Tools for Struggling Students

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Tools for struggling students are essential. These kids need strategies to maximize their learning potential and that is often in the form of technology.

We all have the kids who seem to have to work so much harder than everyone else to make even the smallest gains. We also have very limited time and resources to reach these students. Yes, it's a challenge.

But there so many more choices today than there have ever been. Choosing the right "tools" for our students can have a significant impact on their academic achievement.


Technology Needs for Special Students




Students that have difficulty remembering things and staying organized are at a distinct disadvantage in our educational system.

Many of our special needs students have specific deficits in these areas. Educators need to provide a variety of organizational technology tools for struggling students to explore and use.


Teacher Planning using Technology Tools

It's not just the kids either - many teachers can benefit from using the correct tools for their organization and lesson planning.

There are many other ways educators can begin to easily implement using technology into our planning. Not everything has to be tried at once.
  • 42eXplore
    Thematic pathfinders for teaching all age levels.
  • Internet 4 Classrooms
    A free web portal that provides assistance with finding high-quality internet resources for teachers.
  • netTrekker
    Connects teachers to curriculum aligned resources and activities.


Reading Interventions

Tiered reading assignments, allowing students to read to their personal interests, and providing audio support for struggling readers is critical. Many audio support files use talking web browsers, text-to-speech software, and text-to-MP3 files.

Reading Materials
Tiered reading assignments, allowing students to read to their personal interests, and providing audio support for struggling readers is critical. Many audio support files use talking web browsers, text-to-speech software, and text-to-MP3 files.
  • News-2-You
    This used to be free, but is now available as a subscription. Still, it's a bargain! These special education newspapers are written as a rebus and can be listened to as well.
  • Tar Heel Reader
    Hundreds of online stories in many areas of interest. All stories can be speech enabled and there are many books available in different languages such as Arabic, Finnish, Swedish and Hebrew. Show the stories as a PowerPoint on the Smartboard!
  • Starfall
    Teaching children to read using phonics. Interactive, reads the words and stories out-loud...your primary students will love this.

Vocabulary Support
How can you help students gain new words, concepts and use them correctly? Try these two sites.
  • VisuWords
    A graphic dictionary and thesaurus - shows how words are derived and inter-relate with each other.
  • Vocabulary
    Makes the words on any web page links for you to look up. Translation dictionaries make any page accessible for your ESOL students!


Students Who Struggle with Writing

These technology tools will help students who struggle with organizing their writing and using the writing process.
  • Eduplace
    Graphic organizers to help students develop their ideas before writing.
  • ReadWriteThink
    This link to the student materials leads to a wealth of tools for struggling students. Online resources for writing drafts and final products, as well as support for other areas of the curriculum and additional tools for struggling students.

Engage Students by Using Computers

Do you need learning activities that provide engagement in core learning tasks? Using a classroom computer classroom computer is often superior to traditional pencil and paper method for kids who are barely staying interested or find it hard to keep up.
  • ThinkFinity
    Over 55,000 common core standards-based lessons from Verizon, many which are interactive. Provides engagement and immediate feedback - two things that are absolutely critical for struggling students.
  • National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
    Interactive manipulatives for mathematics for students of all ages. One of the best online math tools for struggling students .
  • SailOn
    Subject area interactive Lessons Online. All subject areas, all grade levels.


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