Saturday, March 07, 2015

What's in my Work Boxes {Part 2}

In February I blogged for the first time about what was actually INSIDE my work boxes. My first post focused specifically on "put in" work tasks. If you missed that post, read it {here}.

This post is going to focus on sorting activities.

At one point this school year my students ranged in ages 2-5 years old. I really can't emphasize enough the variety of skills I need my task boxes to offer.  And they need to be skills a child can complete almost independently. You can always differentiate the level of a sorting task which is nice. They can simply sort by color or make things a tad more complicated and sort by object. I also consider the amount of items they are sorting to contribute to the difficulty. Some students may only have the ability to be successful with sorting 10 items, where another may be successful with sorting 25 items.

But let's jump right into the sorting activities that I'm currently using in my classroom! I know a lot of these are self explanatory but I'm going to feel the need to talk about them anyway.

 For this box students sort the erasers onto the correct picture. I found the erasers and the Dollar Tree and I made the sorting mat on my computer with Pics for PECS.

I purchase a gazillion of these little containers from the Dollar Tree. They usually do 2-3 color sets per year and I always buy some. They come in packs of 4 for $1 and we use them for so many things. Students sort the colored Popsicle sticks into the containers.

This is essentially the same task as above- students are sorting the sticks by color. However, they are putting them into the correct spot on the container. I simply colored around the holes on this lid with a sharpie to designate each hole to a certain color. 

Students are sorting erasers for this task. I taped an eraser into the bottom of each container so students knew what container to put them in. I found these erasers a few years ago in Staples. I can't remember if they were clearance or in a dollar section, but I stocked up on all the different ones they had. (There's more used in another activity)

Who says hearts are just for Valentine's Day?! Again, using these awesome containers from the Dollar Tree, students sort the hearts into the containers by color. I've had the hearts for a while so I don't quite remember where I purchased them. 

I don't think you can tell from the photo angle, but the cups shows are blue, purple, red, and yellow. I purchased the cups and the manipulatives at the Dollar Tree. I found the manipulatives in the party favors section. The cups match up perfectly making this a great sorting activity! 

The erasers are back! This is the same type of activity, there are just three items to sort versus two in the previous activity box.

I recently made this letter sorting activity with some letter beads I picked up at Michael's. I had to hot glue them into the tray so the students new where to sort them to. (Yes, I know I duplicated 2 letters--whoops!) I will say I think the letters in each bag vary. I picked the letters for the tray that I had the most of for sorting purposes.

Color sorting for two colors with the pom-poms. I bought the little dip dishes at the Dollar Tree. I also picked them up in green and blue to use for sorting activities too. I can't believe I didn't think to buy these little dishes sooner!

Silverware sorting! I simply taped picture of each item to the bottom of a tray (found at the Dollar tree) and purchased plastic silver pieces from the Dollar Tree as well. I wanted the materials to look as real as possible, but also didn't want to use real knives for sorting. Obviously.

I found these flip lid containers in packs of 2 per color at the Dolalr Tree this summer. I labeled each container with a letter and write letters on foam cubes. Students sort the cubes into the containers by letter.

I found these clothespins at Michael's during Valentine's Day. I got the pails there at that time too. I use this activity in two ways. For some students they simply drop the clothespin into the correct container. Others, will clip the clothespin around the edge of the pails for extra fine motor practice. 

I believe this number mat is made by Lakeshore. It's been around for a while. The activity itself comes with directions for various games and activities. I added it to a task box to use a sorting activity for numbers. Students place each number in the correct square on the mat.

I purchased this activity in a pack from Hailey Deloya at The Autism Tank. You can purchase the sorting pack {here}. I just prepped these two pages and added them to a task box for a sorting activity. Easy peasy.

This sorting activity was really simple to put together. I already had a ton of pipe cleaners. I just picked up some travel toothbrush containers at the Dollar Tree. I cut pipe cleaners to fit inside. Student sort by color, then place the lids on the containers when they are done.

This would be the most difficult sorting task we have. They are not only sorting by color, but by shape too. I only have 2 students who complete this activity. One is doing so independently, one who still needs a few prompts.

Here are more of the mini dip containers I mentioned above. Students sort the buttons by color. I found the buttons in Michael's in a craft pack. 

I took a Lakeshore bug sorting activity we had and placed two of the animals in a work box. This also comes with bug scoopers. I had a pair in the box as well, but a lot of my students were playing with them so I took them out.

All the items in this box were purchased at Dollar tree. Green and blue stones with the mini dip dishes.

Using some farm counters and what I believe are old paint cups? Students sort the animals out by colors. We used to have transportation counters in this activity but I had students who just wanted to drive them around the table- HA. So we switched to farm animals.

I simply made this sorting mat (I think), printed it out and laminated it onto black construction paper. Students sort the counting bears by color into the correct circle. 

So there you have it. All of our current sorting task boxes. Next up I'll feature all of our matching activities.

If you're looking for more great work box ideas be sure to visit Autism Classroom News! The first Wednesday of every month Christine posts a work basket Wednesday link up. Head there to check out more ideas from other special ed bloggers!

 Workbasket Wednesday at Autism Classroom News

Don't forget to enter the {giveaway} to win my latest Cookie Tray Activities pack {AND} all of the magnetic supplies you'll need for cookie tray activities! (Giveaway ends 3/9/15)



Melissa said...

Hi, where can I find the one for sorting by both shape & color? I love the early graphing skills it is teaching as well! Thank you so much for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas! These are super awesome. Definitely going to be including some of these into my classroom

MsV said...

These are fantastic ideas!!! I will certainly use some of them this school year! I've made quite a few up of my own from items at the dollar store. It's a great place to find "stuff" that the kids can sort! Thanks again!! C

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