tactile cues instead of visual ones.  Any other strategies out there that you have tried?

2 thoughts on “Structured Work Systems: Objects”

  1. I was just going to make the suggestion then I just saw you ended your blog on it-Sandy and I would always make our work systems that way for our students with ASD & severe VI issues or total blindness-with the object cue inside, so when they grabbed the box, they would in turn feel the cue to match it with the cue from the schedule. It was always a super helpful tip for teachers who had just gotten a new student with visual impairments and said that they had "no clue how to begin." Love that you posted this though! Always need that outside of the box/common sense type of stuff to work it out. In our trainings we blindfolded (willingly lol) our participants and asked them which they seemed to make more sense, guess what their answers reflected? 🙂 Also make sure materials are more stationary-velcro is definitely our friend or use non-stick surfaces under work spaces-they will also aide in outlining work area. And, for our low-vision students, make the materials have high contrasting colors for differentiation between activities, for a writing activity you may want to consider using different color papers (depend on individual students which will work best for them) or raised line paper to assist as well. Just some other thoughts to consider…

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