Alternatives to loss of recess time involve using a variety of visual supports and motivation tools to prompt task completion during class time.
A visual schedule is a word, picture, or object sequencing of events. A visual schedule can give a sense of time and when an activity will end. Knowing what and when things happen may assist the student with starting and finishing assignments within a segment of routine.
A visual timer shows the progression of time. This can be a kitchen timer that can be set for x amount of time and then a bell goes off, indicating the time is up. It can be a visual timer without an auditory cue, which indicates time is up when the “red” portion runs out. Some students may be able to use their own watch and set the alarm as a signal for when time is up. A simple sand timer that one finds in games may be used as well.
Chunking or breaking down the task or assignment into smaller pieces or “chunks” can make overwhelming tasks doable. Review the assignment and divide it into parts and have the student do one part at a time.
Reinforcement Tower is a unique positive reinforcement system that allows a student to track his own progress and see when he will earn rewards for displaying appropriate behavior. This process allows the student to monitor how close he is to earning a reward. When beginning the process ensure that the student earns a reward quickly, consequently create the tower with fewer steps between each reward. As the student becomes more successful in starting and completing assignments increase the number of blocks between each reward.
I have a student who tends to avoid starting independent work and will put it off even with several prompts. If the student doesn’t finish in the time provided, I ask them to stay in for recess to finish in hopes that this will spur on some productivity. Are there any alternatives to missing recess to help students focus and get to work?