Knowing exactly what to say to students who are struggling is sometimes difficult. I found this list of conversation starters by ASCD and will keep the suggestions in mind while working with kids. Maybe the right question will make the difference.
1. I may not know the best way to help, but give me a hint at where to start.
2. How can we connect the work/lesson with information that you are already comfortable?
3. If you were the teacher, how would you want the material explained?
4. What would make the work more doable?
5. What can I do to make it hard for you to “not succeed”?
6. Describe one question that you have about…
7. Tell me one classmate that you could turn to for help?
8. Needing help is natural. Can you think of anyone or anything that never needs help?
9. What happened the last time you needed help with something?
10. The last time I needed help was…
11. Sometimes effort and performance do not match. Would you agree or disagree with this?
12. Talking about it may help. How will waiting help us move closer to a solution?
13. Let’s wait to talk. When will you be ready to talk about it?
14. On a scale of 1-10, how frustrated are you with…
14. I have tried to help you by…, what else do you need from me?
15. I may need assistance with getting you back on track. Do you mind if I get a little back-up?
16. We will work together. Let’s keep a record of our effort. How should we do that?