Identifying and helping struggling students in the classroom By…
Identifying and helping struggling students in the classroom
By Chellie Stockero
Signs of a struggling student
Slow development in speaking words of sentences
Difficulty learning new words, slow vocabulary growth
Difficulty find the right word to use when speaking
Difficulty understanding and following simple, one-step directions
Difficulty understanding questions
Difficulty recognizing or learning rhyming words
Lack of interest in storytelling
Immature grammar (syntax)
Emergent Literacy Skills
Slow speed in naming objects and colors
Limited phonological awareness
Difficulty understanding that written language is composed of phonemes (individual sounds) and letters that make up syllables and words
Minimal interest in print and limited print awareness
5.Difficulty recognizing and learning the letters of the alphabet
Difficulty learning the connection between letters and sounds
1.Trouble memorizing the alphabet or days of the week
2.Poor memory for what should be routine (everyday procedures)
Difficulty with cause and effect, sequencing, and counting
Difficulty with basic concepts, such as size, shape, and color
Difficulty with fine motor skills and manipulating small objects (stringing beads, tying shoes, buttoning)
Awkwardness with running, jumping, or climbing (delayed gross motor skills)
Difficulty with or avoidance of drawing, coloring, tracing, or copying
1.Trouble interacting with others, plays alone
Hard to manage, temper tantrums
Has difficulty following directions
Attention and Behavior
1.Distractibility and inattention
Difficulty changing activities or handling disruptions to routines.
Ways to help a struggling student
: Teachers need to develop lesson plans that are personalized to the different needs of their students. That means that the goals and assessments are also going to be varied.
This is a method that breaks learning into chunks. The chunks follow a logical order and move toward a clear goal.
3. Graphic Organization:
Using this method, a teacher draws a picture to map out thoughts and ideas.
: Students use special phrases to help them remember information.This strategy can also help with learning vocabulary.
5. Multi-Sensory Instruction:
This method links what students see, what they hear, how they move, and what they feel. When students learn using all of their senses, they remember the material better.
Referral process for a struggling student
Consultation with a Special Education Teacher
Referral for testing or evaluation by a medical professional
Determine if the qualify for Special Education Services
Create an IEP, an individualized education program, alongside their teachers and family
Bachrach, Steven. (2016, September). Individualized Education Programs . Kids Health. Retrieved from
Osewait, Sandra. (2019). 5 Common Techniques for Helping Struggling Students. Understood. Retrieved from
Rief, Sandra. (2019, May, 20). Heads Up Teachers: Red Flags for Possible LD. Additude. Retrieved from