|Characteristics of Slow Learners
Excerpts from Alan Hasktivz, (Helping your slow learning child)
In general, slow learning students may display some or all of these characteristics, depending on their age and degree of problems acquiring knowledge at school.
� Slow learners are frequently immature in their relations with others and do poorly in school.
� They cannot do complex problems and work very slowly.
� They lose track of time and have difficulty transfering what they have learned from one task to another well.
� They do not easily master skills that are academic in nature, such as the times tables or spelling rules.
� Perhaps the most frustrating trait is their inability to have long-term goals.
� They live in the present and have significant problems with time management.
� They often have a short attention span and poor concentration skills.
Slow learners differ from reluctant learners. A slow learner initially wants to learn, but has a problem with the process. A reluctant learner is not motivated and can also be passive aggressive, creating more problems for teachers and parents through non-cooperation. Reluctant learners seldom have learning disabilities.
Examples of interventions for slow learners
Environment: Reduce distractions, change seating to promote attentiveness, have a peer student teacher, and allow more breaks.
Assignments: Make them shorter and with more variation, repeat work in various forms, have a contract, give more hands-on work, or have assignments copied by student, have students.
Assessment: Use shorter tests, oral testing, redoing tests, short feedback times, don��t make students compete.
What to avoid: Avoid classroom activities that isolate the student and place him or her in a no-win situation. Also avoid lengthy assignments or activities that don��t provide opportunities to demonstrate mastery.
Proven ideas to help slow learners (Tips for Parents)
� Provide a quiet place to work, where the child can be easily observed and motivated.
� Keep homework sessions short.
� Provide activity times before and during homework.
� Add a variety of tasks to the learning even if not assigned, such as painting a picture of a reading assignment.
� Allow for success.
� Ask questions about the assignment while the child is working.
� Go over the homework before bed and before school.
� Teach how to use a calendar to keep track of assignments.
� Read to the child.
� Use the (Three Transfer) form of learning, in which the student must take information and do three things with it besides reading. For example, read it, explain it to someone else, draw a picture of it, and take notes on it.
� Be patient but consistent.
� Do not reward unfinished tasks.
Challenge the child
Have the child do the most difficult assignments first and leave the easier ones to later. Call it the (dessert principle).