SIM Learning Strategies


Learning Strategies Manuals

Building Literacy Skills for all Learners

SIM encompasses more than 50 specific Learning Strategies that can help students overcome specific learning difficulties that impede literacy, from identifying words in text to completing assignments on time to writing complete essays.

Students use SIM Learning Strategies to help them understand information and solve problems. Students who do not know or use good learning strategies often learn passively and ultimately fail in school. SIM Learning Strategy instruction focuses on making students active learners.

SIM writing strategies help students express themselves. These strategies help students write sentences, paragraphs, and themes and monitor their work for errors.

One line of SIM Learning Strategies concentrates on helping students improve their reading abilities. It includes strategies for learning how to paraphrase critical information, picture information to promote understanding and remembering, ask questions and make predictions about text information, and identify unknown words in text.

These Learning Strategies help students study information once they acquire it. They include strategies for developing mnemonics and other devices to aid memorization of facts as well as strategies for learning new vocabulary. These strategies help prepare students for tests.

SIM Learning Strategies related to performance help students complete daily assignments as well as confidently approach and take tests.

SIM includes several series that help students participate effectively in class, work together in teams, organize their desks or lockers, and interact with each other.

  • Community Building Series - Developed as a part of the “safe schools” movement, the series was designed to help students learn important skills that can turn every classroom into a true learning community. Within a learning community, all students are sincerely interested in one another and actively work to help each other learn. All members feel valued for what they can contribute. They feel safe and protected, and they are able to take risks as learners. They feel connected to one another. As a result, negative interactions and bullying are minimized, and students who need help and support can receive it within the structure of the class. In this series, students learn confidence and competence-building skills associated with participating and working with partners and the concepts of respect, tolerance, and a learning community.
  • Cooperative Thinking Strategies -  A group of strategies students can use to think and work productively together.  These instructional programs provide ways to accommodate a diversity of learners in inclusive classrooms and enable students to learn complex higher-order thinking skills that they can use to work together harmoniously with others in school, leisure, family, community, and work setting.
  • Possible Selves: Nurtuting Student Motivation
  • ​Self-Advocacy Strategy
  • SLANT: A Starter Strategy for Class Participation

The number of youths with social problems is substantial. Researchers point out that social adjustment problems are common among youth, are persistent, and often escalate from minor conduct problems to criminal offenses. These problems are often resistant to change and are associated with poor psychological and emotional adjustment later in life. Because antisocial behavior is a reality in the schools and in the community, methods to address the social needs of youth must be implemented. Many schools have initiated policies to address school violence (e.g., metal detectors, police officers at schools). In addition, some schools have adopted “anti-bullying campaigns” to try to change how students interact with one another. Nevertheless, in light of the potentially devastating effects of social maladjustment and the correlation of conduct problems with future criminal activity, more intensive individual intervention is often needed.

John may be enrolled in 7th grade science, but how is he going to succeed when he can only read at the second grade level? By using the “Teaming Techniques,” educators and other adults can support students like John, both academically and socially within the general education curriculum.

For educators working with other educators, one of the first steps is to develop a collaborative relationship. Thus, using the Collaborative Problem Solving program, special education and general education teachers can communicate with one another, solve problems, make decisions, and create plans to help students like John succeed in inclusive classrooms.

Family members and educators can also team together to support students by using the Progress Program. In this approach, students carry a modified report card between home and school. At school, teachers check the card and note rules broken, rules obeyed, and academic progress. At home, parents review the card, praise improved performance, and provide home privileges based on the report card.

Finally, personal problems that may not even relate to school may affect students like John. “My brother was arrested, and he was helping me study for my tests.” “My dad won’t let me try out for football.” “My family needs money, and I can’t find a job.” Problems like these can interfere with learning. Surface Counseling is a simple procedure educators and other adults can use when students approach them with such problems.