Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Marci Glasner


Differentiation, student-centered, task boxes


Engagement is vital to all learning situations and has, according to Parsons et al. (2018) been associated with an increase in student achievement. Morgan (2013) highlighted that students comprehend little and lose focus of classroom instruction when teachers fail to use differentiated instruction. Therefore, the researcher in this project utilized task box instruction to increase student engagement and on-task behavior in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classrooms. Task-box instruction can accommodate for different ability levels and interests, while also modeling initial learning and providing practice with developmentally appropriate skills and strategies (Morgan, 2013). Specifically, task boxes involve providing students with a variety of tasks they can complete individually and at their own pace, in a way that suits them. Examples of task boxes created for an inclusive setting included: color sorting boxes, stringing beads, matching socks, and tracing lines and/or letters.

In addition to creating task boxes to be used in the ECSE setting, the researcher found that to ensure the successful implementation of task boxes in classrooms, it is essential to provide training for teachers on how to effectively use this student-centered approach (Serin, 2018). She subsequently developed a training for general education and special education teachers on the creation of task boxes and provided multiple ideas for implementing them into any classroom setting. By equipping teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge through training, schools can effectively integrate task boxes into their classrooms, promote student-centered learning and enhance overall academic achievement.

Keywords: Differentiation, student-centered, task boxes



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