28 Ways to Ensure That You and Your Learners Are on the Same Page

Are you looking for ways to ensure that you and your students are on the same page? If so, keep reading.

1. Make it pleasant and positive for the student to ask questions about things not grasped. Praise the student by assisting, congratulating, etc.

2. Minimize distractions to enable the student’s capacity and ability to listen and follow instructions.

3. Make instructions important to the student. Attempt to relate instructions to past experiences.

4. Praise the student for answering oral questions and instructions without requiring frequent repetition: (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.).

5. Praise those students in the classroom who respond to oral questions and instructions without requiring repetition.

6. Jot down oral instructions. Train the student to cross each step off as it is finished.

7. Reward other students for listening, following instructions, and answering oral questions.

8. Give instructions/directions that will accommodate various learning styles (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.).

9. Create a written list of procedures the student is to follow (e.g., how to tag papers, format for mathematic tasks, etc.).

10. Reward the student (e.g., a break, visit briefly with a peer, etc.) for keeping eye contact and listening for a specific length of time.

11. Plan essential learning activities /tasks/ lectures at times when the student is most likely to keep attention (e.g., one hour after medication, 45 minutes after lunch, first thing in the morning, etc.).

12. Utilize images, diagrams, the smartboard, and gestures when delivering information.

13. Converse with the student to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., needing oral questions and instructions repeated) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., answering oral questions and instructions without requiring repetition).

14. Inform the student what to listen for when being given instructions, receiving information, etc.

15. Record the tasks and let the student listen to instructions/instructions as often as appropriate.

16. Teach and practice “active listening” skills. Train the student to listen to what another person is saying and respond based on the information received.

17. Teach and practice efficient communication skills. These skills include listening, keeping eye contact, and maintaining positive body language.

18. Inform the student that oral questions and instructions will be given only once.

19. Give instructions/instructions on a one-to-one basis before assigning a task.

20. Praise the student for answering oral questions and instructions without requiring repetition based on the number of times the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the number of times required for reinforcement.

21. Teach the student instruction-following skills (e.g., listen carefully, write down steps, etc.).

22. Separate at several points during the presentation of directions, explanations, or instructions to check the student’s comprehension of the information given.

23. Utilize a timer to help the student know how much time they have to follow through with instructions.

24. When ideas are presented, have the student listen and takes notes for “Who, What, Where, On occasions where, How, and Why.”

25. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., following instructions with one signal) and which reinforcement will be implemented regarding when the agreement has been met.

26. Consider using a classroom management app to help the student understand what is expected of them. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

27. Consider using Alexa to help you with classroom management. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

28. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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