1. Provide the students with a print version of a lengthy, multi-step direction. It is best if it is an authentic task. Here is an example from one of our recent language arts lessons.
2. Place a copy of the directions under your document camera and project to the class so that you can model the strategy.
3. Tell students that you will be teaching them the Check Box Strategy, placing boxes wherever specific tasks are mentioned. Explain to students that as they go through the tasks, they will be able to check them off to insure that they have completed everything that was required.
4. Ask students to read along. Stop whenever a “to do” or task arises, and model how to place a small check box over the direction. Continue modeling two or three times.
5. Direct students to read the next few sentences and talk with peers about where they think they should put check boxes.
6. Bring students back together to share ideas and discuss.
Some students will need more direct instruction and practice with this strategy than others. This is a great opportunity for brief, small group work.
Taking assessments in a digital environment? Tweak this strategy by having students make a numbered list on scrap paper, drawing a box next to each number and writing a word or phrase that captures the idea of the task. They can then check these off as they complete the assignment.