Guiding Through the Day: Work/Activity Systems
About Activity Systems
Activity systems, briefly stated, are grouped series of activities that children are taught to complete independently, in order, from a checklist-like or mini-schedule-like format.
Activity systems can be used across environments to support academic skills, fine motor skills, recreation and leisure skills, grooming, domestic chores, community activities, vocational skills, etc.
All tasks or activities that go into an activity system have previously been taught to the the independent level. Activity systems that are to be completed at a desk, especially for beginners, should be taught at a separate location and then moved to the independent work station when mastered.
Example 1: John has a specific location where only independent work occurs. He has a strip of velcro on his desk, on which there are three different icons of his favorite cartoon characters followed by a "check schedule" icon. On the shelf, there are three tasks with labels that correlate with the three icons on his work schedule. A tab of velcro awaits the match with the schedule icon. John's tasks are related to fine motor practice and review of skills John has learned in class or during 1:1 work.
John takes the icon furthest left
and matches it to the task. He picks up the task and places it on his
desk. He completes the task and puts the finished task in the laundry
basket on the floor to his right. He repeats the cycle until it all
three icons have been matched and all tasks have been completed and
placed in the laundry basket.
He then takes the check schedule icon to his schedule and places it in the pocket below before taking the icon that leads to his next activity.
has a job cleaning the office at a dentist office. She has mastered
several tasks that she must do for the job, including, taking out the
trash, putting the magazines in a pile, wiping down the table and
vacuuming the floor.
Her work system consists of a laminated checklist, top to bottom, on a clip board with a vis-a-vis marker on a string for checking off the items. The items on the system include: Unlock door, Remove and tie trash bags, Put in new trash bags, Take trash to dumpster, Stack magazines, wash table, vacuum floor, put supplies away, take a break.
Gallery and Tips >