Common Characteristics of Struggling Learners
- They are easily distracted
- They do not actively seek to learn new things
- They lack self-motivation.
- They are unable to interpret verbal instructions
- Inability to memorize (need repetition to build automaticity)
- They lack curiosity.
- They are frustrated easily.
- Must receive instruction in as many ways as possible.
- Inappropriate social behavior… they will do inappropriate things to gain attention and distract the classroom. Keep them busy with SB.
- Adult students are easily embarrassed and appreciate instruction that does not show others that they are having problems (Study Buddy).
Study Buddy holds attention because of the motor component; push a button and something happens immediately.
Struggling Learner Information
Learn through seeing and prefer written or visual materials such as diagrams, pictures, and charts. They become confused when doing multi-step problems such as changing percents to decimals and then multiplying… they must see the process. Animations in Study Buddy cartridges let them “see” the solution, step by step. The feedback for answers lets them see the step-by-step process to find the solution. Developing automaticity is crucial and that only happens with repetition. Study Buddy gives control to the student to work with each concept as often as they want to, by using the PLAY LESSON feature to see and hear instruction, using STUDY with immediate feedback, and using the TEST mode to measure progress and mastery.
Learn through listening via discussions, hearing information, or making presentations. Study Buddy’s multimedia instruction lets them hear the information they need to know, as many times as they need to hear it. small group instruction or paired instruction lets them participate in discussions about questions and solutions, and goals.
Learn by doing and prefer a hands-on approach. Movement, music in the background, and lots of activities work well for this style of learner. They don’t like sitting in a formal classroom desk arrangement. Study Buddy accommodates this because of the motor component (button pushing), and the fact that they can sit or move around while using Study Buddy.
Research indicates that struggling learners benefit from the following goals and activities:
- Develop automaticity through practice.
- Accommodate of different learning styles.
- Provide ongoing feedback to students about their progress.
- Let students assess their own progress.
- Provide instruction in as many different modalities as possible
- Allow students to select from different ways to assess performance
- Connect goal-setting process to informal assessments, in other words, Formative Assessment. One of the key principles is giving them a regular progress report in a written format or oral conversation. Use the Study Buddy progress report for the student to record progress and set short-term goals.
- Cooperative learning: Have students work in pairs or small groups. (2 or 3 students share a Study Buddy)
- Student-led small groups. Students take turns assuming role of leader. The student guides instruction by asking questions and facilitating answers. They can do this with a Study Buddy. Read or show the question, read the explanations.
- Classroom arrangements can improve learning. The Paired desks, E-shaped, U-shaped, and groups of tables with 4 students each, encourage cooperative learning. Activities can be varied. Working on paper or with Study Buddies is perfect for these room arrangements, keeping students on task while the instructor roves around.