Presentation on theme: "What we know: The lower end of the “Bell Curve” Not performing at grade level 75% of their peers achieve at a faster rate Measured mental abilities fall."— Presentation transcript:
What we know: The lower end of the “Bell Curve” Not performing at grade level 75% of their peers achieve at a faster rate Measured mental abilities fall between 70 – 85 Do not qualify for special education services
What else do we know: Prone to be immature in interpersonal relationships Have difficulties following multi-step directions Do not develop long term goals Tend to live in the present only Tend to have a poor self image due to awareness that they don’t keep up Work on all tasks slowly but can be methodical Do not have strategies for problem solving or decision making
Also: They do well with manipulative or hands-on tasks Can perform repetitive tasks well Can master skills when broken into steps Perform learned occupations with no comparable difference to their peers
The problem is: Slow learners need help but special education is not the answer. Testing is not the answer Setting higher achievement standards and goals is not the answer How do we help them succeed?
We start with finding out where they are and what skills they currently possess. You see this coming: Strengths and weaknesses
The 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, behaviors Emotionally: Social, outgoing, popular, happy Culturally: community identity, family, religious
The 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.
What happens: 1. Referral for special education due to a lack of academic achievement. 2. Evaluation results indicate the student is not performing within the expected range. 3. The student is determined to be ineligible for special education services. 4. The child is referred for another evaluation or some other attempt to obtain support services is initiated.
How do we help the identified Slow learner student. 1. Differentiate between the slow learner and the reluctant learner who is unmotivated, resistive, passive aggressive and uncooperative. 2. Introduce more information, not less. They will never improve if the pace is slowed too much. 3. Keep the information bits and bytes small.
4. Associate physical and manipulative activities with academics and homework. 5. Teach organization strategies. 6. Teach content, not process, very little information will be generalized. 7. Rote learning works best but is seen as boring and aversive, so use computers, flash cards and review, review, review.
Techniques that work involve: 1. Word drills 2. Response cards 3. Sentence repetition 4. Phonic drills 5. Audio taped words 6. Word definition drills
General interventions that should always be applied to improve learning with the slow learner involve: 1. Reduce distractions, audible and visual. 2. Promote attentiveness. 3. Keep assignments short. 4. Repeat work assignments in various forms. 5. Provide variation in assignments.
6. Give more hands on assignments 7. Keep tests short and use oral tests when possible. 8. Have test errors redone correctly. 9. Avoid the cooperative or competitive method. 10. Use mapping and graphic organizers. 11. Help the student become proficient with note taking.
Slow 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
Knowledge 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 !!
Alan Haskvitz, “Helping Your Slow-Learning Child” Steven Shaw, PhD, “Slow Learners: Life and Education on the Wrong Side of the Bell Curve”