#Edchat Recap: 15 Tips for Teaching At-Risk Children

Every tuesday at 12pm and 7pm EST teachers and educators from around the globe meet on Twitter to discuss one educational topic using the #Edchat hashtag. This week’s evening discussion was about best practices for teaching at-risk children. Below is a recap of suggestions, ideas, and insights from teachers around the world.

1. Build rapport. Gain the trust and respect of your children through community building and authenticity.

2. Maintain consistently high expectations for every child, every day.

3. Build the foundation by helping make real world connections to learning objectives.

4. Utilize flexible, cooperative learning groups, as well as learning stations that allow you to pull flexible-skill and small group remediation groups.

5. Give kids structure, predictability, and routines.

6. Write unofficial IEPs or individualized learning plans for each child. Include them in goal setting and have each child hold themselves accountability for progress using kid-friendly tracking charts.

7. Praise small successes. Focus on your children’s strengths and not their weaknesses.

8. Move past labels. Every child has strengths and weaknesses. Some are more privileged than others, but these labels often hold them down and limit their true potential.

9. Give immediate, specific feedback. Do not give out random, meaningless compliments.

10. Invite in successful role models from their community.

11. Create an environment of risk-takers.

12. Engage children with technology and hands on learning.

13. Find their passion and use it as a motivation tool.

14. Put multiple intelligences to work.

15. Explicitly teach concepts of perseverance and malleable intelligence. Remember, your children’s “I Can” is more important than their IQ.

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