Higher Level Academics In Task Boxes

Do you want to try task boxes, but think your students are too high for them? They aren't! I find it easier to do higher level academics in task boxes than coming up with new ways to practice lower level skills such as "put in".

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First, let's talk about why we should use task boxes. Our students tend to be very adult focused and prompt dependent. It happens naturally because our students have a lot of needs and require prompting and supervision most of their school day. Sadly, the result of giving students all of the supports they need (monitoring, prompting, cues, visual supports, aides, etc.) leads to students who become very reliant on the support and high level of feedback. It is our job as their teachers to find ways to peel back all of the supports and to teach students to be independent. One of the ways we target independence in my program is by using task boxes. 

Here are some examples of how we practice addition, ordinal position, following multi-step directions, etc.

With these telling time cards, students draw the hands of the clock. I use these for whole and half hours. Depending on the student, I might put 5 to 15 cards. You could mix in whole and half hour cards if your student can handle it. These are SUPER easy prep! I laminate and then just gather dry erase markers. You can give the student his favorite color dry erase marker or add in a language component by requiring the student to ask for the color s/he wants.

We just wrapped up a science unit on animal habitats, so some of my students had this science sorting task in their task box this week:

For students who are working on reading and comprehension, we include context clip cards. Students have to read and choose the word that makes the most sense. My stronger readers get clip cards with all text while my early readers get the cards with pictures. 

Once prepped, these higher level academic work tasks take very little effort to use. All you really need are dry erase markers and clothes pins and you are ready to go.  Prep tip: Use Velcro to attach the numbers to number mats, the tens frames pieces, etc. Velcro circles are super easy to use!

Don't forget, you can take a stack of clip cards or task cards and split them among 2 or 3 students if they are going to be doing task boxes at the same time. 

Looking for more posts on task boxes? Click the pictures below to read more:


  1. I love this idea of task boxes! I've been trying to have some of my reading groups do "centers" sessions, which is hard to do in a resource room setting. Task boxes would make so much more sense because they're small and portable!

    1. Task boxes have helped my students become so much more independent! Definitely give them a try!!