Special Education Strategies: Alternatives to Missing Recess

Do you have a student who struggles with task completion? Is recess or play period withheld as a punitive action until their work is completed?

In today’s Teacher Tips newsletter, Watson suggests alternatives to withholding recess or play time for students who struggle with task completion in class. Studies show the importance of recess/play for students’ development. Read on for alternatives!

  • Use a visual Independent Work Schedule which lists out tasks that need to be completed by your student. This will help establish a clear routine. Encourage your student’s participation by allowing them to check off each item in the schedule as it is completed.
  • Use a timer with or without audio cues to allow your student to monitor the time allotted for task completion. Your student may even choose to use their own watch or timing device to monitor the time. When using this strategy, be sure that this timing device does not become a source of anxiety for your student.
  • Break down assignments into chunks to help make tasks that may seem overwhelming to your student more manageable. Encourage your student to complete each chunk one section at a time.
  • Use a reinforcement tower to enable your student to track his/her progress towards earning a reward. Each block in the tower will hold a task that needs to be completed with the reward in the block at the end of the activity.

To learn more strategies to motivate your students with special needs to complete their tasks without withholding recess, check out our YouTube video below and visit the corresponding special education resource page. For more special education resources, visit Watson Life Resources.