School-Based Intervention Idea from


Independent Work: Have Students Break Larger Tasks into Smaller Sub-Tasks  (U.S. Department of Education, 2004)

Students who easily become overwhelmed when given a large assignment to do independently can boost their confidence when taught first to break that assignment down into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks.

Select an upcoming assignment that students are expected to complete on their own (e.g., term paper, homework assignment with multiple math problems). Demonstrate for the class or to the individual student how to partition the larger assignment into smaller steps or ‘chunks’. Have the student(s) complete the assignment independently, one sub-task at a time, using your work plan. On the next assignment, have the student(s) subdivide the task into chunks to create their own work plan while you observe and provide feedback.


U.S. Department of Education (2004). Teaching children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Instructional strategies and practices. Retrieved August 20, 2005, from

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