Understand Learning Struggles

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    If you think you are confused by a student’s uneven performance, imagine how the student feels! While it might be natural to assume a student who does well in one topic but not another did not study enough or was not trying, it might have more to do with differences in the student’s non-academic skills. Most students have. what author and educator Todd Rose calls, jagged profiles–that is to say that they have one or more skills that is significantly stronger than other skills. Helping students recognize, accept, and understand how to manage those differences can be key to reducing anxiety and improving learning success.

    understand uneven performance
  • Differences in non-academic skills might not be readily observable, so it is important that adults gain some insight into how a student learns best and where they struggle more. Typically students struggle when their reasoning skills are strong and their memory skills are weaker. They understand the information but can’t recall it for the test. Other students have stronger visual reasoning than verbal. They might excel in math and science but humanities requires a lot more effort. Helping students manage these differences can be easier than you think once you have an accurate understanding of their strengths and needs.

    get strategies
  • When students struggle without understanding why and what they can do differently they might get discouraged and give up. Conversely, when students understand their strengths, they will have successes that will boost their self-confidence. They also will be able to anticipate when they will need to work harder, are less likely to get frustrated when they face challenges, and can find ways to use their strengths to persevere through the most challenging tasks.

    get started
  • Most students feel some amount of test anxiety. In fact, a small amount of anxiety is healthy and can improve performance. However, if a student consistently knows the information but underperforms or freezes on tests, it will be important to understand the causes of the test anxiety. Test anxiety can be a vicious cycle, but often can be traced to a specific difficulty that if understood, can be properly addressed. Sometimes it is class specific. Or it could be more widespread, perhaps because the student has difficulty with memory and has trouble remembering and applying the information they knew the night before. Other students need more time because of slower processing speed. Keep in mind that the stress of a big test can make what would typically be modest difficulties far more significant.

    understand test anxiety
  • Understanding your student’s relatively weaker non-academic skills is key to providing the right test taking supports. If the anxiety is subject-specific such as math anxiety, you will want to build confidence in their ability to succeed. If the problem is memory, you should first determine which specific type of memory is at issue. There are different strategies to help with retention, depending on whether the struggle is visual or verbal memory. Working memory weaknesses will require a very different set of strategies and supports. If, on the other hand the student is struggling with processing speed, you might need to teach them how to monitor their pace or consider if they should have extra time. One quick approach that teachers can use with all students is to teach them to “throw away” test anxiety.

    get strategies
  • A student who continually underperforms could get discouraged and lose motivation. If a student does not feel he can succeed, he might ultimately stop trying and will have even greater difficulty in learning. 

    get started
  • For students who underperform relative to expectations on standardized tests, analyzing specific test responses can provide meaningful insight for standardized test prep. Difficulties can generally be broken down into four broad areas: (1) specific gaps in subject-specific knowledge, (2) efficiency (working accurately and at an appropriate pace) (3) stamina (sustaining attention from start to finish) and (4) flexible thinking to handle “trick questions“. Anxiety can exacerbate any of these difficulties.

    understand test performance
  • Every student will benefit from an individualized standardized test prep plan. If there are gaps in subject-specific knowledge, consider the strategies above for reading, writing, math, and memorization. Helping students with efficiency will depend on the test, but students will need to know how to pace themselves and how to check their work as they go and when they have time at the end. Practice tests under timed conditions are important to help students develop test stamina, particularly for students with weaker executive functions or slower processing speed.

    get test prep strategies
  • Students need to go into standardized tests with a goal of what success looks like and confidence that they can meet that goal. Understanding the reasons for underperformance on standardized tests and providing the very specific strategies that can help them work more efficiently throughout the test can help students reach their test prep goals.

