Modeling Routines, Skills, and Procedures

Modeling Routines, Modeling Steps

UDL 3.3 UDL 3.4

Task Modeling is a visual instructional strategy in which teachers show students how to perform a skill/routine/procedure by demonstrating the series of steps involved before asking students to complete those steps independently. The teacher first defines the task for students by breaking down the skill/routine/procedure into discrete steps (e.g., First, Next, Then, After, Last). Using verbal explanations and physical modeling, in addition to a written list with an optional picture outline of task steps, the teacher describes and demonstrates student expectations. After, students are provided with an opportunity to practice the task with support before being expected to engage in the task with independence.

Implementation Tips

Creating Task Modeling Charts
Create charts that include written steps or visual images that break down procedures into small, manageable steps for students to reference while introducing a new task. Use a variety of colors to help each step of the process stand out (e.g., using multi-colored sticky notes or markers), just like [[ | this example ]].
Introducing a New Task
Demonstrate the steps of a task that students will be expected to follow by modeling and explaining the purpose for each step (e.g., “We put completed work in the inbox so it does not get misplaced.”). Emphasize what students are expected and not expected to do (e.g., “You should hand in your work, but not without your name on it.”).
Repeated Demonstration
Repeat the modeling of steps to support student understanding of expectations if students seem confused. After, challenge students by modeling parts of a task incorrectly and ask students to point out and correct the errors, or ask students to role play the new task.
Using Task Modeling to Provide Individualized Support
Use Task Modeling to provide individualized support for students and create small versions of procedural charts that can be easily accessed (e.g., taped to the desk). Personalized charts should outline steps specific to student needs (e.g., asking for help, unpacking, keeping a calm body when frustrated).
Make previous task modeling charts accessible for students to refer to by creating content related references areas around the classroom (e.g., one area designated for math procedures/routines, another area for morning work procedures/routines).
Building a Routine
Use the Task Modeling strategy any time a new skill/routine/procedure involves multiple-step directions to help students navigate the task with ease (e.g., how to prepare for Writing Workshop, what to do when finished with a writing piece).
Supporting Social Skill Development
Incorporate the Task Modeling strategy into non-academic parts of the school day (e.g., free play/choice time) to demonstrate multi-step tasks that students might be challenged by, such as asking a friend to play, to support student interaction.

Sample Task Modeling:
--1. Choose an activity.
--2. Ask someone, “Will you play __ with me?”
--3. If yes, take out materials from the activity shelf. If no, ask someone else.
--4. Take turns while playing.


Introducing a New Routine
Before administering an algebra assessment, a teacher uses Task Modeling to demonstrate the routine and expectations that students will follow when they are finished. First, students are directed to look at a chart with written procedural steps and visuals. While reading through the chart, the teacher models each step (e.g., “Once you are finished, your first step will be to place your calculator in the bin (walks over and places a calculator in the bin.”). When modeling a second time, the teacher tells students to notice correct and incorrect actions (e.g., “Give a thumbs-up if I’m following the routine, and a thumbs-down if I need to correct my actions.”). After, students are reminded to use the chart for reference when independently executing the routine.
Supporting Transitions
To guide students while transitioning from one activity to another (e.g., snack to Writer’s Workshop), a teacher reminds students to refer to a Task Modeling chart that outlines the steps students will need to follow in order to be prepared. Since the routine has already been introduced, the teacher has exemplar students quickly model the procedure for students to follow (e.g., “1. Put all snack materials away; 2. Take out writing journal and pencil; 3. Bring all materials with you to the rug.”). After, all students are asked to transition and are reminded to look at the chart for support.

Related Strategies