Approach to Stuggling Students
Approach to Stuggling Students
Teacher's should be keen to the struggles of students over an extended periods of time.Visible displays of frustration, incomplete homework, lack of comprehension and poor informal assessment results are all signs of struggle. Should these struggles continue despite changes in approach within the classroom as well as extra support given to the student, consultation between other teachers, the resource department as well as the students parents should begin.
Students will most likely show signs of difficulty at home as well. Communication between teacher and parent should always be encouraged especially if students begin to show signs of struggle. These signs may include avoiding homework, requiring extended time to finish homework, displaying a desire to avoid a particular subject or any other negative behaviour concerning school. Parents should be made aware of these signs at the beginning of the school year and be encouraged to contact the teacher if they see signs of struggle
My approach to my classroom should be a reflection of the diversity within it. Each student within the class should be considered an individual learner with their own academic background and learning preferences. Each student should be accommodated as much as possible without negatively affecting any other individual learner. In order to accommodate a student who is struggling, I may have to adjust my approach to lessons, prioritizing their learning preferences. For example, I may incorporate hands on learning activities to each unit in an effort to accommodate a kinaesthetic learning.
Informal assessments can be used within the classroom to test the students response to the changes in approach prior to the application of an individualized learning plan. These informal assessments should also be used as you monitor the students progress once a leaning plan has been applied. These informal assessment can come in the form of short unit quizzes and should reflect the learning preferences laid out in the learning plan. The goal here is to have the student demonstrate learning however suits the student best.
Those within the resource department should be consulted as soon as signs are noticed by the teacher. A member of the resource will be able to give suggestion about approach as well as tools that might help in intervention. If problems persist a member of the resource staff should come during class time for observation in an effort to identify the problem and give more specific attention to the student. If struggles persist and a learning plan is needed, a member or members (depending on severity) of the resource department should be assigned and provide assistance throughout the process.
Formal assessments should be conducted to diagnose learning disabilities that are preventing the student from having success in the classroom. These formal assessments should be conducted by trained professionals in their field of expertise. Individual learning plans will later reflect the results of these assessments. However, learning plans can be developed prior to the results of any formal assessments because these plans will be considered living documents that should continue grow and change throughout the education process.
Accommodating Learning Plans
A learning plan should be developed that accommodates learning preferences including the use of resources in an effort to give the student an opportunity to meet learning objectives without modifying the curriculum. For example you may provide the student with dictation software or give the student extra time to complete assignments. Accommodations should be considered exhaustively prior to moving students toward a modified learning plan. Consultation between parents, administration, resource department and anyone else involved should occur.
Monitoring students progress should be an ongoing process especially once a learning has been put into place. Everyone involved should meet to discuss progress, possible adjustments and give feedback about the process. These discussions should be attended by everyone involved, including a child's parents if possible, and notes should be taken.
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Communication between teachers and parents should be ongoing from the beginning when the first signs of struggle become evident on throughout the process of identify the problem and development of an individualized learning plan. Parents and the teacher within the classroom are the first responders, as they are the first to recognize signs of struggle.