Are you sick of hearing “I don't know” in your therapy rooms!? I have that phrased banned!
I often find my students use that phrase when the tasks start to become too difficult and they don't want to use their strategies, they forgot their strategies, they are embarrassed to get the answer wrong in front of their peers, or just plain avoidance behaviors.
I find it helps to teach students from the beginning that there is a better way to respond. After they realize that the phrase “I don't know” won't get them out of the task, they will learn to use other phrases if you keep reinforcing and reminding initially.
I find by encouraging students to try and to ask for help in other ways, they will learn that they CAN do the tasks and there is no need to be worried, afraid, embarrassed, or whatever other emotion they feel at that moment.
What else can they say?
- “I need help”
- “Can you give me a hint?”
- “I need choices.”
- “I need more time.”
- “Can I hear it again?”