In our last blog, we reviewed the strategy of a mini-map to reduce work avoidance behaviors and increase student success.  For some students, a simple checklist is all they need to get them started and keep them moving through academic activities.  However, other students may need a bit more to be successful.  Here are some considerations if the

mini-map is not as effective for the student.

1. Decorate the mini-map with a highly preferred character or thing.  Dragon Ball Z characters or Elmo off to the side can help a student embrace this strategy and follow it successfully.  As with most strategies, include the student in the creation of the strategy whenever possible.
2. Add a motivating activity at the end of the mini-map.  Remember to encourage the students to check off activities as they are completed.  This can increase independence and provide a sense of accomplishment.
3. Use a “sandwich” technique of strategically placing simpler, or more preferred activities at the beginning and end of the mini-map.  When the student sees an activity that they would like to do at the beginning of the list, they are more likely to get started.  Once they have checked off the first activity, then they are to proceed to the next.  Although this might not be a preferred task, they can easily see that another activity that they like to do is soon to follow.
4. Add an element of choice.  You can do this by either having the student choose three of the four activities on the mini-map.  This allows them to have some control over their academic activities while still holding expectations of completing academic tasks.  Another way to provide choice is to have the student decide the order in which they complete the checklist.  When you go to the grocery store, you might skip around the list, but you still get everything that you need by the end of the shopping visit.
We have seen how mini-maps can be essential to promote independence and success in the school setting.  The next blog will take this same strategy into the home and community environments.

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