How do you help a difficult student

Package difficult content easily: 10 tips

No matter how enthusiastic you are about the subject, some topics are still difficult to convey. The following collection of ideas shows how you can also prepare abstract material in a clear manner and specifically help the students to grasp it. Let yourself be inspired - and just try it out!

When the students sit exhausted and yawning in the chairs, difficult content only becomes more difficult. So, first of all, make sure you have the right accessories. Ventilate well and encourage students to take a large sip of water and take a few deep breaths.
If it suits your class, you can openly "swear in" the students: "What we are looking at now is a bit more complicated. But it is important and worth it - and we can do it!"

That, too, is part of the “right around”: Provide an extra portion of motivation by giving the students a reason to get involved with the following material. Answer them why in advance - why is it worth paying attention and collaborating?
Instead of just writing a formula on the blackboard, explain to the students in advance, for example, what exactly they can calculate with it - and where this can be of use to them in everyday life or at work. The more concrete you make the benefits for everyday life, the more concentrated the students will listen.

Of course, you can dive headlong into the topic. But you can also choose a "softer" entry that takes the pressure off and makes you smile, loosens the serious mood and arouses interest. A cartoon, a meme (a striking picture with a funny, surprising text) or an interesting photo are good for this. Especially if the following topic is rather dry for many students, a creative start is worthwhile.

Instead of presenting the entire knowledge to the students right away, consciously divide it into smaller units. Take the time to do a small repetition and summary for each sub-unit. Feel free to ask specifically: "Is everyone still on board up to this point? Do you have questions before we move on to the next stage?"

Of course you know: no matter how often you ask whether everything is understood - some students still keep their questions to themselves. However, especially with complex topics that build on one another, it is important that every step and every stage is clearly understood.
After each bit of knowledge, ask the students to explain what they have just learned to each other again. In this way, they immediately notice whether they have actually understood everything important - and the shy students can use the time to have their neighbors answer their questions.

The more vividly and graphically you prepare the learning material, the easier it will be for the students. Ideally, students will have clear images in mind instead of abstract ideas.
One or the other, however, has a palpitation of the heart when they see graphs, infographics or diagrams. Try to consciously find or create "harmless" picture elements. Even if you just paint the graphic on cell division from the back of the bio-book in a charming and scribble way: a sketch that looks more like a doodle than a "highly official" schoolbook graphic is much easier for the students .

Make sure the language is as simple as possible and try to translate the abstract material into concrete examples as often as possible. If you discuss the correct procedure for text analysis with your students, you can simply say: "At this point only observe and analyze, but not evaluate." Or you add more concretely: "If you present me a sentence with" I think ... "or" You could conclude that ... ", you will get a point deduction."
In addition, keep reminding students how useful this knowledge will be. This can also be done with a wink: "The fact that you practice analyzing and arguing objectively without evaluating will also help you in the next delicate conversation with your parents."

You can also think of classics such as flowcharts or mind maps. Anything that helps students to organize and relate knowledge in their heads makes it easier for them to understand. Even a simple arrow that visually expresses that one follows the other can make all the difference.

Especially with supposedly dry topics, the students enjoy variety. Since they mainly combine podcasts, YouTube videos and the like with their free time, the use of new media also has a positive effect on their learning attitude and motivation. So look specifically for such elements and, for example, first show a YouTube video with a short experiment before you start working on the mass density formula.

So that the abstract becomes concrete for them, it is best to get the students from listening to doing as quickly as possible. Only theory fits into one lessonorPractice, better wait for students to apply their new knowledge directly. If you want to crack hard nuts, you have to get active.

Targeted motivation - skillfully demotivating
When students are praised, they become more lively and active. Praise gives energy. If someone is constantly criticized, he loses the desire to do something. Criticism steals energy. To keep the class enjoying learning, it is critical that the praise outweigh the criticism.