Understand Learning Difficulties

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  • While small amounts of anxiety can be productive and even motivating for students, too much anxiety can interfere with a student’s learning, self-confidence and overall social, emotional, and physical well-being. Here are some signs that a student might be struggling with anxiety or depression.

    Meaningful decline in academic performance without another explanation 

    Unwillingness to participate in class

    Disinclination to interact with other students

    Be careful before assuming it is anxiety holding your student back, as the signs of anxiety can resemble behaviors typically associated with ADHD and other learning struggles. Consulting the school counselor or other professional is always the best way to ensure a student is receiving all the right supports.

    understand how your child learns
  • Teachers can help calm an anxious student once they understand the primary cause. While it might take a student time to open up and share their “anxiety triggers”, just knowing there is a caring adult at school can make a world of difference to a student who feels anxious.

    Specific supports for anxious students could include

    Provide extra time for assignments

    Give advance notice before calling on them in class

    Allowing them to sit next to a supportive friend (or away from other students who might make them nervous).

    Consider mindfulness and meditation in the classroom which can be calming and have positive impacts on academic performance for all students.

    get strategies for anxiety
  • Reported anxiety in adolescents is on the rise. Anxiety can have a negative effect on students socially and emotionally, as well as academically. Adults play an important role in supporting students and helping them feel safe and confident so they are ready to learn. 

    get started
  • By 3rd grade, students should have self-control of their words and actions, even when needled by other students. While it is natural and expected for students to make an occasional mistake, chronic misbehavior might signal a student is struggling to control impulses or is experiencing built-up frustration with academic or personal challenges. While it is often appropriate to reprimand a misbehaving student, it is also important to understand why a student is consistently acting out and address the underlying reason.

    understand behavior
  • Students might misbehave or lack self-control for a variety of reasons. These are the most common but it is essential to understand the true why for a student’s misbehavior rather than make assumptions.

    Social, personal or emotional struggles

    Insufficient sleep or food

    Struggling to learn and don’t know how to ask for help

    Poor attention or inhibitory control

    Weaker flexible thinking

    Don’t understand they’re doing something wrong

     

    Disappointed

    understand behavior challenges
  • Adults can help students manage their impulses and coach them how to respond appropriately to unexpected or disappointing circumstances. Here are strategies that will help most students.

    Weaker Attention, frequent, scheduled breaks provide the opportunity to release excessive energy and prevent the uncontrolled impulse that come when they are asked to sit quietly for longer than they can manage.

    Weaker Flexible Thinking Coach them to step back and take a pause; provide advance notice that a change is coming.; Help older students create contingency plans so they are prepared for unfortunate situations.

    If you believe a student might be misbehaving because they are struggling to learn it will be important to address the learning issue first.

    get personalized strategies
  • It might surprise teachers when some of their brightest students struggle with solving novel problems or trying something new. They might appear stubborn when they are really struggling with flexible thinking. Signs a student is struggling with cognitive flexibility.

    Refuses to try more than one way to solve a problem

    Resists taking feedback

    Gets very upset during transitions or unexpected changes in routines

    Frequently disagrees with peers

    Understands complex problems but gets stuck with a “twist”

    Struggles with unstructured activities

    Struggles to make decisions or choose a topic 

    understand flexible thinking

  • Students of all capabilities can struggle with cognitive flexibility. Some of the brightest students might not show signs of difficulties until middle or high school when they face academic challenges for the first time. If you are concerned a student might be struggling, consider an objective screener. If you know a student is struggling with flexible thinking, try these strategies.

    Provide coaching to cope with ambiguity and novelty.

    Notify students in advance of transitions or unexpected changes

    Prepare students with contingency plans

    Show empathy, even if their feelings might seem unrealistic to you

    strategies to support flexibility

  • Flexible thinking is a key driver of creative thinking and problem solving in academic and social settings. As students improve their flexibility, they become better problem solvers and get along better with others, key skills for successful lifelong learning and collaboration.  All students will benefit from these strategies to strengthen this critical life skill.

