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Repeating Directions

Found in: listening and following directions; routines and procedures

I've struggled with students being confused after I give directions for independent work. Many of the students get right to work on an assignment, but some sit in their seats and do nothing. I race around the room to give individualized help and often repeat myself.

Now, after giving directions, I ask students to rate themselves 1-5, 1 meaning they don't understand most of what I said and 5 meaning that they could get started on the assignment as soon as I say 'go.' (To avoid embarrassment, students discreetly hold the appropriate number of fingers right in front of themselves.) I take a quick survey of the room and say that 4's and 5's can get started. I ask that anyone who rated themselves 3 or lower circle up their chairs with me so I can answer questions. I answer questions or repeat directions, and students leave the circle once they can rate themselves a 5.