When working with students who struggle to follow directions accurately, it can be tricky figuring out where to begin.
I always try to determine first if the student is having trouble with actually comprehending and processing the directions OR if they are lacking understanding of the basic concepts or vocabulary embedded into the directions.
For example, think of directions that teachers give to their students in the classroom…
o “Before you sit down at your desk, put your backpack away.”
o “After you finish your worksheet, turn to page 47 of your textbook and start reading.”
o “While solving this math problem, show your work beside the question.”
o “Draw a picture of the story on your paper and then write a description under the drawing.”
…I could go on for days.
My point is there constantly are basic concepts embedded in classroom directions. So, as SLPs (or teachers), we need to make sure our students have a strong understanding of those concepts BEFORE we begin working on complex, multi-step directions.
I’ve put together a list of some of the most common classroom language concepts used within directions that should be assessed regularly with these students. Please use these handouts and charts to track progress, to increase your students’ understanding, and to collaborate with classroom teachers. Enjoy! ☺