Thursday, August 1, 2013

Special Education Classroom Job & Money Math

As a teacher who teaches kids with severe disabilities, one of my biggest goals is to teach kiddos skills that will help them succeed in the "real world". Yes, I would love for my kids to be able to add and multiply fractions, but realistically, knowing money math will help them to be more successful in their futures.

To work on money math, self-determination, and work skills, I am having classroom jobs that kids will get paid for (WITH REAL MONEY! Note: fake money is pointless for kids with disabilities- the generalization isn't there so don't use it). I have a wide variety of jobs for our class to ensure that even kids with wheelchairs and limited mobility still have a job they can succeed at. I think it's very important to make sure that you have a job that EVERY kid can do in your class. I have seen a lot of severe sped. teachers have class jobs and forget kiddos who are more severe intellectual and physical disabilities.

Our classroom jobs:
-Musician: chooses the music and turns music on and off during free-time and circle time. This job is great for kiddos with limited mobility because they can eye gaze or point to choose music and then push play button
-Chef: helps to pass out snack and drinks at snack time
-Custodian: wipes down table before and after snack time and keeps classroom and student free-time area tidy
-Carpenter: sharpens the pencils 
-Mail carrier: puts papers and worksheets into student mailboxes at the end of day. This job is great for kids who are readers
-Recycling chief: makes sure that all recycled goods are in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. They also collect recycling bins from other classrooms once a week with our facilities workers
-Veterinarian: gives our class gerbils food and water. Help to clean the cage once a week.
-Meteorologist: gives the weather each morning during circle time. This is another job that is great for kids with limited mobility or who are non verbal because they can eye gaze or point at picture symbols to tell the weather
-Line leader: leads the classroom to lunch, specials, and recess. This is also a good job for kiddos who use wheelchairs.
-Electrician: Turns the lights on and off when we enter and leave the classroom. Another great job for kiddos with mobility issues

To make the job display, I glued clothes pins onto a piece of wood and spray painted it. I glued picture symbols at the top to indicate jobs. Students' pictures can be easily moved with the clothes pins.

Students keep jobs for a week and are paid $0.10 for each day they complete their job. On Friday, students have the option to buy a Popsicle or ice cream for $0.50 if they have enough money. Students who are non-eaters can buy something else, options include: silly bands, stickers, small books, and toys. Some students need more support with jobs than others and that's okay. Students have some say in choosing their jobs each week, but be mindful that they aren't choosing a job that is too easy or too difficult.

These are what I use to help the students count their money and determine if they have enough money ($0.50) to buy a treat.

Do you have any other classroom jobs that are great options for kiddos with intellectual and physical disabilities? How do you reward students for completing classroom jobs? I'm always looking for new and fun ways to motivate students. 


  1. I really like this idea. I was wondering where the students keep their money during the week while they are saving up to buy something. Do they keep wallets at school?

  2. I just keep plastic bags with students' names on them in a bucket in a locket closet. We bring the bucket out daily when we do money math

  3. Do you have any ideas for students with Intellectual Disabilities and or Autism in a English classroom (middle school through high school)?

  4. excellent idea! I always love to hear how other sped teachers are being creative and challenging our kids!

  5. Just stumbled across your blog and I love this job idea! Do you give your students reminders? I have some 4th graders who would love this but I don't want to constantly nag them to do their jobs!

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