    get started
  • While you are likely to have several very bright and capable students in your class, on occasion you might have a student whose intellectual abilities are significantly above peers. If these students are not properly engaged, you might find that they are disruptive or complain because material is too easy or presented too slowly. Alternatively, they might ask many, many questions. While no one wants to squash a student’s curiosity, too many questions can disrupt other students’ learning. It can be even more challenging to support gifted learners who also struggle with a learning difficulty, a designation referred to as  2e or Twice Exceptional.

    identify giftedness
  • Once you recognize a student’s specific area of giftedness, you will want to provide them the opportunity to explore deeper on their own. You can provide them ways to go deeper within the existing curriculum in humanities and STEM. For those who are self-motivated to learn on their own, you might be able to provide them the flexibility to work independently when they complete the required curriculum.

    get strategies
  • All students need the appropriate level of stimulation to grow and develop to reach their full potential. If students experience boredom, they may stop paying attention in school or act out. Even the brightest students may do poorly if they stop listening and could lose interest in learning. There are many studies on the underperformance of gifted children who did not receive the appropriate level of academic stimulation and support. Conversely, providing the appropriate attention can ensure children maintain a lifelong love of learning.

    get started

Uneven Performance

  •  

    If you think you are confused by a student’s uneven performance, imagine how the student feels! While it might be natural to assume a student who does well in one topic but not another did not study enough or was not trying, it might have more to do with differences in the student’s non-academic skills. Most students have. what author and educator Todd Rose calls, jagged profiles–that is to say that they have one or more skills that is significantly stronger than other skills. Helping students recognize, accept, and understand how to manage those differences can be key to reducing anxiety and improving learning success.

    understand uneven performance
    gears_3
  • Differences in non-academic skills might not be readily observable, so it is important that adults gain some insight into how a student learns best and where they struggle more. Typically students struggle when their reasoning skills are strong and their memory skills are weaker. They understand the information but can’t recall it for the test. Other students have stronger visual reasoning than verbal. They might excel in math and science but humanities requires a lot more effort. Helping students manage these differences can be easier than you think once you have an accurate understanding of their strengths and needs.

    get strategies
    sib_2
  • When students struggle without understanding why and what they can do differently they might get discouraged and give up. Conversely, when students understand their strengths, they will have successes that will boost their self-confidence. They also will be able to anticipate when they will need to work harder, are less likely to get frustrated when they face challenges, and can find ways to use their strengths to persevere through the most challenging tasks.

    get started
    sib_3

Test Anxiety

  • Most students feel some amount of test anxiety. In fact, a small amount of anxiety is healthy and can improve performance. However, if a student consistently knows the information but underperforms or freezes on tests, it will be important to understand the causes of the test anxiety. Test anxiety can be a vicious cycle, but often can be traced to a specific difficulty that if understood, can be properly addressed. Sometimes it is class specific. Or it could be more widespread, perhaps because the student has difficulty with memory and has trouble remembering and applying the information they knew the night before. Other students need more time because of slower processing speed. Keep in mind that the stress of a big test can make what would typically be modest difficulties far more significant.

    understand test anxiety
    writing skills
  • Understanding your student’s relatively weaker non-academic skills is key to providing the right test taking supports. If the anxiety is subject-specific such as math anxiety, you will want to build confidence in their ability to succeed. If the problem is memory, you should first determine which specific type of memory is at issue. There are different strategies to help with retention, depending on whether the struggle is visual or verbal memory. Working memory weaknesses will require a very different set of strategies and supports. If, on the other hand the student is struggling with processing speed, you might need to teach them how to monitor their pace or consider if they should have extra time. One quick approach that teachers can use with all students is to teach them to “throw away” test anxiety.

    get strategies
    Untitled-2
  • A student who continually underperforms could get discouraged and lose motivation. If a student does not feel he can succeed, he might ultimately stop trying and will have even greater difficulty in learning. 

