Giving instructions for better learning

Most of the children in a class will be fairly good at paying attention to, understanding and remembering instructions. But we cannot assume that all learners have acquired these basic skills. 

It is useful to give instructions in a way that supports the learners' different attention, understanding and remembering ability levels. Here are some suggestions: 

1  Start by ensuring that you have the attention of all the learners.

  • Listen up. Hands on the table. Look at me. Pay attention. 

2 Tell and show the learners what they are expected to do.

  • Children are better at remembering a series of instructions when they are accompanied by a demonstration of what should be done. 

3  Repeat the instructions for each step calling the learner's attention to important aspects of the task.

4  You can also check that the learner has understood what they are expected to do by asking them to repeat the instructions. 

5  Another way to check that the learners have understood important aspects of the task is to repeat your demonstration making a mistake. Encourage the learners to give you feedback about your performance.