21 Hacks for Encouraging Learners to Realize Their Academic Potential

Are you looking for hacks for encouraging students to realize their academic potential? If so, keep reading.

1. Praise the student for improving academic tasks and homework performance: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, free homework pass, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

2. Assess the student’s performance in an assortment of ways (e.g., have the student give oral explanations, simulations, physical demonstrations, etc.).

3. Find the student’s preferred learning style (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.) and use it continuously to enable the student’s comprehension.

4. Find resource staff members (e.g., librarian, special education teacher, other staff members with expertise or time to help, etc.) from whom the student may receive additional assistance.

5. Require the student to make corrections after tasks have been reviewed by the teacher.

6. Make sure the tasks measure knowledge of content, not related skills such as reading or writing.

7. Alter instruction to include more concrete examples to enable learning.

8. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for improving their academic task and homework performance.

9. Give sufficient repetition/drill of ideas/skills to help the student achieve minimal accuracy on tasks (i.e., require mastery/minimal accuracy before moving to the next skill level).

10. Make the student redo tasks of poor quality if you are sure the task is within the student’s capacity and ability level.

11. Create a minimum level of accuracy that will be accepted as a level of mastery.

12. Observe the student’s performance of the first problem or part of the task to make sure the student knows what is expected.

13. Provide instructions on a one-to-one basis before assigning a task.

14. Select various people (e.g., peer, paraprofessional, tutor, counselor, etc.) to help the student improve work performance.

15. Minimize distracting stimuli (e.g., place the student in the front row, give a carrel or “office” space away from distractions, etc.). This should be used as a way to lessen distractions, not as a punishment.

16. Teach the student to practice basic study skills (e.g., reading for the main idea, note-taking, summarizing, highlighting, studying in an excellent environment, using time wisely, etc.).

17. Complete the first few problems of a task with the student to make sure that they know what to do, how to finish the task, etc.

18. Organize their surroundings to give the student increased chance for help or assistance on academic or homework tasks (e.g., give a peer tutor, seat the student near the teacher or aide, etc.).

19. Get the student to orally repeat directions, explanations, and instructions after they have been given to reinforce retention.

20. Let the student put a task away and return to it at a later time when they might be more successful.

21. Consider using one of the apps and tools from our many app lists. These apps are designed to help students who are experiencing academic difficulties.

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