I realized the students were struggling with 3D for two reason. One they were having trouble visualizing in 3D and two they were using a touch pad on a laptop instead of a proper 3 button mouse. The 3D visualization skills would come with using the software over time so that was something that just needed to be enforced using repetition. The 3 button mouse problem is something I need to use my networking and resources to rectify.
Instead of jumping right back into 3D without the proper mice for the kids to use I decided to focus on 2D features of the software to teach them the core tools needed to edit lines and objects. I also began to work with them on layers and objects.