    Have them solve problems in multiple ways

    Work on problems without a single “right answer”

    Allow opportunities debating both sides of important issues

    Encourage group work, with the appropriate supervision, to help students adapt to alternative perspectives

    strategies to strengthen flexibility
  • Here are common signs of a student who struggles to self-monitor:

    Doesn’t understand why he gets in trouble

    Needs to be reprimanded repeatedly for the same thing

    Makes careless mistakes

    Often interrupts others or invades personal space

    Gets in frequent fights or arguments

    Has trouble waiting for his turn or needs to be first

    understand self-monitoring
  • Most self-monitoring difficulties have their roots in the following challenges in the executive functions skills of

    Attention 

    Flexible thinking

    Working memory

    Knowing if your student is struggling with executive functions, and which one(s) is a key first step. If your student’s executive functions are good but still showing signs of behavior challenges, you might begin to explore social, emotional or personal concerns.

    identify self-monitoring needs

  • Students who self-monitor tend to be more effective and efficient learners. They find it easier to complete assignments to the best of their ability, are more likely to enjoy school, and often find it easier to make friends. Generally speaking, the earlier these skills are learned, the happier your students will be.

    Talking in class or misbehaving, require them to take a pause.

    Too many questions in class, learn how to save up their questions.

    If homework has scattered errors, teach explicit strategies of how to check their work 

    personalized self-monitoring strategies

Generalized Anxiety

  • While small amounts of anxiety can be productive and even motivating for students, too much anxiety can interfere with a student’s learning, self-confidence and overall social, emotional, and physical well-being. Here are some signs that a student might be struggling with anxiety or depression.

    Meaningful decline in academic performance without another explanation 

    Unwillingness to participate in class

    Disinclination to interact with other students

    Be careful before assuming it is anxiety holding your student back, as the signs of anxiety can resemble behaviors typically associated with ADHD and other learning struggles. Consulting the school counselor or other professional is always the best way to ensure a student is receiving all the right supports.

    understand how your child learns
    Untitled-1
  • Teachers can help calm an anxious student once they understand the primary cause. While it might take a student time to open up and share their “anxiety triggers”, just knowing there is a caring adult at school can make a world of difference to a student who feels anxious.

    Specific supports for anxious students could include

    Provide extra time for assignments

    Give advance notice before calling on them in class

    Allowing them to sit next to a supportive friend (or away from other students who might make them nervous).

    Consider mindfulness and meditation in the classroom which can be calming and have positive impacts on academic performance for all students.

    get strategies for anxiety
    Untitled-1
  • Reported anxiety in adolescents is on the rise. Anxiety can have a negative effect on students socially and emotionally, as well as academically. Adults play an important role in supporting students and helping them feel safe and confident so they are ready to learn. 

    get started
    attention problems

Behavior & Self-Control

  • By 3rd grade, students should have self-control of their words and actions, even when needled by other students. While it is natural and expected for students to make an occasional mistake, chronic misbehavior might signal a student is struggling to control impulses or is experiencing built-up frustration with academic or personal challenges. While it is often appropriate to reprimand a misbehaving student, it is also important to understand why a student is consistently acting out and address the underlying reason.

    understand behavior
    self_1
  • Students might misbehave or lack self-control for a variety of reasons. These are the most common but it is essential to understand the true why for a student’s misbehavior rather than make assumptions.

    Social, personal or emotional struggles

    Insufficient sleep or food

    Struggling to learn and don’t know how to ask for help

    Poor attention or inhibitory control

    Weaker flexible thinking

    Don’t understand they’re doing something wrong

     

    Disappointed

    understand behavior challenges
    self_2
  • Adults can help students manage their impulses and coach them how to respond appropriately to unexpected or disappointing circumstances. Here are strategies that will help most students.

    Weaker Attention, frequent, scheduled breaks provide the opportunity to release excessive energy and prevent the uncontrolled impulse that come when they are asked to sit quietly for longer than they can manage.

    Weaker Flexible Thinking Coach them to step back and take a pause; provide advance notice that a change is coming.; Help older students create contingency plans so they are prepared for unfortunate situations.

    If you believe a student might be misbehaving because they are struggling to learn it will be important to address the learning issue first.

    get personalized strategies
    self_3

Flexible Thinking

  • It might surprise teachers when some of their brightest students struggle with solving novel problems or trying something new. They might appear stubborn when they are really struggling with flexible thinking. Signs a student is struggling with cognitive flexibility.