    get started
    sib_3

Standardized Test Prep

  • For students who underperform relative to expectations on standardized tests, analyzing specific test responses can provide meaningful insight for standardized test prep. Difficulties can generally be broken down into four broad areas: (1) specific gaps in subject-specific knowledge, (2) efficiency (working accurately and at an appropriate pace) (3) stamina (sustaining attention from start to finish) and (4) flexible thinking to handle “trick questions“. Anxiety can exacerbate any of these difficulties.

    understand test performance
    writing skills
  • Every student will benefit from an individualized standardized test prep plan. If there are gaps in subject-specific knowledge, consider the strategies above for reading, writing, math, and memorization. Helping students with efficiency will depend on the test, but students will need to know how to pace themselves and how to check their work as they go and when they have time at the end. Practice tests under timed conditions are important to help students develop test stamina, particularly for students with weaker executive functions or slower processing speed.

    get test prep strategies
    Untitled-2
  • Students need to go into standardized tests with a goal of what success looks like and confidence that they can meet that goal. Understanding the reasons for underperformance on standardized tests and providing the very specific strategies that can help them work more efficiently throughout the test can help students reach their test prep goals.

    get started
    sib_3

Giftedness

  • While you are likely to have several very bright and capable students in your class, on occasion you might have a student whose intellectual abilities are significantly above peers. If these students are not properly engaged, you might find that they are disruptive or complain because material is too easy or presented too slowly. Alternatively, they might ask many, many questions. While no one wants to squash a student’s curiosity, too many questions can disrupt other students’ learning. It can be even more challenging to support gifted learners who also struggle with a learning difficulty, a designation referred to as  2e or Twice Exceptional.

    identify giftedness
    Untitled-1
  • Once you recognize a student’s specific area of giftedness, you will want to provide them the opportunity to explore deeper on their own. You can provide them ways to go deeper within the existing curriculum in humanities and STEM. For those who are self-motivated to learn on their own, you might be able to provide them the flexibility to work independently when they complete the required curriculum.

    get strategies
    gears_3
  • All students need the appropriate level of stimulation to grow and develop to reach their full potential. If students experience boredom, they may stop paying attention in school or act out. Even the brightest students may do poorly if they stop listening and could lose interest in learning. There are many studies on the underperformance of gifted children who did not receive the appropriate level of academic stimulation and support. Conversely, providing the appropriate attention can ensure children maintain a lifelong love of learning.

    get started
    gears_1

Uneven Performance

Understanding Uneven Performance

 

If you think you are confused by a student’s uneven performance, imagine how the student feels! While it might be natural to assume a student who does well in one topic but not another did not study enough or was not trying, it might have more to do with differences in the student’s non-academic skills. Most students have. what author and educator Todd Rose calls, jagged profiles–that is to say that they have one or more skills that is significantly stronger than other skills. Helping students recognize, accept, and understand how to manage those differences can be key to reducing anxiety and improving learning success.

understand uneven performance
gears_3
Strategies for Uneven Performance

Differences in non-academic skills might not be readily observable, so it is important that adults gain some insight into how a student learns best and where they struggle more. Typically students struggle when their reasoning skills are strong and their memory skills are weaker. They understand the information but can’t recall it for the test. Other students have stronger visual reasoning than verbal. They might excel in math and science but humanities requires a lot more effort. Helping students manage these differences can be easier than you think once you have an accurate understanding of their strengths and needs.

get strategies
sib_2
Why Act Now

When students struggle without understanding why and what they can do differently they might get discouraged and give up. Conversely, when students understand their strengths, they will have successes that will boost their self-confidence. They also will be able to anticipate when they will need to work harder, are less likely to get frustrated when they face challenges, and can find ways to use their strengths to persevere through the most challenging tasks.

