Date
16 August 2020

​​​Support processing and organisation skills

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Helpful classroom strategies in years 9–13’

Use interactive instructions

Use interactive instructions

Include explicit teaching steps in lessons, for example:

  • present an overview of the learning task
  • demonstrate the skill
  • provide guided practice
  • offer specific feedback
  • set up independent practice, monitor practice, and review.

Support thinking and pattern recognition

Support thinking and pattern recognition

Use 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.
  • Offer 3D virtual and physical models and real objects to help students identify 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 asking them to respond in a discussion.
  • 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.
  • Use UDL-aligned strategies.

Model planning and thinking with mind maps

Model planning and thinking with mind maps

Demonstrate how to organise ideas using mind maps. Increase the effectiveness by using colour, symbols, and images alongside text.

Coggle is a useful tool. Content is easily colour coded and manipulated.

Support understanding of task instructions

Support understanding of task instructions

Give students the big picture of what they are doing, then break the learning into steps, using a variety of supports.

  • Ask students to repeat directions in their own words to a peer. 
  • If directions contain several steps, break down the directions into subsets. 
  • Simplify directions by presenting only one portion at a time and by writing each portion on the whiteboard or class web page, as well as stating it orally.
  • Provide visual supports and examples. 
  • When using written directions, be sure that students are able to read and understand the words, as well as comprehend the meaning of sentences.

Support concentration and memory

Support concentration and memory

Provide options to support concentration and short-term memory.

  • Monitor and moderate the classroom for visual and auditory distractions.
  • Present information in a variety of ways over an extended period (for example, a week) to help students retain information, build up their understanding and familiarity with the topic, and stay stimulated and focused.
  • Discuss with students the effectiveness of the learning environment and remove barriers and make modifications where needed.
  • In online environments, make use of visual prompts and cues to support understanding and navigation. Make useful hyperlinks to background knowledge or previous learning.
  • Schedule regular short breaks to allow students to move physically.

Support planning and organisation

Support planning and organisation

Use these suggestions to support students’ planning and organisation.

  • Use charts, visual calendars, colour-coded schedules, visible timers, and cues to increase the predictability of regular activities and transitions.
  • Encourage students to use their mobile devices to schedule alerts and reminders for regular and novel events and deadlines.
  • Model and make available graphic organisers and flowcharts to support planning and thinking in all curriculum areas.
  • Break tasks and lengthy assignments into small, manageable parts. Schedule workflow using Trello to organise what needs to be done and when.
  • Provide options so that students can submit work online.
  • Use these tips from students.

Next steps

Return to the guide “Dyslexia and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Dyslexia and learning

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