How to Extend Student Work Time (& a FREEBIE!)

Extend student work time using token boards. No more time racing away while your students are being unproductive! Lucky for you, there’s a car token board freebie  you can download by signing up for my email list.

autism, speech therapy, token boards, first/then, visual schedules, special education

1. Who might benefit from this approach?

Students who can only complete short tasks before needing reinforcement might benefit from this approach.  Maybe their attention wanders with longer tasks, or maybe they resist starting work when they can’t see how long a task will take. You can extend work time using token boards.

2. Why should I try this approach?

Not all tasks can be made visually apparent, where a student can see all of the steps for the task to be complete. Token boards can help with this and extend student work time.
Not all tasks are quick and done, either, but if your students are possibly capable of completing more complicated tasks, we owe it to them to try.
If your students are already comfortable with token boards, and realize that completing the tokens gets them a reinforcer, this can help bridge the gap.

3. How do I implement timed token boards?

Say, for example, your student can attend for about a minute. Set the timer for irregular amounts of time, from a little below one minute to an amount closer to your goal of 2 minutes. If the student is attending and working when the timer goes off, they get a token. Be sure to pick an achievable amount of time to extend their work. We always want to keep sessions positive, so slower increases in worrk time are better.
Make sure they can’t see the timer! Savvy students can figure out that as long as they are working at the end, they get the token. Then they will goof off for 90 seconds and work well during the last 10 seconds. Not what we are aiming for!
Students with more language skills can be told their goal of how long you want them to work consistently. Then they will only be given a token if they have worked steadily during the time period. It is still best to use irregular amounts of time, varying shorter and longer periods so some of the work time is easy.
Working orally? Get a count of how many responses they can usually give before their attention starts to wander. Give tokens at irregular numbers of responses between the number where they are and the number you are aiming for. Remeber to buld skills and extend work time in achievable increments.
To help your students race along, the fourth token board has a car theme.  You can get it, along with my other thematic token boards and a surprise freebie in this free download. Don’t miss this helpful resource!
autism, speech therapy, special education, token boards, visual schedules, special education
You can find the Getting Started with Autism Guide here!
Looking for more practical tips for using token boards? Check out this post.
I hope you love it! Enjoy!

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I’m Linda, an SLP who loves helping you build effective communication skills for your students using strategies and visuals. Pictures are time consuming, so let me make your life easier!

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