get started
sib_3

Test Anxiety

Understanding Test Anxiety

Most students feel some amount of test anxiety. In fact, a small amount of anxiety is healthy and can improve performance. However, if a student consistently knows the information but underperforms or freezes on tests, it will be important to understand the causes of the test anxiety. Test anxiety can be a vicious cycle, but often can be traced to a specific difficulty that if understood, can be properly addressed. Sometimes it is class specific. Or it could be more widespread, perhaps because the student has difficulty with memory and has trouble remembering and applying the information they knew the night before. Other students need more time because of slower processing speed. Keep in mind that the stress of a big test can make what would typically be modest difficulties far more significant.

understand test anxiety
writing skills
Strategies for test anxiety

Understanding your student’s relatively weaker non-academic skills is key to providing the right test taking supports. If the anxiety is subject-specific such as math anxiety, you will want to build confidence in their ability to succeed. If the problem is memory, you should first determine which specific type of memory is at issue. There are different strategies to help with retention, depending on whether the struggle is visual or verbal memory. Working memory weaknesses will require a very different set of strategies and supports. If, on the other hand the student is struggling with processing speed, you might need to teach them how to monitor their pace or consider if they should have extra time. One quick approach that teachers can use with all students is to teach them to “throw away” test anxiety.

get strategies
Untitled-2
Why Act Now

A student who continually underperforms could get discouraged and lose motivation. If a student does not feel he can succeed, he might ultimately stop trying and will have even greater difficulty in learning. 

get started
sib_3

Standardized Test Prep

Understanding Performance on Standardized Tests

For students who underperform relative to expectations on standardized tests, analyzing specific test responses can provide meaningful insight for standardized test prep. Difficulties can generally be broken down into four broad areas: (1) specific gaps in subject-specific knowledge, (2) efficiency (working accurately and at an appropriate pace) (3) stamina (sustaining attention from start to finish) and (4) flexible thinking to handle “trick questions“. Anxiety can exacerbate any of these difficulties.

understand test performance
writing skills
Strategies for standardized tests

Every student will benefit from an individualized standardized test prep plan. If there are gaps in subject-specific knowledge, consider the strategies above for reading, writing, math, and memorization. Helping students with efficiency will depend on the test, but students will need to know how to pace themselves and how to check their work as they go and when they have time at the end. Practice tests under timed conditions are important to help students develop test stamina, particularly for students with weaker executive functions or slower processing speed.

get test prep strategies
Untitled-2
Why Act Now

Students need to go into standardized tests with a goal of what success looks like and confidence that they can meet that goal. Understanding the reasons for underperformance on standardized tests and providing the very specific strategies that can help them work more efficiently throughout the test can help students reach their test prep goals.

get started
sib_3

Giftedness

Understanding Giftedness

While you are likely to have several very bright and capable students in your class, on occasion you might have a student whose intellectual abilities are significantly above peers. If these students are not properly engaged, you might find that they are disruptive or complain because material is too easy or presented too slowly. Alternatively, they might ask many, many questions. While no one wants to squash a student’s curiosity, too many questions can disrupt other students’ learning. It can be even more challenging to support gifted learners who also struggle with a learning difficulty, a designation referred to as  2e or Twice Exceptional.

identify giftedness
Untitled-1
Strategies for Giftedness

Once you recognize a student’s specific area of giftedness, you will want to provide them the opportunity to explore deeper on their own. You can provide them ways to go deeper within the existing curriculum in humanities and STEM. For those who are self-motivated to learn on their own, you might be able to provide them the flexibility to work independently when they complete the required curriculum.

get strategies
gears_3
Why Act Now

All students need the appropriate level of stimulation to grow and develop to reach their full potential. If students experience boredom, they may stop paying attention in school or act out. Even the brightest students may do poorly if they stop listening and could lose interest in learning. There are many studies on the underperformance of gifted children who did not receive the appropriate level of academic stimulation and support. Conversely, providing the appropriate attention can ensure children maintain a lifelong love of learning.

get started
gears_1

Read the
research about...

Uneven Performance

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Read the
research about...

Test Anxiety

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Read the
research about...

Standardized Test Prep

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Read the
research about...

Giftedness

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