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1st Step Transition and Life Skills Lab

The First Step Program Concept
The First Step Program is designed as a tool to address Basic Skill Development and Transition requirements for Students who are Low Cognitive Functioning at the Secondary level that need guided instruction. It can also be used at middle school or upper elementary for those students who have the ability to function more independently.

The skills in First Step are very basic and designed to allow the students to learn and develop skills they may not possess. Each lesson is broken down into three parts. Part 1 introduces the student to the required tools and materials. Some of your students may complete this part easily, while others may not be able to go any further than Part 1. Part 2 of each lesson the “How To” section. This is where the student learns how to use the tool or material. We also refer to Part 2 of the lesson as the “Practice” section.  Part 3 of each lesson is the “Work Activity” or Application part of the lesson.

Some students will not be able to go past Part 1 of a lesson. Others may be able to complete Parts 1 and 2. Others will be able to complete all three Parts of the lessons. A concept and functional Mastery score along with an interest assessment will be produced for the Parts of the lesson the student has been able to complete.

It is important to note that while Mastery and Interest Assessment of each skill will be produced, the lessons also serve as the vehicle to help students develop Work Behavior Skills and introduce them to the Practical Application of Economic Life Skills. They will learn how to follow work procedures and work rules. This will help them transfer the work skills learned in First Step to the real world. They will also learn a positive work ethic and learn how to get along with fellow workers as well as supervisors. 

The First Step program rewards students for their work. They will get a paycheck and will have a First Step store where they can purchase real items. This token economy is designed to help students learn how to make economic choices. It also introduces basic money management skills.

Congratulations New 2018 First Step Labs!

What teachers are saying about 1st Step:

 “We have a student who has completed all jobs/tasks in 1st Step and is now in the PAES Lab giving that a try. I truly believe the experience she had in the 1st Step better prepared her for a successful experience in the PAES Lab, vs. us placing her directly into PAES.” 

- Christine Dohrmann, Crystal Learning Center, MN, PAES Lab, 1st Step & Work Based Learning, Robbinsdale School District 281

The First Step Lab©
A Developmental Transition & Life Skills Program
Designed for students with significant disabilities who require guided instruction and direct assistance.

Four Work Centers

  1. Basic Hand Tools
  2. Basic Household Skills
  3. Basic Measurement
  4. Employability Skills

40 Subjects - 119 Lessons - 354 Activities
Objectives - Defined Tasks - Step by Step Instruction
With DVD Instructional Videos

Transition Assessments & Curriculum at