Instructional and Environmental Strategies for All Learners - Problems with Following Directions

Problems with Following Directions
  • Have the student verbalize written directions. By doing this, you will detect early errors or misunderstandings. 
  • Provide example of completed item. 
  • Model or demonstrate each step. Have students check off each step as it is completed. 
  • Provide only one portion of the assignment at a time. 
  • Divide longer orally assigned tasks into shorter ones. 
  • Face the child and speak slowly and distinctly. 
  • Provide visual reinforcement as often as possible when you speak to the class. 
  • Provide an outline of your lectures; use graphs and tables to reinforce concepts. 
  • Provide practice in noticing, describing, and comparing details. 
  • Check frequently that the student is following directions. 
  • Have students repeat or re-explain directions. 
  • Provide visual displays - flowcharts, webs, pictorials, pre-reading questions, and keyword note-taking organizers to help students listen and follow directions. 
  • Use a buddy system to clarify directions. 
  • Use cooperative learning activities (i.e. 3 before Me). 
  • Use mnemonic aids to signal steps (i.e. Does McDonalds Sell Cheese Burgers - divide, multiply, subtract, check, bring down). 
  • Teach students to highlight operational signs. 
  • Provide visual cues and reinforcement as often as possible in lecture classes. 
  • Very gradually help the student learn to take orally presented notes. 
  • Give the student extra time to respond to oral questions. 
  • Have the student look at you when you speak. 
  • Present the key points of a lecture at the beginning of your talk, then summarize. 
  • Have students write down each step of a problem and check off as they complete it.
Additional Links and Resources:

Math VIDS - mathvids/index.html 
Adapting Mathematics Instruction in the General Education Classroom for Students with Mathematics Disabilities - 5928
Learning Disabilities and Assistive Technology - 
Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative Assistive Technology - 
Elementary Math Chart - http:// supports/materials/reading/pdf/Math_Chart_elem.pdf 
Middle School Math Chart - materials/reading/pdf/Math_Chart_Mid_Sec.pdf