While browsing through some of the other sections here at Families.com, one of Kori’s articles in Parenting caught my eye. The title, Some Kids Need More Specific Guidance and Instruction, sounded very much like a topic that would be discussed in education. Therefore, I took a look.
In Kori’s article she discusses how some children cannot survive on general rules or directions. They need more. They need specific details on how you wish for them to act and carry out actions.
Kori talked from the stand point of a parent by discussing how it may be better to say “get dressed, eat your breakfast, and brush your teeth” rather than “get ready for school”.
However the same is true for teaching. Some children just do not respond well to a general announcement made to the class. Some children do need more guidance and instruction than others.
Most teachers make general class announcements. For example a teacher may say aloud, “Let’s get ready for lunch” or “Settle down” or “Clean up”. Most children will respond by carrying out the action that they know the teacher wishes to be carried out. The students know what to do because at the beginning of the year the teacher spent much time on the specifics of these general announcements.
However some children never make the connections between the specifics and the generals. While it is still very appropriate to make general announcements to the class, teachers must be careful to give specifics when needed.
For example after announcing to the entire class that it is time to clean-up, the teacher may need to turn to Johnny and specifically tell him to put the blocks back in the box. This way Johnny has no question about what task he should be carrying out and therefore he will be less likely to cause trouble.
In many cases children who need more specific directions will simply wander around the room during clean-up time because they are uncertain what they should begin cleaning up first.