HELPING SLOW LEARNERS SUCCEED IN SCHOOL
Slow learners want their teachers to know…
1. WE NEED MORE TIME TO FIGURE THINGS OUT
• Give more practice problems in a particular area.
• More time may be needed for speed drills or reading comprehension than is allowed for in the curriculum.
• Show patience! Tutor after school in help classes, if necessary.
• Create emotional security by not embarrassing them in front of their peers.
• Modify curriculum, if necessary—ie. shorten spelling list.
2. WE NEED MORE EXPLANATION AND DIRECT INSTRUCTION
• Be sure that instructions and expectation are given clearly.
• Define the terms—read, circle, count, find, define, copy, list, discuss, summarise, compose, identify, etc.
• Have them repeat the instructions, if necessary. Point to the area on the paper that you are explaining; see it, say it, cover it, say it.
• Explain material in creative ways.
• Teach them to listen to key words in explanations.
3. WE NEED HELP IN ORGANIZING OUR WORK, OUR DESK, AND OUR PRIORITIES
• Provide a homework sheet or planner with a checklist format.
• Show what an organised desk looks like.
• Work closely with the parents to check completed work.
4. WE NEED TO KNOW WHY WE HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TEACHING US
• Motivate with practical reasons to learn the material.
• Set short-range and attainable goals.
• Give many encouraging words and praise often.
• Say “I love you” often and write it in personal notes.
• Pray for students and tell them that you are praying for them.
5. WE HAVE DIFFICULTY FOCUSING OUR ATTENTION ON LEARNING TASKS
• Eliminate as many distractions as possible.
• Seat them in the front of the classroom.
• Be punctual and prepare materials well before class.
• Expect accuracy and neatness in work.
• Model correct behaviour in front of students.
• Stay as consistent as possible in classroom management and expectations.
6. WE SOMETIMES HAVE A HARD TIME SITTING STILL
• They need an active recess.
• They need organised sports at recess to learn social skills.
• Pair them with brighter students who will help the slower student and be humble about helping.
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