Why do some students need instructions/information repeated?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Yeah, the subject. I just find myself curious about the various reasons why "directions one time and one time only!" may legimitately not work for all students.
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Memory issues, listening comprehension problems, attention problems, processing problems, sequencing problems (can't keep order of steps straight) etc.

    Having the directions available for them to look at (or have re-read if they are non-readers) is key. Also, directions that have a lot of assumptions built into them can confuse many students.
     
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  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Since I work with SPED students all day, every day, it never occurred to me that some people actually get to just give directions once. I always end up saying the same thing at least five different ways to get anyone started on anything. That's normal, right? ;)
     
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  5. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    I'll add that, sometimes, they don't just need directions repeated. They need them modeled or explained another way.
     
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  6. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    I don't teach sped anymore, and that's still how my day goes... :)

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm just confusing some of them more by saying things so many times, in so many ways.
     
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  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Sometimes I feel like I am trying to find their "native tongue" and failing miserably. I have worked very hard to find patience, allowing me to find humor at times, avoid frustration at the very least. My students all have processing disorders of some kind, and, as HS students, a "bit" of attitude just for fun. As I tell myself every day, this is what job security looks like - it makes me smile.
     
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  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I almost always have a powerpoint with simple directions. When it's not on the Powerpoint, it's on paper, students have it, and I go over it. I specifically point out and explain what to do. I also try to chunk assignments, or even questions simplified, meaning have only one part or no more than 2 part questions.
    Normally this works for my gen. ed students, this way they have been exposed to the directions in 2-3 ways / times.
     
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  9. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    ^^^ This.... very few students and people in general are auditory learners. AND... if instructions are long, maybe they miss or can't remember a piece. I am an adult and if there is a list of instructions even I might not get it all the first time unless it's also written down.
     
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  10. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the thoughts!

    It's nothing I'm having particular problems with... I was reading an article and the thought train went here.
     
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  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    A lot of teachers have trouble following directions, too!

    Heck, I'm sure the district office would say the same thing about site administrators! lol
     
  12. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Riiiighhhhhhht?!? I died the first time I set foot in a gen ed room after being away for a while. I was like, "Oh...I can just...tell you what to do."

    The struggle is so real! I think some kids just genuinely cannot process language beyond simplified single steps. It has certainly taught me to be as brief and to the point as possible. I always get high ratings on giving directions and routines/procedures. :laughing:
     
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  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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  14. rpan

    rpan Comrade

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    Sometimes I wonder if one ear in and the other ear out is a genuine medical condition. I feel like that most days!
     
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Everyone's brain is different, so one person's communication might be perceived or attended to differently from the other brains in the classroom. Often it's more of a difference than a disability which in the long run is a good thing not a bad thing. If all brains processed and attended the same, then cooperative progress would diminish in science, business situations, sports, any procedure that requires thinking skills. Personally, I find it dangerous to criticize students who don't catch on the first time; I wonder if it's better to guide them in processing/attending to instructions. Two ways to do this; when a student asks a question, scaffold the student through the instructions with questions to help the student figure out what to do. Another procedure is to have another student re-explain the instructions; hearing it in kid language restructures the neurons and further solidifies the development of understanding directions and applying them to the task at hand.
     
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  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    So many reasons why. In a general ed classroom with students that do not have processing disorders, hearing impairments, etc., it can often come down to behavior. Intentional or unintentional.

    I have to train (and often retrain!) my students to not think that transition times are chatting times. Otherwise I have to spend three minutes getting their attention to give directions for 30 seconds.

    Some things I've learned:

    Don't hand out activity sheets until AFTER you have given directions. Otherwise the kids will be reading while you're explaining and will miss half of what you say.

    Actively get their attention before talking. Make sure everyone is focused on you.

    Ask questions periodically during instructions. "What do you do after you rinse the beaker?"

    Predict where kids will get lost and address that during instruction. "This part is confusing, pay close attention..."

    Refuse to repeat yourself. Don't be the lazy way out. Make a kid ask several peers before asking you. Make it hard for him to catch up because he wasn't focusing. He will pay better attention the next time. Common sense must prevail with this part, of course. But in my classroom it isn't odd to hear "No, not going to explain it again. See if you can figure it out. The instructions are on your sheet."
     
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  17. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    Especially with adolescents and teens, because so many things are on their minds, I often have to treat them like they're special ed., even when they're not.
     

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