Signs usually begin in third/fourth grade. Middle school or junior
high usually marks the highest point of consistent
underachievement. Some reverse in high school, but most
continue the pattern into adulthood. The earlier you intervene
Sylvia Rimm’s Trifocal Model
Correction of Deficiencies
Modifications at Home or School
Underachieving Behavior Parents Can: Teachers Can:
Conforming/NonConfor * You may have to change *Give a vote of
ming Dependent your intuitive response to confidence.
help foster independence. *Record Instructions.
* Especially for boys make *Help the student
sure they have a same complete classwork
gender role model. independently.
*Dependent children avoid *Teach goal setting.
competition so you need to *Teach organization
help the learn how to strategies.
compete. *Teach students the
*Teach social skills, rules of the grading
deferred judgment. game and link it to
*Have them do homework their personal control
independently. over test results.
*Middle school students *Facilitate social
need to keep a weekly sheet acceptance, have
indicating homework that is them tutor others.
not completed. However, it *Be careful with
works better if the child punishments.
does not take around the
Confroming Dominant *These students rarely fail *Provide challenge
courses, they do just and help them to see
enough to get by. they do not always
*Monitor Counter- have to be the first or
Identification be the best.
*Dominant children usually *If the child is not
live in highly competitive challenged, grade or
families. subject acceleration
*Develop intrinsic may be needed.
motivation. *Don’t criticize in
*Parent messages should be front of peers.
focused on the academic. *Sarcasm and humor
*Extra curricular activities do not work.
are only important in that *Help with Intrinsic
they help provide a full life. Motivation.
*Teach them to be sensitive *Need lots of help to
to others and accept prepare for college.
Noncomforming *Reverse early childhood *Form a Teacher-
Dominant dominance. *Student Alliance
*Avoid confrontations *Don’t Let Them
*Be careful of their *Dominate the Class.
emotional ups and downs *Avoid Arguments.
*Threats of suicide should *Channel their Energy
always be taken seriously. and Give them an
*Encourage time alone. Audience.
*Maintain the positive. *Avoid Student
*Unite together to parent. Manipulation.
*Get professional help. *Change Academic
*Provide a Sanctuary.
*Group most likely to
use Alcohol or Drugs.
Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades and What You can Do about It by Dr.
Sylvia Rimm. Three Rivers Press 1995.
Guiding the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Youth by Dr.