Vanessa Mullins, Maggie Farmer, Cristin Kelsh

Problem Focus:
Students are too eager to wait for complete instruction and/or directions. Students miss out on directions because they already beginning working. A routine should be instilled in the classroom that promotes following directions. Students usually assume directions without reading specified schedule or direct instructions. Student's find their own ways of following directions which leads to "dead" time. During class, students should make responsible decisions and work on practicing their ability to take direcitons and following them in an appropriate manner.

Problem Solution:
-Have the students practice following directions through a game or activity (eg: Simon Says)
-Have a routine or schedule written where the children can see everyday
-Assess the children with a test based on following directions
-Do not give out materials/resources for each lesson before giving instructions so the children do not get distracted
-Computer program that stresses following directions as opposed to finding the correct answer.
-Have students restate the directions in their own words before completing the assignment.

Cooperating Teacher Feedback:

Amy Doss
Overall, Ms. Doss found our ideas good. Throughout the years, she has done activities or games to practice following directions and she has found those very affective and would most definitely recommend it. She said she noticed the students paying more attention to the directions for some time after the activity. Ms. Doss pointed out that when a routine or schedule is displayed regularly, the students don't pay close attention to all the time. They assume they know what the directions are without checking it regularly. The other ideas she said she hasn't done before, but she thought they sounded good. She did say that another teacher has the students restate directions and he finds it effective, but Ms. Doss has never tried it. So overall, she thought the ideas a good and would be useful in her fifth grade classroom.

Donna Marshall
Mrs. Marshall thought we had some great ideas. She said that at the beginning of the school year she usually has the children do an activity related to following directions. It is usually a worksheet type activity instructing the students to do certain thinks in order to draw a house or something similiar. As for playing a game with the students such as Simon Says, Mrs. Marshall is not sure the students would connect this with the idea of following directions without further explanation by the teacher. Mrs. Marshall has a well established routine for the students when they arrive in the morning. They know what to do and where to put their things. I asked Mrs. Marshall if she knew of a test based on following directions that could be used with younger children. She said she has used on in the past that consists of very simple questions and many pictures. She found this to be effective. Mrs. Marshall does try to give directions before giving out the resources and materials however she did comment that sometimes this is not possible to do and still be time efficient. She thought the idea of a computer program that stresses the idea of following directions was a great idea, but she had never heard of anything like this before. She also said that she usually asks the students to restate the directions orally before beginning the task, however she thinks writing them would be too time consuming for younger students.

Maria Slavin
Ms. Slavin believes teaching children to follow directions is key in successful classroom management. She likes the idea of practicing and modelling what it looks like from day 1 of the school year. Following directions plays a role in all areas of learning and addressing the problem is definitely pro-active and positive. Ms. Slavin thinks we take for granted how important it is to re-emphasize directions. Some students do not fully concept the idea of directions and how to follow them. It is important to start from day one and continue on with simple directions and then move up to more difficult directions so they do not become overwhelmed.

All three of our cooperating teachers agreed on the importance of teaching students to follow directions. The cooperating teachers found our ideas to be very useful and well developed. The teachers have implemented some of these ideas in their classroom in the past. For example, Ms. Doss and Mrs. Marshall have both had their students play a game or do an activity to practice following directions. Although our cooperating teachers liked all of the ideas, they were excited about the idea of a computer game that emphasized the importance of following directions. For this reason, we choose to focus on this idea for our design project.

Design Project