2What we know: The lower end of the “Bell Curve” Not performing at grade level75% of their peers achieve at a faster rateMeasured mental abilities fall between 70 – 85Do not qualify for special education services
3What else do we know:Prone to be immature in interpersonal relationshipsHave difficulties following multi-step directionsDo not develop long term goalsTend to live in the present onlyTend to have a poor self image due to awareness that they don’t keep upWork on all tasks slowly but can be methodicalDo not have strategies for problem solving or decision making
4Also: They do well with manipulative or hands-on tasks Can perform repetitive tasks wellCan master skills when broken into stepsPerform learned occupations with no comparable difference to their peers
5The problem is:Slow learners need help but special education is not the answer.Testing is not the answerSetting higher achievement standards and goals is not the answerHow do we help them succeed?
6We start with finding out where they are and what skills they currently possess. You see this coming:Strengths and weaknesses
7The strengths tend not to lie in academics. The weaknesses tend not to lie in physical, emotional or cultural limitations.So, poor academics but they may be good at:Physically: Sports, extracurricular, behaviorsEmotionally: Social, outgoing, popular, happyCulturally: community identity, family, religious
8The limitations of Slow Learners for the classroom teacher and support staff involve the fact that Slow learners simply do not possess enough fund, range and depth of general knowledge to enhance new learning.To learn new information we must be able to relate it to previous information or reference material.
9What happens:Referral for special education due to a lack of academic achievement.Evaluation results indicate the student is not performing within the expected range.The student is determined to be ineligible for special education services.The child is referred for another evaluation or some other attempt to obtain support services is initiated.
10How do we help the identified Slow learner student. Differentiate between the slow learner and the reluctant learner who is unmotivated, resistive, passive aggressive and uncooperative.Introduce more information, not less. They will never improve if the pace is slowed too much.Keep the information bits and bytes small.
11Associate physical and manipulative activities with academics and homework. Teach organization strategies.Teach content, not process, very little information will be generalized.Rote learning works best but is seen as boring and aversive, so use computers, flash cards and review, review, review.
12Techniques that work involve: Word drillsResponse cardsSentence repetitionPhonic drillsAudio taped wordsWord definition drills
13General interventions that should always be applied to improve learning with the slow learner involve:Reduce distractions, audible and visual.Promote attentiveness.Keep assignments short.Repeat work assignments in various forms.Provide variation in assignments.
14Give more hands on assignments Keep tests short and use oral tests when possible.Have test errors redone correctly.Avoid the cooperative or competitive method.Use mapping and graphic organizers.Help the student become proficient with note taking.
15Slow learners want to learn But, have trouble making the process work for them. And yet, we are on the advent of change, for those struggling with Math – we have calculators, not slide rules
16Knowledge base – we have computer search engines, not encyclopedias Reading – we have audio books Writing – we have Microsoft Word. And best of all For meetings, we have Power Point !!
17Alan Haskvitz , “Helping Your Slow-Learning Child” Steven Shaw, PhD, “Slow Learners: Life and Education on the Wrong Side of the Bell Curve”