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Focus First, Then Questions


August 03, 2010

Found In: following directions, routines & procedures

I have taught high school seniors for many years. I have a strategy for teaching them to follow directions that has worked with most students.

When I have written directions, I ask students take a minute or two and read the directions silently. As they read, they highlight the specific words that are important in the directions. For example, “create a bibliography” or “include a map” would be highlighted. I ask them to write down any questions they have. At the end of this quiet time, I ask for the first, second, third, etc. step in the directions. These can be listed on the board or the digipad that I use in class. Then I ask for clarifying questions.

This process has helped my seniors to focus first and then ask questions. They understand that no question is too simple or should be ignored. I also have a Question Box near the door for students to put any questions about assignments or content. I answer these questions before the class begins.

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