Instruction Strategies for Non - Traditional Learners

The following 25 strategies are not inclusive, but suggested approaches that can be easily implemented in Class-room Education.

  1. Break down tasks into small areas of Learning and present them to the student in a paced, sequential manner.
  2. Present a variety of short assignments.
  3. Make sure the student has acquired one skill before presenting the next skill in the sequence of learning tasks.
  4. Structure assignments for the students and provide frequent feedback about the quality and appropriateness of work completed.
  5. Provide activities that allow the student to experience small successes in order to enhance his - hers self-concept.
  6. Use as many modalities (sight, hearing, speaking, touch) as possible when presenting materials. Making information available through different senses helps students to be active learners who use their strongest channels to get information.
  7. Capitalize on the student's strengths; For example: if the student is a good listener and can follow oral directions well, present materials orally. Teaching through the student's strengths helps to remediate weak areas.
  8. Teach now concepts in as concrete a way as possible. It is often easier for learning disabled students to learn the theory after practical application.
  9. Relate new material to everyday life whenever possible. This can make abstract concepts more understandable.
  10. Control the complexity of directions. Many learning disabled students benefit from having directions broken down into steps with one step presented at a time.
  11. Consider a non-traditional grading system that reinforces appropriate responses, for example, on a composition, provides 2 grade, 1 for content(ideas), the other for grammar and structure.
  12. De-emphasize timed tests. Provide additional time for task completion to alleviate pressure.
  13. Use a directed - reading approach for all assignments involving reading ie: (Social Studies, Science, English etc)
    A: Review new vocabulary
    B: Establish a purpose for reading e.g.'(reading to acquire specific information, reading to answer a specific questions etc (reader-writers)
    C: Provide a focus for reading to enhance attention.
  14. Limited the teaching of new vocabulary to words used in a specific lesson or exercise. Simple drawings and large print can clarify definitions in handouts.
  15. Help the student to visualize material. The more a student can visualize as well as hear what is presented, the better the material will be understood. Visual aids can include overhead projectors films. Slides, projectors, chalkboards, flip charts, computer graphics and illustration.
  16. Use colour whenever possible, visual impact is even sharper in colour coding as an aid to learning.
  17. Provide opportunities for touching and handling materials that relate to relate to ideas presented. This is a strengthen learning.
  18. Whenever possible, make announcements of changes in the schedule, assignments or examinations orally and in written form.
  19. Speak on an even spread, emphasising important points. If there are 3 points, it helps to say "My first point is ... and now, the second important point is ... etc.
  20. Make sure eye contact is frequent. This is important for maintaining attention and encouraging participation.
  21. Encourage students to sit in the front of the classroom, where they hear well and have a clear view of the chalkboard.
  22. Some students are particularly self-conscious about talking in front of groups. Ask theses students questions with short answers or start the answer trying not to interrupt once the student begins to respond.
  23. If possible, provide the student an opportunity to repeat verbally what has been taught as a check for accuracy. This can take place during the lessons or after class.
  24. It is especially important to pay attention to self-concept, enhancement when working with learning disabilities. Maximize opportunities for student success.
  25. Instructors should encourage students to obtain the help in the following:
    A: Note takers (readers)
    B: Tutors
    C: Tapes recorders for taping classroom, instruction, preparing homework and taking tests.
    D: Technology, typewriter, computers with spellcheck, calculators, kurzweil Reading machine.
    E: Recorded texts and voice indexing approaches.