Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill had one thing in common. Can you guess what it is? Well, each of them were ‘slow learners’. Their poor memory and inability to cope with academics had made them dyslexic during their childhood. But, look at these amazing personalities now. The world applauds them for their immense contribution to society in the fields of science, literature and politics! And they are only a few of the several renowned person as who have achieved success despite being slow learners.
Who are Slow Learners?
First of all, let us understand the concept of slow learners. Students with a low intelligence quotient whose learning skills develop at a slower rate as compared to that of other learners of their age are categorized as slow learners. Unlike normal students, they require more time and resources to grasp a particular lesson.
This happens since their thinking skills are a bit delayed that prevents them from following their lessons effectively. So naturally, slow learners need more quality time, patience and care from teachers inside the classrooms. Let us discuss about some of the ways in which teachers can motivate slow learners:
#1. Giving them more time: You must understand that slow learners are special students who require more time than ordinary ones. You can give them at least ten minutes extra time as they try to read a comprehension passage than what is permitted in the school curriculum. Consult the school principal and arrange for additional learning sessions for such students after school hours, if needed.
#2. Explain as directly as possible: Make sure that your instructions are as direct as possible. Define each of the terms in the simplest manner and continue explaining till the lessons are completely clear to your pupils. Another clever tip is to ask your students to identify keywords in your instructions. This is one of the best ways in which you can motivate pupils to learn better.
#3. Help them to be more organized: Organizing priorities can be really helpful for slow learners. This would enable them to concentrate on their studies and finish their pending assignments on time. So teachers must provide them with a homework planner to schedule their homework and even classroom assignments. They must also encourage parents to check if their children are completing all their assignments.
#4. Tell them why they must learn: Quite often, slow learners find their studies dull. Therefore, you must give them practical reasons to learn a particular subject. You can do so by explaining how learning about certain topics can help them in their daily lives. Praise your students when they display progress or score higher grades. Similarly, be patient with their faults when they make mistakes.
#5. Assist your students to focus: Inability to concentrate is one of the major stumbling blocks for slow learners and dyslexic students. This is the reason why teachers must make attempts to remove distractions in the classroom to help them focus better. It would greatly benefit students if they are seated in the front rows, so you should make their seating arrangements in that order.
Also recommended: Top iPad Apps to aid Students with Dyslexia.
#6. Make your lessons interesting: Pupils who are slow learners tend to get bored easily. So you must organize certain games or events that would help them imbibe social skills and at the same time break the monotony. Why not ask the brighter students to guide them as they try solving Math problems? Sometimes peers have a positive impact on these kinds of learners.
A smart tip for you: Use social media in your classrooms to grab the attention of your students. It makes learning even more interactive and interesting.
Apart from the six ways that I have mentioned, there are more techniques you can adopt to motivate slow learners. For instance, you can take your students out for school trips to inspire them to learn about a topic in History or Biology. A field trip is an excellent way to help students learn, particularly the slow learners.
I have yet another trick up my sleeve that can help you make your lessons more student-friendly. You can introduce technology into your classroom by encouraging your pupils to use iPads and laptops. Since the modern generation is technology savvy, they would love studying if they can use these gadgets to their advantage! As teachers, you must bear in mind that slow learners have enough potential to shine in their academics – with a little bit of effort from your end.