Some Instructional Do’s

To maximize instructional effectiveness, try the following:

  • DO involve the learner in planning the learning activities based on his/her initial assessment of skills and his/her identified goals.
  • DO encourage students to share life experiences, situations, and perspectives and relate these to the learning activities (e.g., oral literacy skills) and the instructional materials.
  • DO establish a classroom climate of shared trust and one that values mutual respect and enhances learner self-esteem.
  • DO design activities that foster collaboration and cooperation and that involve all learners.4
  • DO treat students as adults, not children.
  • DO start each instructional session on time, using some whole group activity that builds community, e.g., teach the vocabulary word of the day; ask students to share how they applied skills learned in class to everyday life activities; use a short brainteaser or quick puzzle; bring in a slick magazine or newspaper ad that has a grammatical or spelling error and ask students to "find the flaw."
  • DO establish classroom rules and consequences collaboratively with the class members and enforce them equitably; DO NOT show favoritism for some students over others.
  • DO apply immediately the consequences for unacceptable behavior.
  • DO recognize that the individual learner's goals may change; it therefore is critical for you to periodically revisit and readjust goals with the learner so that instruction always moves students toward goal completion.
  • DO recognize that, with instruction, "one size does not fit all," and that one instructional plan does not fit all learners.
  • DO offer instruction using a multi-sensory approach, i.e., appeal to as many modalities as possible—visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic.
  • DO provide instruction in small chunks, introducing new material only after previously introduced material has been mastered.
  • DO revisit and review previously mastered material from time to time so that students keep these skills current.

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