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Provide "Just Right" Level of Support


Mathematics Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy

Provide "Just Right" Level of Support

All students

Teach It!

  1. Objective: To optimize student learning, teachers should carefully consider when and how much support to provide a student during problem solving.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: a) Give students time to think and evaluate at their own pace. b) Provide the minimum amount of information needed for the student to ask questions, clarify and move ahead. For example, if the student is stuck on a step, avoid showing the whole step, only the number or symbol they need to move ahead. Open-ended questions or reminders often are sufficient to help them to the next step. c) Allow for some amount of struggle and discomfort, as this is a sign of healthy growth and challenge. If a challenge is within the student's capability level, this is a healthy stretch. If the student does not yet have the skills, this might be an unhealthy struggle.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

How and when to support a student is dependent on the student and the situation. However, the rule of thumb is to provide just enough support so that students can solve the problem on their own, feeling stretched but not frustrated. Providing just enough, but not too much, support helps students become more self-aware of what they do and do not understand and learn how to solve problems independently.