Give Clear, Concise Directions

Give Clear, Concise Directions

The third key category of classroom management is: Give Clear, Concise Directions.

Imagine giving directions to your students that provide them with no option but to do exactly what needs to happen. While it may take more time initially to think through the directions, consider how much time it will save when students complete a task correctly the first time and no time has to be used for repeating steps.

When students know what to do, they will usually be successful. When tasks are completed correctly, classroom time is used productively.

Here are the steps for creating and stating effective directions:

Step 1: Establish context. You may need to calm students down, excite them, change their mood or prepare them for movement.

Step 2: Provide a wait word. This might sound like, "When I say, 'Go!'" or "When you hear me say, 'Jump!'" or "When I say, 'Get busy!'"

Step 3: Begin directions with a verb. When you put step 2 and step 3 together, this might sound like, "When I say, 'Go!', visit with a neighbor about how our attitudes affect our academic performance."

Step 4: Clarify misunderstandings. After steps 2 and 3, this might sound like, "What can I clarify?" or "How can I be more clear?" or "What questions do you have?"

Step 5: State the wait word. Simply say whatever word or phrase you told your students to wait for. "Go!" "Jump!" "Get busy!"

Step 6: Check in during task completion. Move about the work area to ensure your students understand and are on task.

Click on the Next button, and write out your directions for a simple activity you know you will facilitate in your classroom.

Last modified: Monday, 2 July 2012, 11:02 AM