Lots of people working in special education struggle with their students transitioning from preferred activities to non-preferred activities, but have you ever tried using a pause button?
You might be asking yourself, what the heck is she talking about it? Well, I went to a training in North Carolina, it was a TEACCH training. It was a 5-day classroom-like training. One of the things that they had taught us, that was so simple, it to use a pause button to get them to stop the preferred activity. Students nowadays all know what a pause button is and does, so they recognize the symbol immediately. For example, if the students are playing a board game and are not finished by the time Math is supposed to begin, the teacher places a visual “pause” button on or over the game and says “alright, its time to pause this game and start math”, students understand immediately that they will have a chance to come back to the game because it’s only paused and they don’t have to pick the game up either. I use a giant storage container top with a large pause on top of it so that they can see through the container top to their “paused” game.
You don’t even need to have a visual prepared for this. The student can be coloring a picture and its time to stop and you can simply draw a pause symbol in their paper, or on their desk or on a sticky note, or on a white board! Oh the possibilities! The pause button can go with you anywhere!! How quick and easy, is that!!