Date
19 February 2019

Support processing and organisation skills

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

Support organisation with visuals

Support organisation with visuals

Provide visual support to assist students to manage their time and be prepared for learning. 

Support concept development

Support concept development

Build new learning on solid foundations. Provide multiple opportunities to revisit a new idea or concept.
  • Check to ensure that students retain and can demonstrate previously-learned skills before beginning new learning.
  • Teach new skills using a variety of methods, materials and contexts and using concrete, practical and visual materials.
  • Reinforce abstract concepts with visual and concrete materials.
  • Make explicit connections between new knowledge and previous experience.
  • Make connections to high interest and practical everyday situations.
  • Offer multi-sensory explanations and demonstrations.
  • Provide extra time and opportunities for additional repetition and reinforcement – where applicable, involve a buddy, parents, or a support teacher.

Support attention, focus and independence

Support attention, focus and independence

Aim to increase student independence by providing just enough support. Build these approaches into the way you teach.
  • Break learning into short, focused and clearly defined tasks.
  • Vary the level of demand from task to task.
  • Provide clear instructions that are visually displayed and can be easily returned to.
  • Vary the level of support as necessary and teach buddies how to provide support.
  • Provide a variety of technologies to support learning (for example, an iPad or a computer).
  • Create an activity box for times when the student needs a change of activity or time out.

Support thinking and pattern recognition

Support thinking and pattern recognition

Tools and approaches to help students to recognise patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships.
  • Use visuals (graphics, photos, cartoons, pictures) to support text and talk when explaining anything.
  • Offer 3D virtual and physical models and real objects to help students identify critical features.
  • Use mind maps, flowcharts, and outlines to help students unpack big ideas and relationships.
  • Give students multiple opportunities to engage with new ideas and concepts.
  • Provide extra time for students to think and process before needing to respond in a discussion.
  • Use mindmaps to brainstorm ideas.
  • Support group and class discussions with visual annotations to prompt later recall of key ideas.
  • Make thinking tools and approaches available across all curriculum areas.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Free graphic organizers

Publisher: Education Oasis

Visit website

Website

Popplet

Publisher: Notion

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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