Date
25 August 2019

Support participation and build confidence

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Helpful classroom strategies years 1-8’

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Encourage sustained participation

Encourage sustained participation

Discuss with students what will support their participation and motivation.

Build these suggestions into your teaching practice.

  • Establish clear classroom routines.
  • Teach strategies to help students them when they get stuck.
  • Break work into short manageable chunks.
  • Give positive, timely feedback.
  • Brief students about changes to routine.
  • When changing classroom layout, provide a plan of new layout and when it will happen.
  • Provide easy access to quiet spaces for working or winding down.
  • Schedule brain breaks.
  • Notice avoidance tactics or increasing anxiety, implement supports quickly.
  • Offer leadership opportunities based on knowledge of student's expertise and interests.
  • Connect learning to student's interests.
  • Foster tuakana-teina relationships where students support each other.

Chunk tasks and time to increase motivation

Chunk tasks and time to increase motivation

Breaking tasks into smaller parts and setting deadlines can be a useful approach for many students.

Visual timers can help students keep track of the time and increase motivation.

 

Use social stories to support social skills

Use social stories to support social skills

Social Stories™, comic strip conversations, and social scripts are strategies to support a students’ language skills and social interactions.

Recommended approach:

  • target a single behaviour
  • the target behaviour is concrete (e.g. simple positive behaviours or communication goals rather than subtle or complex social skills)
  • matched to the student’s language and cognitive skills
  • used in every day settings
  • presented on multiple occasions.

The Fact Sheet 15 – Social stories explains the specific purpose of each strategy and provides research based suggestions of how and when to use them successfully with students.

NB. These approaches were orginally created to support students with ASD. However teachers and families of students with Down syndrome have also found them very helpful.

Source: Autism Spectrum Australia (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Positive steps for social inclusion

Read time: 8 min

Publisher: National Down Syndrome Society

Visit website

Website

Including pupils with Down syndrome – Primary

Read time: 47 min

Publisher: Down's Syndrome Association

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Helpful classroom strategies years 1-8”:

Return to the guide “Down syndrome and learning”

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