This is a great post with tips for working with low ability students. Embrace the principles of growth mindset and instill them in your students. Success is possible and your students can experience it regardless of their starting point.
Tonight’s 15 minute forum was led by Deputy Leader of Mathematics Shane Borrett. Last year Shane taught a Y11 class, all of whom had a very low starting point in maths. At the start of the year, they were all fairly demotivated and were underachieving. They had slipped into this cycle:
Where this cycle starts and so what causes the low motivation in the first place, is a point for discussion, but for a variety of reasons, these students had low motivation. As a result, their effort was low and so they achieved poorly – gaining the label ‘low ability’. Furthermore, the students had enough self-awareness to realise that they were achieving poorly and didn’t like it. Their response? Avoid further failure by disengaging and not trying – the fixed mindset. So, this underachievement results in low confidence in maths, which then in turn, compounds their low motivation. And so…
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