a.  Teach, practice, and reinforce good listening/attending skills (quiet voice and body, looking at the speaker, thinking about what is said).

b.  Use the student's name and eye contact to heighten attention at important times.

c.  Give important directions of instruction at a routine time, using a routine starter phrase to alert children to pay attention.  Give praise and other rewards for careful attention at these times.

d.  Reduce verbal directions to simple steps that the student can handle.

e.  Encourage students to repeat directions in their own words to check their comprehension.  This can be done as a whole class routine that can help many students.  It also helps the teacher increase awareness of which types of directions are most easily understood.

f.  Reduce or remove stimuli in the student's environment that interfere with a student's comprehension.  Consider preferential seating.

g.  Teach students to ask questions and request help when they do not understand.  Praise them for appropriate questions.

h.  Explain and highlight unfamiliar words repeatedly.

i.  Use intonation and body language to emphasize key words and important parts of your instruction.

j.  Develop a routine of having a class paraphrase or summarize the important parts on lessons and stories with the teacher's help.  This can be done as a whole class.  It gives students who have difficulty understanding an extra opportunity to hear the important parts of the material and it also gives the teacher information about what was understood and no understood.

Prepared by S. Penner  9/20/93