Here's the basics for how the TEACCH approach is set up:
First, I removed the toy/ activity visual that is the reinforcer for finishing the task (my students still get free choice after they finish their work, but I removed the visual). I had a few kiddos who were just obsessing over the visual of the toy, and they couldn't get through the work because they were so distracted by the visual of the super preferred item. Instead, I show students a simple "first/ then" before they start independent work. For example, I could show them, "first table work, then chips," but then I would not leave the chip symbol on the student's desk.
Many of the TEACCH programs also include a visual schedule for kiddos that shows them what tasks they need to complete. This often involves having kiddos match picture cards to identify/find what tasks they need to complete. I have numerous kiddos who can't match independently yet, so I removed this step from my system. Instead, we simply set the work out for the kiddos to complete. I like the thought of the kiddos matching cards to identify what work they should do next, but my kiddos just aren't there yet. Below is how I used to do it. The little schedule card showed kiddos what box they needed to get off the shelf and complete (they matched the colored shape on the schedule to the colored shape on the box).
This is how I do it now... The work to be completed is simply stacked to the left of the kiddo. No more complex matching system!
- All work in the system is at student's independent level
- Students work from left to right (the work to be completed is on the left of the kiddo and the work that has already been completed is to the right of the kiddo)
- Student's DO NOT take their work apart
- Completed work goes in a designated spot
Here are a few examples of independent work stations in my classroom. They're all slightly different to meet the kiddo's individual needs, but they all include the main components above.