Following Directions Worksheets
Students will follow directions to complete a series of tasks in this worksheet set.
- 1 House
- Bed Sailing
- House (Farm)
- Stand (Fruit)
- Behavior Management Teaching Ideas
- Classroom Rules- Elementary Level
- Learning Contract Maker
- Progress Report Generator
How to Help Students Follow Directions
Students' success at school depends mainly on the clarity of instructions given by their teachers. As a teacher, you need to communicate with your students so they can understand and act upon any direction provided. Only then will you engage them in the activities and coursework effectively, thereby positively impacting their productivity and efficiency.
Children tend to have a shorter attention span than adults, and their minds wander. Your directions must be concise enough to register before they lose interest. Sometimes in class, students fail to follow the most straightforward instructions, which tends to cause frustration among teachers.
Remember that a big part of your role as a teacher is getting your students to initially listen and follow directions and then perform the tasks independently with confidence. What you are trying to communicate is just as important as how you communicate. Here are a few simple tricks to help your students follow directions the first time.
Call for silence to ensure you have their attention
As a kid, you might remember a noisy classroom and your teacher standing right in front and staring back in complete silence. If yes, you probably also know it is a sure-fire way to call for silence. Ask them to be attentive. Give directions once you have the full attention of your class. This way, they will be more likely to understand your directions and follow them.
Give clear and precise directions
As an adult first and as a teacher second, the onus of giving directions in a clear, defined manner lies on us. Just like it's hard to hit what you don't aim for, giving unclear instructions will rarely give desired results. With varying stages of maturity and imagination, students can interpret words differently. As such, the best way forward is to give clear directions, which leave little to no room for misinterpretation.
Avoid using vague terms like 'a couple', 'a few,' 'some,' 'after a short time, etc. Replace these terms with concrete countable terms that the students can quantify logically. You must have a set of rules which you should articulate as 'must haves' over which you would entertain no discussion or query.
Make it a point to speak with as much clarity as you can afford while giving directions keeping in mind your students' age, receptiveness, and general mood. However, as a rule of thumb, clear directions are usually concise.
Try giving one direction at a time.
We all have had peers in schools, colleges, and universities who were excellent as students but somehow could not explain what they understood so clearly to anyone. This is often because, despite knowing something, communicating something logically in a manner understood by someone else is more of an art than a science.
However, it is an art that can be learned and even perfected over time if you follow the right directions and cues. The underlying principle to developing something logically is, in fact, remarkably simple: Give one direction at a time.
Just like we declutter our minds by thinking one thing at a time, similarly, if something is to be developed logically, it has to be developed step-by-step in a proper sequential manner. This may initially come off as annoying and disturbing to some, but this develops into a habit that becomes second nature with time. To assist in the initial stages of application of this tip, you may want to write the major learning points and then make a sequence that will assist your students in grasping the subject thoroughly and quickly.
Repeat your directions
As you may have learned early on in your career, children's attention spans vary considerably depending on age and interest levels. However, one thing is sure that students never fully listen to what is being taught with 100% attention for the complete duration of the lecture. Thus, the main thrust lines of your instructions must be repeated while being logically developed throughout your lecture.
Repetition does not have to be verbal always. Sometimes, it would greatly assist if you could write down on a whiteboard the essential learning objectives to be disseminated to students in your lectures. Similarly, you can post your lectures online for later, which will be available to your students at all times so they can review whatever you have taught them. It never hurts to repeat something you want emphasis on.
This is one fact that cannot be emphasized enough. Giving examples is a sure-fire way to grasp and retain your students' attention and a quick way to make sure that they understand a concept. This is quite logical and simple: the relatability of the example helps cement a concept or an idea in your mind. Examples can be of different types and varying nature. For a younger class, you may want to use an example of how fruit pies are distributed to get them to understand how a pie chart works and what it stands for. For a higher education class such as an economics class at a university, you may explain how economic decisions positively or negatively affected any country's growth or retardation.
You have to exercise some caution in this, though. This is because you need your examples to be good enough to relate to people while most are related to your topic.
Teaching is a beautiful process of sharing knowledge. As you directly influence someone's ability to get ahead in life, you carry a great responsibility in doing your best and finding ways to improve your teaching skills. Giving understandable and clear instructions will significantly assist you and your students, who will benefit most academically.