If you have a student who is struggling, try to notice excellent decisions they ARE making. If they are struggling, they know it and need to be built up and provided extra support, such as, different visuals, learning approaches and/or verbal processing. Apply what you are learning to something of high interest to them. Howard Gardner says there is a naturalistic intelligence. Send them outside with a peer to find an example of what you are learning in the class for them to share to the class. The concept will be much more meaningful and memorable for them. It also applies what you learn in the classroom to the "real world".
This assignment can:
1) Empower responsibility and decision making.
2) Social learning
3) Visual sample
4) Idea generation for literacy centers
5) Math concepts, such as, computation and measurement,
6) Provide endorphins with the movement
7) High interest
8) New and more real life application than a worksheet
9) Verbal processors who describe what they found