How to Keep Struggling Students Working ( Teaching Strategies (Allow…
How to Keep Struggling Students Working
Fight the Urge to Tell Students the Answer
sometimes it is just easier to give the struggling student the answer rather than taking the time to give them the tools to find the answer themselves. However, as a teacher, this is something you should NOT do, ever. It is your job to teach the student and give them the tools that they will be able to take with them for the rest of their lives. This means fighting the urge to give them the answer just to save you time with your other students.
Allow Students to Explain Their Answer
Once you find out how they got their answer, then it will be easier for you to figure out what they are doing wrong. Require that all students must come up with an answer and be able to explain how they got it.
Give Students Time to Think of the Answer
If teachers would give students just a few seconds more to really think about their answer, they would probably come up with something really great.
Write Down All Directions
Make sure that you always write down everything that you want the students to do on the front board, so there are no excuses from any student, and they always have a resource that they can refer to.
A simple way to do this is to keep a few tips and strategies listed somewhere in the classroom where all students are able to refer to it, preferably on a wall where all students can see it from their desks.
Teach Time-Management Skills
Go over the list and discuss how much time should be spent on each task.
Yield the Chronic Hand Raisers
Students who are having a hard time often get the urge to raise their hands and ask for help for every single question. To stop this from happening, you need to come up with a strategy that will allow students to move on when they get stuck on a question.
Sticky notes or red and green flip cards are an effective technique.
limiting the number of times a student is allowed to ask a question for each lesson works well too.
Talk to your students.
What are they struggling with outside of the classroom?
Are they overwhelmed by work or family commitments?
They could use some coaching around time management. Or, a more difficult question involves asking for an honest answer about how much effort they are putting into studying. Feel free to ask these questions to get an understanding of how you may be able to help.
Ensure that they know the problem is with the behavior – not them – and how you expect them to behave moving forward.
Put yourself in the right frame of mind.
Most students who have emotional or behavioral problems want to be successful in school, but have trouble controlling themselves, focusing, and staying still. Avoid deeming them “attention seekers,” or “slackers.” Work on being as patient as possible.
Find the good and praise it.
Children and teens who are struggling with emotional or behavioral problems find school extra hard and often deal with low self-esteem. They may be extra sensitive and much harder on themselves than their peers. Be genuine and generous in your praise and downplay their shortcomings. Assure them that with hard work and practice, they will eventually find difficult assignments easier.
Communicate with Parents.
Try a “feedback sandwich”.
This is a really good way to handle giving a parent a heads up that their child is having difficulties. You position your constructive feedback in between two positives.
So you could say,” Smith, Lily is doing really well making new friends in the classroom. We are working on talking with friends when the class has free time instead of during instructional time and it would be great if you could help remind her about that rule too. Once she gets that down, I think she will be a role model for the other students.” You have sandwiched your feedback about what Lily needs to work on between two positive things about her behavior. This lets Mr. Smith know that you appreciate Lily’s strengths. It also lets him know that you expect her to succeed at regulating her behavior. He is now much more likely to respond positively to your request to help reinforce the classroom rule.
Be clear about what you would like parents to do
The more specific you can be, the better the chances that parents will actively work on the behaviors with their children.
encourage parents to maintain an open communication so that all members are focused on the child’s growth and progress.
Form a team
Make it clear you all need to work together—but that responsibility lies with the student.
What are the signs of a struggling student?
missing/incomplete homework assignments
tardy/late to class
Has difficulty staying on task.
Becomes easily frustrated.