Following directions

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Bored of Ed, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Nov 7, 2007

    What can I do to increase their skills in following directions? Part of the problem is that they don't listen/pay attention to my directions, but even beyond that they don't do very well at all.

    I think this will need to happen very slowly and incrementally, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it.

    One of the suggested goals for my unit about exploration was to teach how to make a paper boat as an exercise in following directions. I didn't get to that yet, but meanwhile I wanted them to fold a paper in simple quarters for something else... It took about 20 minutes of chaos before (almost) every kid had theirs, and some I just gave up and did it myself to save energy. I had to repeat the procedure for every kid individually. If you're thinking 20 minutes isn't bad for that... I have 6 kids. And IIRC, one was in a pull-out at the time.
     
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  3. ITeachSDCkids

    ITeachSDCkids Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2007

    Hello! I am not sure what you have tried but you might try:

    Stopping and asking one student to repeat what was just said to their neighbor (GLAD technique)
    Directly asking a student who is not listening -"What did I just say?"
    Reading and stopping to randomly call upon students-so they need to follow
    As soon as talking or not listening starts be quiet until they notice something is different-as in you are no longer talking.
    Using gestures-cupping your ear for listening.
    Developing a points system with rewards for good listening and behavior-with prizes at end week (inexpensive things from dollar store that they might like)
    Giving positive and specific feedback when the class does listen
    Using something to indicate a signal for quiet and listening-I use a desk service bell.
    Going over your class rules briefly in the morning and reminding your class what they are working for-it sounds as if you are still building the classroom community.
    Direct consequences for not listening tailored per individual.
     
  4. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Nov 7, 2007

    I'm thinking more along the lines of activities geared towards listening and following directions, precisely because they don't seem able to do the things you've mentioned.

    Tomorrow we play Simon Says :)
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Nov 7, 2007

    I do activity sheets where they may just have a piece of paper with no written directions. They have to follow my verbal directions. We just did one with a picture of a haunted house and they had to draw a cat beside the door, a bat on the chimney, a witch in the window with the spider webs....
     
  6. rchlkay

    rchlkay Companion

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    Nov 8, 2007

    There's a Remedia book that I have on following directions. I haven't pulled it out this year yet, but my fourth graders liked some of the activities in it last year. I'll have to look at it to see exactly what age level it's geared toward but if I remember right, I'd say it's appropriate for third-sixth grade. I'll check it out when I get to school this afternoon. (Parent-Teacher Conferences today....)
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 8, 2007

    I was going to suggest a book like the one the above poster mentioned. I know there is one that has a ton of following directions activity sheets. Good luck!
     
  8. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2007

    If you're talking about for specific activities, step by step picture instructions could be a help. You can use Mayer-Johnson pictures if anyone in your school has that program (my FAVE!!!) and represent each step with a picture or two. For class routines that happen regularly, you could make a step-by step chart of what must happen (such as an arrival routines chart--1. hang coats 2. homework in homework bin 3. do morning work, or similar)

    Also you could have them practice giving directions for simple tasks--to a partner, or to you, to give them practice in step-by-step breakdown of tasks.
     

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