Write ‘n Pause

  • Situation

    Some students in my class never follow directions. They just sit, or don’t put away materials and get what they need next. How can I help these students?

  • Summary

    Following directions or keeping up with classroom activities can be challenging for some students, especially students with special needs such as shifting or auditory processing challenges.

    Write an “agenda” for your lesson or the next few activities (not the day) on the board for students who may miss directions. Remember to wait 2-3 seconds between directions to give some students a chance to process the information and then act upon it.

    The Write ‘n Pause strategy can help your students follow directions and keep up with classroom activities.

    • Make a visual agenda or task list for each lesson or activity.
    • Review the agenda with your students, pausing 2-3 seconds minimum between each step to ensure your students are following along.
    • You may choose to erase each task or step in the agenda as they are completed so your students know what tasks still need to be completed.


  • Definition

    The Write’n Pause strategy assists students who cannot keep up with directions due to shifting or auditory processing issues. It includes an “agenda” of the next activity or lesson listed on the board and waiting at least 2-3 seconds between directions. Some students need up to 8 seconds or more to “hear” a direction.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    ability to read

  • Process

    1. Make an “agenda” or list of what will be taught in the next lesson or activity.

    2. Show the agenda and review with students.

    3. When giving directions wait 2-3 seconds at the minimum before giving the next one.

    4. Option – as each line of the agenda is completed it can be erased so the student knows what assignments and activities still need to be completed.

  • Documents and Related Resources



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