Slow learners are not non-learners! They must be taught and they so want to learn and succeed! A few adjustments in their learning process can make a big difference!
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 on 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, summarize, 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 for 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 organized 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 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 behavior 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 organized sports at recess to learn social skills.
- Pair them with brighter students who will help the slower student and be humble about helping.