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Teaching Strategies

to Keep Struggling Students Working

1. Give Students Time to Think of the Answer

The amount of time that a teacher gives students to think of the answer and raise their hands is called wait time, and research published in the early 1970s and mid-1990s is still used to show that it is a critical instructional tool.

2. Allow Students to Explain Their Answer

Teachers who find ways to help students answer their own questions first help students to formulate good questions, and then guide students to answer these questions through inquiry and problem-solving.

3. Write Down All Directions

Ensure that the instructions are simple and easy to understand. Presenting them as bulletin points will help students to adhere to them. 

4. Teach Perseverance

Perseverance for students is vital to help them achieve their goals. Perseverance is defined as the steadfast pursuit of a mission, task, or journey despite the distraction, discouragement, and obstacles. 

5. Teach Time-Management Skills

Students usually have fairly structured schedules. Their school day and their after-school activities are planned out for them. As a result, many of them don't learn how to manage their time wisely when they have some downtime.

6. Take it One Task at a Time

Setting a goal and switching tasks when students have reached that goal makes work more productive and helps students’ brains stay on task longer. It’s the happy medium between rapidly going back and forth between tasks and trying to focus on one task for too long.

7. Ask Questions that Require Students to Think

The number one teaching goal is to promote critical thinking, and reports on the status of education have consistently called for greater emphasis on the development of college students’ critical thinking skills. 

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