Task Initiation

Instructional Strategies

  • All teachers use the following routine: teach the student to use a checklist to scaffold completion of a routine task/routine (e.g. Do Now). Specify the expectations for completion of the task. Have the student self-monitor completion of the task. 
  • Ask the student to repeat the instructions and provide the opportunity for the student to ask questions.
  • Help the student with the first step(s) and then gradually release the responsibility to the student.
  • Assess skill gaps related to the task and teach into those gaps.
  • Work with the student to set short term goals in order to complete the task.
  • Help the student to break a task down into smaller components and set goals related to completion of the smaller components.
  • Teach the student direction-following skills: listen carefully, ask questions, use environmental cues (peers, written directions, etc.), rely on examples provided, wait until directions are given before beginning.
  • Pair the student with a peer to whom he/she can go with questions.
  • Utilize a structured check in-check out (CICO) procedure (see link to google drive with resources at bottom of video)


  • Allow the student to demonstrate understanding in a variety of ways.
  • Set a time frame (can use a timer) within which the student must begin the task.
  • Provide the student with a model or example of the task.

Additional Resources

Focus Area/Sample SMART Goal/Sample Tier 2 Intervention Plan:

Focus Area

Sample SMART Goal

Sample Tier 2 Intervention Plan

Task initiation

Student will increase frequency of beginning a classroom task immediately or asking for help within 1 minute from 2/10 times to 8/10 times as measured by observation by June 2020.

  1. Teach student to identify the first step in completing a given task/direction
  2. Set contract with consequences (positive and negative) for beginning or not beginning task
  3. Reinforce when complete
Task initiation Student will improve his/her task initiation from 0% to 75% as measured by completion of a Do Now checklist by December, 2019. 
  • Teacher with classroom nearest to locker will make sure the student is getting to his/her 1st period class on time and prepared, using the locker checklist. A different teacher will make sure that at midday locker time, student is prepared for the next round of classes, using the locker checklist
  • Daily within class, teacher will use the task initiation checklist with the student during the Do Now task at the beginning of each period, gradually moving the responsibility to the student for completing independently, starting with direct and explicit teaching of each step. Support faded as student demonstrates mastery.
  • Teacher checks in daily with the student at the end of the Do Now to provide feedback. 

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