For student year
Helps students to
Helps teachers to
Some students, including many on the autism spectrum or with learning differences may need additional support with tasks requiring executive functioning and working memory, including multi-step tasks where a student must remember and undertake several steps before the task is complete.
Self-management tools allow the student to be independent in the classroom and take an active role in monitoring their progress in assigned tasks. Self-management skills can be used to improve academic achievement, productivity, organisational skills, and reduce off-task behaviours.
Visual tools such as task sheets or checklists are helpful in developing organisational skills and independence in students.
Preparing to teach
How does it help?
Providing visual self-management tools for complex activities or assignments can help students to build their organisation skills, independence, and engagement.
These tools help students to:
- break down complex activities into manageable steps
- create checklists using the steps.
Task sheets are clear and easy to understand, and provide students with information about complex classroom tasks, e.g.:
- what they need to do
- the standard of work required
- the steps they need to take to complete a task
- the order in which they should complete the steps.
Checklists help students to:
- remember the materials they need
- keep track of individual steps in a task
- check off steps as they are completed
- monitor their progress
- reward themselves for completing a task
- feel capable and successful.
It works better if:
- students create their own checklists – they are more powerful when created by the student
- you begin with smaller task-based checklists and gradually move to more complicated checklists
- task sheets clearly outline each component of the task
- student use of checklists initially is monitored to ensure students understand which items, steps, or materials need to be included on the checklist.
It doesn’t work if:
- task sheets are overloaded with complex information
- task sheets or checklists are not explained
- use of checklists is not monitored.
In the classroom
How do I do it?
- Identify which students could benefit from visual self-management tools.
- Choose the most appropriate tools for each student’s needs.
- Prepare self-management tools required.
- Monitor students’ use of the self-management tools and scaffold as required.
- Break down complicated activities into manageable steps.
- provide a clear and easy to understand task sheet to students for complex classroom tasks or assessment tasks, which outlines each component of the task and the requirements for the task;
- Read through the task sheet with students and explain how to use it.
- Help students to identify which items need to be on their checklist (if this isn’t included on your pre-prepared checklist).
- Create checklists to ensure activities are completed accurately
- work with students to to break down complicated activities into manageable steps , or create a checklist for students that lists all steps and materials needed for each step.
- For students who require it, assist them with choosing which steps/materials need to be on the checklist;
- Monitor and support the student’s use of the checklist
Practice implementation planner template
We know that it is not always easy to keep track of what is working and what is not. So, we have created this template for you to record and reflect on what you are doing to help you create a more inclusive classroom. The implementation planner contains:
- Guidance around goal setting
- Reflection section (What worked, didn’t work and what to change and next steps.)
- Prompting questions
Set your professional learning goal for:
Use visual self-management tools in your classroom
Benefits of goal settingSetting, working towards, and reflecting on goals helps you grow professionally and improve your practice. You can access AITSL learning resources for teachers to learn more about:
How to set goalsThe Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership recommends using the SMART matrix to frame your goal setting.
SMART goals refers to goals that are: