A Guide to Giving Clear Instructions to Your Kids

Are you looking for a guide to giving clear instructions to your kids? If so, keep reading.

1. Do not talk to the student from across the classroom. Go to the student, get their full attention, and then speak to him or her.

2. Urge teachers, coaches, paraprofessionals, school officials, etc., to give the student written instructions along with oral instructions.

3. To enable comprehension, urge the student to ask for clarification of any directions, explanations, and instructions before starting a task.

4. Urge the student to avoid ingesting any substance (e.g., drugs, alcohol, cold remedies, etc.) that might further alter their capacity and ability to direct or keep attention.

5. Give recorded information from lectures and seminars. Create questions from these recordings for the student.

6. Urge the student to create a 30-second definition of their goal to help them remain on-task and focused (e.g., “I will listen carefully.” “The better I listen, the better I will perform”).

7. Urge the student to create an understanding of the consequences of their behavior by writing down or talking through problems that may happen due to their need to have oral instructions and questions regularly repeated (e.g., not focusing on instructions may cause misinterpretation of a task that could lead to a lower grade and losing their place on the soccer team).

8. Select a peer to model excellent communication skills for the student.

9. Urge the student to say a mantra to themselves when entering a situation where they will receive instructions/instructions (e.g., listen carefully, listen carefully, listen carefully).

10. Do not criticize when correcting the student; be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the student to feel negative about themselves.

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

12. Create rules for listening (e.g., listen to instructions, ask questions about instructions if they are not grasped, follow the instructions, etc.). These rules should be applied consistently and followed by everyone in the classroom. Talk about the rules often.

13. Assess the appropriateness of requiring the student to respond to oral questions and instructions without needing repetition.

14. Assess the visual and auditory stimuli in the classroom. Ascertain the number of stimuli the student can tolerate. Remove the unnecessary stimuli from their surroundings.

15. Provide a signal to gain attention prior to delivering instructions orally to the student.

16. Provide instructions in a straightforward, specific manner.

17. Provide the student instructions to follow with no more than two or three steps (e.g., “Please open your text and turn to page 28.”). Instructions that involve several steps can be confusing and cause the student to have difficulty following them.

18. Provide the student one task to perform at a time. Present the next task after the student has followed instructions and successfully finished the prior task.

19. Get a peer to help the student follow oral questions and instructions.

20. Train the student to ask for clarification if he/ she does not understand oral or written instructions.

21. Consider using a classroom management app to help the student learn to respond appropriately to instructions. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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

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

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