A classroom is a mixture of children having different learning competencies and interests. Each student is special and unique, which is why some may perform well in some subjects while others may not. Each student will be different from another and may showcase different talents and creativity. In this group of students, some may lag behind others in terms of their academic performance. Some students take more time to comprehend learning topics, these students are slower learners.
There will be some students who are slow learners in every class. However, with some extra care and attention, these slow learners will be able to keep up with other students. You can modify your pedagogical methodologies to keep them on the same page as other learners. Let us look at some characteristics of slow learners to understand them better, and it will also help you to identify the slow learners among your students.
Characteristics of Slow Learners
It can be challenging for slow learners to comprehend the topics being taught in class. They passively listen to the classroom lecture as they are unable to comprehend ideas and words that are used by the lecturer. A lack of understanding of the topics that are discussed in the class can lead to poor performance from the learners. Unless and until a learner is unable to understand a concept, they will not be able to score well in exams. This leads us to the next point.
Difficulty in Expression
Slow learners won't be able to properly answer questions on an exam since they do not have a holistic understanding of the learning concepts. They frequently have trouble making connections, which makes it harder for them to communicate their thoughts clearly. Even in the classroom, these students might not have the skills to clearly communicate their views. This affects their overall performance and scores.
Lack of Attention
It is hard for slow learners to focus on lectures being given in class as their concentration power might be low. They may easily get distracted by their thoughts and other external factors. They find it hard to concentrate on the class for a longer period of time and hence may miss out on important parts of the lectures. You can try to make the lectures more interesting in order to grab the attention of such students and keep them engaged in the class for longer. One way of doing that would be to include interactive discussions, preferably at the end of the class, in between the lectures to make sure that the students are following the concepts.
Poor Memory Power
The learning retention of these students is relatively low. Hence, they forget the learned concepts easily. Moreover, it is not easy for them to remember formulas, definitions, and other important data to apply them when required. This substantially affects their overall performance. As teachers, you can paste chart papers inside the classroom to have regular exposure to the concepts that they need to memorize in order to perform better in their exams.
Weak in Rational Thinking
Slow learners can lag behind when it comes to rational thinking capabilities. It is difficult for them to analyze a situation and make informed decisions. They may not always evaluate the pros and cons of a problem before reaching a conclusion for the same. They may even go out of their way to seek help from others to decide on something since they personally would not feel confident to take decisions on their own.
These are some of the characteristics that you can use to identify the slow learners in your class. It is important to do so because through this, you can bring about a significant change in their performance and uplift them, bringing them to their fullest potential. You can adopt various strategies to help them overcome their difficulties.
Given below are 5 teaching strategies that can help improve the learning experience of slow learners:
You may organize remedial classes for the slow learners so that their problems can be addressed in a separate class at their own pace. Remedial classes provide students with a comfortable learning environment. This gives you an opportunity to closely analyze the students’ shortcomings and guide them properly to be on the right track. Ensure that you are not cramming students with a lot of information and making it hard to follow the lectures. You can use different pedagogical methodologies that would work for your students. Once, they realize that they can perform better, they will develop intrinsic motivation and start showing interest in learning.
Prepare Different Learning Exercises
You can prepare different learning exercises to help your students get a hang of the topics that are hard for them to comprehend. Allow them the space to go through the concepts, starting from the basics, if required. When they do eventually comprehend the topics, it may instill confidence in them and inspire them to accommodate the complexities of those topics and also eases the process of understanding.
You can assign some students to help these learners in the classroom. They may find it easier to grasp the concepts from their peers as the choice of words and instructional methodologies may vary. As they belong to the same age groups, they might be able to break down the complex learning topics into manageable simple bits that may facilitate the learning process of the students who are lagging behind.
Appreciate their Achievements
Appreciate the achievements of your students, even if they are small. It motivates them to perform better and improve their performance. It is the lack of motivation that takes away interest in learning among students. Therefore, it would be a good idea to reward them even if their performance is improving at a slow pace. Remember, these small rewards can have a great impact on their outlook toward learning.
Make Use of Active Learning
Active learning can have a significant impact on their scores. Moreover, it improves knowledge retention among students. Once they start relating the concepts to real-life situations, they will be able to comprehend the concepts in the best possible way that they will never forget. Active learning can maximize their learning potential & pique their interest in learning.
Activities for Slow Learners
Here are some simple activities that you can execute to improve the performance of slow learners and uplift their skills.
- Conduct group activities to boost interactive learning and confidence among them.
- Organize games related to their learning topic in order to instill curiosity towards it.
- Come up with oral activities where students are encouraged to express their ideas.
- Rectify their mistakes and guide them properly to formulate their ideas into words.
- Curate exercises and homework with lower difficulty levels and gradually increase the difficulty level for the students to get acquainted with the topics at a slower pace.
In short, this article has detailed the characteristics of slow learners and some tips to keep them involved in the learning process. Improving the performance of slow learners can be quite challenging, but the above-mentioned methodologies can be implemented to help them. The success of teachers lies in the collective growth of all the students in class. Hope this article will help you help your students excel in their academic endeavors and change their outlook on learning.
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