    Refuses to try more than one way to solve a problem

    Resists taking feedback

    Gets very upset during transitions or unexpected changes in routines

    Frequently disagrees with peers

    Understands complex problems but gets stuck with a “twist”

    Struggles with unstructured activities

    Struggles to make decisions or choose a topic 

    understand flexible thinking

    flexible thinking
  • Students of all capabilities can struggle with cognitive flexibility. Some of the brightest students might not show signs of difficulties until middle or high school when they face academic challenges for the first time. If you are concerned a student might be struggling, consider an objective screener. If you know a student is struggling with flexible thinking, try these strategies.

    Provide coaching to cope with ambiguity and novelty.

    Notify students in advance of transitions or unexpected changes

    Prepare students with contingency plans

    Show empathy, even if their feelings might seem unrealistic to you

    strategies to support flexibility

    gears_2
  • Flexible thinking is a key driver of creative thinking and problem solving in academic and social settings. As students improve their flexibility, they become better problem solvers and get along better with others, key skills for successful lifelong learning and collaboration.  All students will benefit from these strategies to strengthen this critical life skill.

    Have them solve problems in multiple ways

    Work on problems without a single “right answer”

    Allow opportunities debating both sides of important issues

    Encourage group work, with the appropriate supervision, to help students adapt to alternative perspectives

    strategies to strengthen flexibility
    gears_3

Self-Monitoring

  • Here are common signs of a student who struggles to self-monitor:

    Doesn’t understand why he gets in trouble

    Needs to be reprimanded repeatedly for the same thing

    Makes careless mistakes

    Often interrupts others or invades personal space

    Gets in frequent fights or arguments

    Has trouble waiting for his turn or needs to be first

    understand self-monitoring
    summary profile
  • Most self-monitoring difficulties have their roots in the following challenges in the executive functions skills of

    Attention 

    Flexible thinking

    Working memory

    Knowing if your student is struggling with executive functions, and which one(s) is a key first step. If your student’s executive functions are good but still showing signs of behavior challenges, you might begin to explore social, emotional or personal concerns.

    identify self-monitoring needs

    Untitled-2
  • Students who self-monitor tend to be more effective and efficient learners. They find it easier to complete assignments to the best of their ability, are more likely to enjoy school, and often find it easier to make friends. Generally speaking, the earlier these skills are learned, the happier your students will be.

    Talking in class or misbehaving, require them to take a pause.

    Too many questions in class, learn how to save up their questions.

    If homework has scattered errors, teach explicit strategies of how to check their work 

    personalized self-monitoring strategies
    Untitled-3

Generalized Anxiety

Signs of Anxiety

While small amounts of anxiety can be productive and even motivating for students, too much anxiety can interfere with a student’s learning, self-confidence and overall social, emotional, and physical well-being. Here are some signs that a student might be struggling with anxiety or depression.

Meaningful decline in academic performance without another explanation 

Unwillingness to participate in class

Disinclination to interact with other students

Be careful before assuming it is anxiety holding your student back, as the signs of anxiety can resemble behaviors typically associated with ADHD and other learning struggles. Consulting the school counselor or other professional is always the best way to ensure a student is receiving all the right supports.

understand how your child learns
Untitled-1
Strategies to Support Anxiety

Teachers can help calm an anxious student once they understand the primary cause. While it might take a student time to open up and share their “anxiety triggers”, just knowing there is a caring adult at school can make a world of difference to a student who feels anxious.

Specific supports for anxious students could include

Provide extra time for assignments

Give advance notice before calling on them in class

Allowing them to sit next to a supportive friend (or away from other students who might make them nervous).

Consider mindfulness and meditation in the classroom which can be calming and have positive impacts on academic performance for all students.

get strategies for anxiety
Untitled-1
Why Act Now

Reported anxiety in adolescents is on the rise. Anxiety can have a negative effect on students socially and emotionally, as well as academically. Adults play an important role in supporting students and helping them feel safe and confident so they are ready to learn. 

get started
attention problems

Behavior & Self-Control

Self-Control Difficulties

By 3rd grade, students should have self-control of their words and actions, even when needled by other students. While it is natural and expected for students to make an occasional mistake, chronic misbehavior might signal a student is struggling to control impulses or is experiencing built-up frustration with academic or personal challenges. While it is often appropriate to reprimand a misbehaving student, it is also important to understand why a student is consistently acting out and address the underlying reason.

understand behavior
self_1
Understand source of self-control

Students might misbehave or lack self-control for a variety of reasons. These are the most common but it is essential to understand the true why for a student’s misbehavior rather than make assumptions.

