How can I help my student succeed?
Watching our students struggle is hard, and we can't do it for them.
First, don't panic! In upper elementary school, there are a few types of students that we see struggle. There are strategies we can use to help together.
My student struggles with reading.
Believe it or not this, is the easiest!
1. Read as a family.
Choose a time to turn off the tv, leave the dishes in the sink, and have everyone open up a book, magazine, or newspaper to read. Then talk about what you read.
2. Let your student choose their books!
It's ok if your student only wants to read graphic novels, informational books, or even a series that is below their grade level! Let them choose!
3. Read and use this resource to ask questions.
4. Get books in the house. Even having just 20 books in the home has a significant impact on a student's achievement level!
5. Read some more!
My student struggles with math.
1. Fact Practice
Make sure fact fluency (the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide the numbers 1-12 quickly) is not slowing your student down. If it is, practice using Xtramath.com or flashcards.
2. Make sure their math practice is complete and they are showing their thinking. It's ok if it's not exactly how I would do it! It's even ok if you don't understand it! They just need to try! Use resources like Kahn Academy to review concepts you might have forgotten how to do!
3. Model mathematical thinking. You can do this when shopping, cooking or even planning your day!
"Hmm, I need to double this pancake recipe which calls for half a cup of flour. I need one whole cup because two halves equals a whole."
" This gallon of milk is $1.60 and this loaf of bread is $2.00. I think I'm going to need to give the cashier $4.00 because if I round the cost of the milk up, it's close to $2.00 and I know that 2 plus 2 is 4."
"Ok, the doctor's appointment is at 2:15 and I know it takes 20 minutes to get there. I know that 15 + 5 is the same thing as 20, so we I know we should leave 5 minutes before 2, which is 1:55."
My student struggles to turn work in or complete their work.
Is your student struggling to comprehend the skill or material? Does your student need more time to complete the assignment because they work more slowly?
For many students, it is easier to fail than to ask for help. Some are embarrassed that they need more time than their classmates.
1. Talk to the teacher to make sure your student is using their time wisely in class are not choosing work avoidance behaviors like talking or playing.
2. Support your student by reviewing classwork and notes at home.
3. Utilize study hall or homework club.
5.. Find a tutor to give your student extra instructional time. The district office and the front office has information on students or other teachers that offer after school tutoring.
Sometimes our students appear just unmotivated to succeed at school. Here are some articles with ideas.
10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Do Better in School
Is My Child Just Lazy? This article is by a private tutoring company but addresses the root causes of a lack of motivation very well.
Is your student disorganized?
Sometimes a student is capable of excellent work at grade level, but it just doesn't get turned in or completed. Usually this is a sign of disorganization.
1. Make sure your students binder is neat and organized. Watch this video about how your AVID binder should be set up.
2. Periodically check your student's locker and backpack for loose papers and help your student file them correctly.
3. Make sure your student is filling out the agenda correctly.
4. Review the agenda the evening before with your student, make sure the assignments that need to be turned in are complete and east to find. Use the digital agenda and Google Calendar to make sure the agenda is completed and filled out correctly.
5. If needed, add a Homework Folder to your students binder in the front. Make two pockets, one for work that needs to be completed and one for completed work. Don't take papers out of the binder please!
6. Hold your student accountable! Do not do it for them! Have your student organize their materials, ask for extra copies, or clarification from the teacher. They will not learn if we do it for them!