Following Directions

Instructional Strategies

  • Ensure directions are clear, direct, and use vocabulary appropriate for the student.
  • Have the student repeat the directions back to you.
  • Have the student highlight written directions and check off each part when complete.
  • Develop a cue with the student to alert him/her that you will be giving verbal directions.
  • Develop a consistent routine to signal to students that you will be giving directions. Ensure all students are attentive prior to giving directions. Be wary of flicking lights or clapping as some students may associate these with traumatic experiences.
  • Give directions prior to handing out materials.
  • Only give the student one or two directions at a time.
  • Provide the student with time to ask questions about the directions given. Check in with the student to ensure understanding.
  • Rephrase or restate directions.
  • Teach the student to preview an assignment to get the gist.
  • Teach the student the TQLR Strategy for active listening.
  • Utilize a structured check in-check out (CICO) procedure (see link to google drive with resources at bottom of video)


  • Provide written directions or demonstrate the steps.

Additional Resources

Focus Area/Sample SMART Goal/Sample Tier 2 Intervention Plan:

Focus Area

Sample SMART Goal

Sample Tier 2 Intervention Plan

Following directions

Student will increase the non-routine directions followed or help requested from 20% to 75% as measured by frequency data by April 2020.

Teach the student to listen actively using the TQLR Strategy. Establish a cue for the student to use when needing help, if he/she is not comfortable with actively seeking support. Develop a monitoring system to track the student’s success.

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