Struggling is part of life. At least everyone has had to struggle at some point in life. This is why we have some students struggling in the classroom. Teachers have a great role to play to help these students to persevere and move through the struggle. Teachers have to ensure that struggling students keep working for improved learning. So, in this article, we look at different ways of helping struggling students in the classroom. The most important thing is identifying the struggling student and figuring out the best approach to help them achieve their academic goal.
How to help struggling students in the classroom
Most times students struggle in the classroom because of the used vocabularies. A lot of time, students have confessed to being stuck because their instructor used difficult vocabularies. In this case, the only solution is defining used vocabularies. Such terms should be explained in the simplest terms. Whether it is in science or maths, it is important to use terms that are easily understandable to all students. Even if it’s a rule, rephrase it in the simplest terms. By defining these terms, you help struggling students to understand your content.
Use real-world examples
Using real-world examples is helpful for struggling students. The examples enable students to relate to what they are learning. Real-world examples simplify a concept. They enable students to make connections to what they are struggling to understand. For example, tossing a coin helps in understanding probability concept. Another example is using pictures of an animal such as a parrot and then showing them a real parrot. This will help understand that the animal is a parrot. Using more real-world examples is considered more effective.
Using visuals has proven effective in helping struggling students. According to George Wall, an assignment service writer at Essay Mojo believes that the visuals help students in understanding difficult concepts. They are helpful especially when used to turn an abstract idea into a concrete one. They may include charts, posters, and graphic organizers among others. They can easily be used in turning a difficult concept into a simple one. Also, manipulatives such as cubes are helpful to students who prefer feeling and touching to understand your content.
Using the chunking method
The chunking method helps in breaking down difficult content into small pieces. These pieces make it easy to understand information. This method has been in use for a long time especially in helping struggling students. By breaking down concepts into smaller parts, a struggling student can have an easier time.
For instance, you can chunk a text. This means enabling students to work on a phrase rather than a sentence. Shorter chunks are even better for struggling students.
You may also consider taking one task at a time. For instance, instead of handling ten questions in one session, you may consider handling one question per session. This way students are able to address one question at a time successfully.
Consider short sessions
During short sessions, students’ attention is less likely to wander compared to longer sessions. Adjust the length based on the specific needs of the struggling students. This will improve learning for the students. It will also ensure that much is accomplished. Most importantly, use techniques that will keep the students engaged.
Give students time to explain the answer
Normally, teachers give students a few seconds to respond to questions. For struggling students, the short time may not be enough. This group of learners needs more time to think about the answers to the question. More time increases the chances of coming up with the correct answer.
Give them time to explain their answer. Even if the answer is not correct, let the student explain how they got it. This way, you get to know where they are going wrong. Teachers should not entertain the ‘I don’t know’ answer. Every student should be encouraged to give an answer and explain how they got it. This is a sure way of helping struggling students in the classroom.
Also, avoid the temptation of giving them answers. Instead, give them time to come up with answers by themselves.
Write down all instructions
For struggling students, remembering is an issue. For instance, if you give them all the instructions or directions, they are more likely to forget all of them. This will make their struggling even worse. It is thus important that you always give them written directions like in the case of online classes. This way, if they forget something they can easily refer and follow your directions. This will give them equal learning opportunities with other students.
Struggling students often get stuck. They often face tough times. To help them teachers should teach perseverance. This encourages them to keep working even when the going gets tough. With perseverance, they can be able to use different strategies to get an answer. Providing several tips on how to persevere can be helpful.
Teach time-management skills
Struggling students have challenges in managing time. This gives them an overwhelming feeling when handling daily tasks in the classroom. With these skills, they will learn the importance of time-management and the importance of owning their learning to avoid struggling. Involve them in coming with a daily schedule specifying the amount of time to spend on every task.
Give direct instruction
Teaching through direct instruction means teaching a student what he or she needs to learn only. The method involves presenting content clearly ruling out the probability of confusion and misinterpretation. The student is then shown how exactly to apply the information. With this method, the student doesn’t have to struggle with unnecessary information.
Take advantage of reviewing
The consistent review helps in understanding concepts. Content mastery requires time and practice. So, taking the time to review learned content will help struggling students have an easier time in the classroom. Use various techniques to ensure that students retain what they learn.
Struggling students need encouragement and motivation to perform better. By praising and telling them they can do better, teachers motivate struggling students to work harder. There is great power in encouraging words. The encouragement should naturally come from teachers and also parents.
The above-mentioned strategies are effective in helping struggling students in the classroom. Using the strategies over and over again will improve their learning. Teaching struggling learning doesn’t have to difficult. The tips above will make it easier. Just identify the specific needs of every struggling student and select the most appropriate strategy. When you make learning easy and interesting for these students, you will be assured of results you never dreamed of. This is important because good performance for every student is every teacher’s dream.