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Welcome Elementary schoolers (and parents!)
At Learnable we know that every student learns differently, so whether you need help with reading, math, or just need some help with hacking your learning, we have ways to help! Keep checking back for more strategies and check the blog for more ideas!
Some things to keep in mind with a struggling learner:
- All students do well if they can, as Ross Greene always says, so consider what might be in the way of your child learning. Are they hungry? Are they confused about the instructions? Are they upset about something and having a hard time shifting to the next task?
- If a task feels like too much for your student, break it down into smaller tasks and reward them for their effort on each of the smaller tasks.
- It is sometimes hard to remember how hard learning something for the first time can be, so try and place yourelf in your student's shoes. Learning is hard work!
1. Decoding words: Use post it notes and have your child tap one post it note for each sound in the word.
2. Encourage students to identify prefixes and suffixes. Prefixes and suffixes are extremely stable and easy to recognize.
3. If your child struggles to read a word, encourage them to say the letter names out loud. A certain amount of productive struggle is important for learning, so encourage your child to figure out the word, but if they are getting super frustrated, it really is okay to tell them the word!
4. Create a word wall for students to investigate. These are words that they struggle with or they might simply be interested in them.
Want to learn more?
Dr. Kelli Sandman Hurley on mindful teaching of reading and spelling
1. Use manipulatives. All learning must be concrete before it can be abstract.
2. Break down the task into smaller chunks. Math can feel super overwhelming!
3. Watch Dr. Nicki demonstrate "strings with wings" for a wonderful explanation and tool to help with skip counting, subtraction, and multiplication.
4. Check in with your child about how they are feeling. Math can cause a lot of anxiety in students leading to their brains to focus on the anxiety and stress rather than the new math they are learning. Read more here.
Step 1: Remove all electronics. Studies have shown that even electronics that are off but in sight can be a distraction. Reade more here.
Step 2: Create an ideal learning environment.
3. Set a timer! A popular learning technique is to "do a pomodoro." This refers to setting a tomato kitchen timer for 25 min and working until the timer goes off. For younger students I recommend 10 minutes to start.
4. Create a reward for sustained attention and work! Work with your student to create a reward for completing a really hard task. While intrinsic motivation is much more important to long term learning, extrinsic rewards can be helpful in small amounts.
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