Many teachers wonder what is the best way to help struggling students. These same teachers reveal that they often have to re-teach information to students. Doing so can be time-consuming and frustrating. Fortunately, there is a better way. It’s called pre-teaching.
Pre-teaching is often more effective and positive than re-teaching, and it is one of the best ways to help struggling students. This approach requires a shift in thinking and some pre-planning, but it does not necessarily require any more time than would be spent to help a less capable student who has not learned the material.
Pre-Teach to Help Struggling Students
We all know that no two students are alike. Some learn concepts very quickly, while others require more instruction. Additionally, just because a student mastered a concept this week does not mean he or she will master next week’s material in the same way. Since we know that some students require more instruction than others, and we also often know which areas certain students struggle with, why not approach this challenge in a way that will better assist these students?
Here’s how it works: Instead of waiting until a student is struggling, plan to offer to help struggling students ahead of time so that the less capable student will have a better chance of being successful at the same time as others. For example, you can share the NEXT day’s math lesson so that a parent or tutor can help by pre-teaching and practicing the concepts that will be introduced on the following day. Another idea is for the teacher to have a short meeting with selected students to give them a “head start” on the new materials.
The idea is to introduce new material you know certain students will struggle with a day or so earlier than the intended lesson. This can be done quickly before or after a lunch break, or a few minutes before or after school. This gives those students an opportunity to work with the new information and gain some understanding of it before the actual lesson. An extra day or two of proactive practice can significantly help students who would otherwise fall behind.
How do you see pre-teaching working in your classroom or with your children? Please share your ideas on the Without Stress Facebook page.