Date
21 July 2019

​Support processing and organisation

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

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Give students more time

Give students more time

Build more time into lessons for students to process information.

Allow extra time for tests.

Teach students how to “self-talk” or visually map information to make connections.

Use a step-by-step approach

Use a step-by-step approach

Use task analysis and break skills into small components.

  • Use a step-by-step approach.
  • Teach steps in the same sequence.
  • Practise skills.
  • Re-teach skills.
  • Overlearn skills.
  • Reinforce concepts.
  • Revisit skills throughout the year.
  • Offer multiple opportunities for practice.

Source: Understanding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: A comprehensive guide for pre K-8 educators (opens in a new tab/window)

Sequencing strategies

Sequencing strategies

  • Create linear timelines.
  • Break tasks into small steps.
  • Colour code steps.
  • Create checklists for sequencing.
  • Create a photo story, using photographs showing each step.
  • Mind maps help students organise their thoughts and tasks, and embed understanding.

Source: Understanding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: A comprehensive guide for pre K-8 educators (opens in a new tab/window)

Support students to remember

Support students to remember

Most students with FASD have a strong long-term memory. Their short-term memory is weaker.

Supports for recalling information

  • Use highlighters to identify important information when studying.
  • Use mnemonic devices.
  • Provide many opportunities for repetition, including online skill and drill activities.

Supports for tests and assignments

  • Allow students to use open books or notes in tests.
  • Provide examples of finished assignments and model answers for tests.

Supports for organising time and setting reminders

  • Use an online calendar to provide reminders for when assignments are due, when a trip is scheduled, or when specific gear is needed for classes.
  • Show students how to use the timer on their phone, watch, or laptop.
  • Create an online timetable, including class subjects and times, that can be accessed easily.

Source: Understanding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: A comprehensive guide for pre K-8 educators (opens in a new tab/window)

Give clear instructions

Give clear instructions

  • Eye contact helps students to process verbal information.
  • Use exaggerated facial and body language to help convey meaning.
  • Use visual cues to aid understanding and trigger memory.
  • Give specific instructions to the student. For example, say “Put your reading book in the group box” rather than “Tidy up”.
  • Use the student’s name at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Use consistent vocabulary for the same instruction every time. This helps to place the instruction into the long-term memory.
  • Keep instructions short.
  • State what you want the student to do, not what they shouldn’t do.
  • Although a student can repeat instructions back it may not mean they understand them. Regularly ask the student to check understanding.

Source: Making a difference: Working with students who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Effective strategies for information-processing and memory difficulties

Read time: 4 min

Publisher: Duke University

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Helpful classroom strategies years 9-13”:

Return to the guide “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and learning”

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