Thursday, May 19, 2016

What Can We Do For Students Who Struggle?

There's a lot we can do for students who struggle. Here are a few ideas.

"Home Away From Home" Homerooms
Homerooms dedicated to small groups of children who need extra warmth, direction, and support every morning. These homerooms could potentially be skilled staffed by people who don't have regular homeroom or classroom expectations. The focus of these homerooms would include a warm greeting, making sure a child has the right clothes for the day, checking homework and materials for the day, a nutritious snack or breakfast, read aloud, and a daily journal.

At-Home Tech Access
It's possible that certain staff would be responsible for making sure that these students have tech at home. Students with tech at home have an advantage to those who don't. To do this well it has to start on day one of school so perhaps a survey just before school starts would help with this support.

See Yourself in the Curriculum
Make sure that every child sees himself or herself in the curriculum. Design and choose curriculum that makes that happen.

School Signage
School signage needs to be welcoming and inclusive.

Positive Relationships
Find ways to make positive relationships with these children. Help children build meaningful peer relationships in strategic, regular ways.

Targeted, Engaging Learning
Think creatively and strategically about how you can best help these children learn in engaging and empowering ways. Careful attention to learning interests, great tools and pedagogy, daily attention, lesson pace, and practice tools matter. Cross age teaching/learning can help in this regard. Often struggling students can mentor and teach younger students which is a good way to practice important skills and learning.

Collaboration and Play
Build collaboration skills, and provide opportunity for play.

Discover and Develop Passion
Discover where a child's passion lies and help the child to develop that passion.

Service Learning
Make doing for others a focus of deep, rich learning. This helps students to impact their community which in turn builds confidence and capacity.

Seek Supports
Help children to access the supports they need which may include medical care, psychological support, sports teams, art classes, and meaningful learning programs.