Learning Skills: Following Directions


Today, Dylan brought home his corrected exam papers for my signature. He didn’t fail in any of his exams, but he could have gotten higher marks if he followed the given directions in exam papers.

So yes, I am feeling a bit sour at the moment, not towards Dylan but to myself for not making sure that he understood what’s most important in any exams: FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS. 

Case in point:

In his exam in Filipino, the instruction was:

Piliin ang titik ng tamang sagot. Isulat ang titik sa patlang. (Choose the letter of the correct answer. Write the letter in the blank.)

___ 1. Ano ang huling titik ng manok?

a. m        b. n         c. k           d. a

Dylan answered k, and he wrote k in the blank.

He answered in the same way for the next three items.

He knew all the correct answers but wrote the wrong ones on paper.

In any other exams later in his life, this would be marked wrong.

I am thankful to his teacher, Teacher A, for giving due consideration to my son’s difficulty in following directions in this instance.

Another case in point:

In answering his Araling Panlipunan exam, I forgot to teach him that in a multiple choice question type of exam:

  1.  He must carefully read the question and the choices FIRST before he decide on an answer;
  2. In deciding on an answer, he must choose the BEST answer;
  3. When he changed his mind about an answer, he must erase the previous one, otherwise, he would have two answers and it would automatically be marked wrong.

I did some quick research on how to teach my son to follow directions. I realized that it’s not enough to tell my 5-year-old, “Anak, you must listen to your teacher carefully when she reads the instructions, okay?”

In this article, Following Directions: A Skill Worth Teaching, the author took note of the fact that following directions is an acquired skill.  Also in this article are links to lessons on how to teach students on how to follow instructions.

All things considered — the questions were pretty tough too — I think my Dylan did a good job with his exams. He studied hard and spent lots of precious hours studying. He learned many new things and most of all, his reading and writing has improved a lot  in the few months that he’s in Grade 1.

Great job Dylan! I love you son! Next periodicals, we will ace it!


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