21 Strategies to Help Learners Who Have Trouble Reading or Following Written Instructions

Are you looking for strategies to help students who have trouble reading or following written instructions? If so, keep reading.

1. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment. • Complete assignments quietly. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

2. Provide a predetermined signal (e.g., clapping hands, turning lights off and on, etc.) before giving written instructions.

3. Get the student to keep a record (e.g., chart or graph) of their performance in following written instructions.

4. Give the student a copy of written instructions at their desk in addition to on the smartboard, posted in the classroom, etc.

5. Give the student a voice recording of written instructions.

6. Make sure the student achieves success when following written instructions.

7. Transfer instructions from textbooks and workbooks when images or other stimuli make it complicated to pay attention to or follow written instructions.

8. Get the student to question any written directions, explanations, or instructions they do not understand.

9. Make sure that instructions are given at a level at which the student can be successful (e.g., two-step or three-step directions should not be given to students who only know how to successfully follow one-step directions).

10. Stop the student from becoming over stimulated (e.g., frustrated, angry, etc.) by a learning experience .

11. Make sure that written instructions are presented on the student’s reading level.

12. Assess the clarity and quality of written directions, explanations, and instructions given to the student.

13. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the student to hurry to begin the task without following written instructions.

14. Teach the student written direction-following skills (e.g., read carefully, write down essential points, ask for clarification, wait until all instructions are received before beginning, etc.).

15. Give clearly stated written instructions (i.e., make the instructions as simple and concrete as possible).

16. Place the student far enough away from peers to enable them to pay attention to written instructions.

17. Provide all instructions, questions, and explanations concisely and at an appropriate rate for the student.

18. Praise the student for following written instructions based on the duration of time the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

19. Praise the student for following written instructions: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

20. Get the student to practice following written instructions on nonacademic tasks (e.g., recipes, games, etc.).

21. Consider using AI to teach reading comprehension.

22. Consider using Alexa to teach reading skills.

23. Try using one of our many apps designed to teach literacy skills and help students with reading issues:

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