I've found, from time to time, that a student will be struggling in school but the underlying problem is not so much the curriculum, as a lack of basic skills, such as:
-how to organize their work
-understanding what the teacher thinks is important (Saliency determination)
-understanding the difference between memorization and mastery
just to name a few. How many of these things do we teach kids explicitly and how many do we expect them just to "get" over time? Many of these skills are also frontal lobe executive functions that really start to develop during the middle school time frame, meaning sometimes the problems kids have are that we are asking them to run software (assignments, concepts, etc.) they don't yet have sufficient brain hardware to run.
How could we better help students understand the tools and "hacks" of the learning process, rather than expecting they will come to these methods all on their own? How can we make our requirements for things like a binder and dividers more meaningful by helping them to understand the reasoning behind these organizing tools?
What do you do to help your students learn how to learn?
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