Social, personal or emotional struggles

Insufficient sleep or food

Struggling to learn and don’t know how to ask for help

Poor attention or inhibitory control

Weaker flexible thinking

Don’t understand they’re doing something wrong

 

Disappointed

understand behavior challenges
self_2
Behavior Strategies

Adults can help students manage their impulses and coach them how to respond appropriately to unexpected or disappointing circumstances. Here are strategies that will help most students.

Weaker Attention, frequent, scheduled breaks provide the opportunity to release excessive energy and prevent the uncontrolled impulse that come when they are asked to sit quietly for longer than they can manage.

Weaker Flexible Thinking Coach them to step back and take a pause; provide advance notice that a change is coming.; Help older students create contingency plans so they are prepared for unfortunate situations.

If you believe a student might be misbehaving because they are struggling to learn it will be important to address the learning issue first.

get personalized strategies
self_3

Flexible Thinking

Understanding Flexible Thinking

It might surprise teachers when some of their brightest students struggle with solving novel problems or trying something new. They might appear stubborn when they are really struggling with flexible thinking. Signs a student is struggling with cognitive flexibility.

Refuses to try more than one way to solve a problem

Resists taking feedback

Gets very upset during transitions or unexpected changes in routines

Frequently disagrees with peers

Understands complex problems but gets stuck with a “twist”

Struggles with unstructured activities

Struggles to make decisions or choose a topic 

understand flexible thinking

flexible thinking
Support Flexible Thinking

Students of all capabilities can struggle with cognitive flexibility. Some of the brightest students might not show signs of difficulties until middle or high school when they face academic challenges for the first time. If you are concerned a student might be struggling, consider an objective screener. If you know a student is struggling with flexible thinking, try these strategies.

Provide coaching to cope with ambiguity and novelty.

Notify students in advance of transitions or unexpected changes

Prepare students with contingency plans

Show empathy, even if their feelings might seem unrealistic to you

strategies to support flexibility

gears_2
Srengthen Flexible Thinking

Flexible thinking is a key driver of creative thinking and problem solving in academic and social settings. As students improve their flexibility, they become better problem solvers and get along better with others, key skills for successful lifelong learning and collaboration.  All students will benefit from these strategies to strengthen this critical life skill.

Have them solve problems in multiple ways

Work on problems without a single “right answer”

Allow opportunities debating both sides of important issues

Encourage group work, with the appropriate supervision, to help students adapt to alternative perspectives

strategies to strengthen flexibility
gears_3

Self-Monitoring

Signs of Self-Monitoring Challenges

Here are common signs of a student who struggles to self-monitor:

Doesn’t understand why he gets in trouble

Needs to be reprimanded repeatedly for the same thing

Makes careless mistakes

Often interrupts others or invades personal space

Gets in frequent fights or arguments

Has trouble waiting for his turn or needs to be first

understand self-monitoring
summary profile
Understand Self-Monitoring Challenges

Most self-monitoring difficulties have their roots in the following challenges in the executive functions skills of

Attention 

Flexible thinking

Working memory

Knowing if your student is struggling with executive functions, and which one(s) is a key first step. If your student’s executive functions are good but still showing signs of behavior challenges, you might begin to explore social, emotional or personal concerns.

identify self-monitoring needs

Untitled-2
Self-Monitoring Strategies

Students who self-monitor tend to be more effective and efficient learners. They find it easier to complete assignments to the best of their ability, are more likely to enjoy school, and often find it easier to make friends. Generally speaking, the earlier these skills are learned, the happier your students will be.

Talking in class or misbehaving, require them to take a pause.

Too many questions in class, learn how to save up their questions.

If homework has scattered errors, teach explicit strategies of how to check their work 

personalized self-monitoring strategies
Untitled-3

Read the
research about...

Generalized Anxiety

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Read the
research about...

Behavior & Self-Control

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Read the
research about...

Flexible Thinking

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Read the
research about...

Self-Monitoring

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