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Pair Instructions with Visuals


Study Skills & Tools All Ages Strategy


Working Memory Attention

Pair Instructions with Visuals

If your student has difficulty staying on task through completion

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Visual aids, pictures and color-coding on instructions or planners provide added reinforcement to help students focus and remember better, especially for students with weaker executive functions.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: a) For younger students, provide pictures along with written instructions for multi-step tasks. A visual instruction card that a student can keep at the desk and check off after each step is ideal. b) Provide individual cards for a student's desk, including commonly used words, math formulas, or process steps. Don't require the student to scan the wall or the board to find this information. c) Suggest students use the same reminders at home as in the classroom so using them becomes habit. d) Have students use color-coded agendas, folders and notebooks by subject so they can easily scan for what they need.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Visual or written reminders help reduce the amount of information students need to remember while they are focusing on analyzing information and solving problems. Knowing they have these visuals to reference as they need them will also help the student work more comfortably and can lessen anxiety that is caused by not being able to remember.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Attention, Auditory Processing, Inhibition, Self-Regulation, Long-term Memory, Short-Term Memory, Working Memory, Processing Speed (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)