Scheduling Challenges: Tiered Math Intervention



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    In a previous blog I discussed sample scheduling models for tiered reading intervention that provided structured support for students who were not yet proficient in reading while protecting essential Tier 1 core instructional time. This month I would like to turn my attention to scheduling models that provide the same level of tiered intervention for students non-proficient mathematics. Tiered math intervention scheduling creates challenges that differ from those in reading. While both the guided reading group and the reading workshop models have built-in time for tiered reading interventions, the math instructional block is shorter and scheduling interventions without removing students from Tier 1 core instruction is much more challenging.

    At our school we have divided our state math curriculum into monthly Power Standards. Because our state accountability tests are in May, we must ensure that we continue to move through our monthly Power Standards schedule so that we do not run out of year before we run out of standards. Therefore, we must provide a program that supports students who are non-proficient in one month’s standards while still moving them forward in the standards for the following months so they don’t fall further and further behind. At the same time, we also must meet the challenge of providing extra support to students struggling with the current’s month’s standards. To meet these multiple student support needs, we decided to use our specials (art, music, physical education) time for support for non-mastery of previously taught and tested standards and our part of our regular math time to support students struggling with current instruction.

    On the last Friday of each month we administer a ten question progress monitoring math common formative assessments (CFA) to all of our students in grades 1–5. The data from these assessments is disaggregated by question and subskill to identify non-proficient students who are then assigned to weekly intervention groups during 2–4 days of their 45 minute daily specials block during the following month. (Because we understand the importance of our specials, we strive to ensure that no student misses all of these classes.) Very focused sub-skill intervention lessons are provided to our non-proficient students who are then administered a second math CFA at the end of the third week to check for both improved student proficiency and the effectiveness of our intervention lessons. Below is an actual schedule from the 2012-2013 school year*. Students in black are those receiving Tier 2 supports: scores 60–79. Students in red are receiving Tier 3 supports: scores 59 and below.

    RtI Tiered Intervention Schedule
    Specials Block Model
    Grade: 5   Subject: Math    Month: February CFA       Standard: 5.2 A, B
                                                                                                       5.6 A

    Week: March 4-8                  Time: 2:50 – 3:35
      Skill Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
    Classroom
    Teachers

    Group A: SB
    Group B: DK
    5.2A
    Equivalency:
    Fractions to
    Decimals
    Group A
    Maya
    Nathan
    Leah
    Shawn
    Mika
    Chris
    Aria
    Group B
    Kelly
    Nick
    Kisha
    Michael
    Matt
    Pablo
    Joe
    Group A
    Maya
    Nathan
    Leah
    Shawn
    Mika
    Chris
    Aria
    Group B
    Kelly
    Nick
    Kisha
    Michael
    Matt
    Pablo
    Joe
    Math
    Support
    Teacher DP

    M-TH
    5.2B
    Comparing
    and
    Ordering
    Fractions and
    Decimals
    Madeline
    Brian
    Heather
    Sandy
    Madeline
    Brian
    Heather
    Sandy
    Robby
    Adam
    Brett
    Robert
    Mika
    Jeff
    Rachel
    Brett
    Robert
    Mika
    Jeff
    Rachel
    Robby
    Adam
    Interven.
    Teacher JB
    M – Th
    5.6
    Fraction
    Word
    Problems:

    Subtracting
    whole and
    mixed
    numbers
    -multi-step
    Francesca
    Mikayla
    Eli
    Julio
    Mia
    Marcus
    Paul
    Mandi
    Francesca
    Mikayla
    Eli
    Julio
    Mia
    Marcus
    Paul
    Mandi
    Daiki
    Susana
    Aaliya
    Ryan
    Blane
    Stacia
    Liam
    George
    Daiki
    Susana
    Aaliya
    Ryan
    Blane
    Stacia
    Liam
    George
    Tier 3
    Part
    Time

    Interven.
    Teacher
    CM
    Individualize
    based on
    CFA
    Adam
    Robby
    Kelly
    Joe
    Adam
    Robby
    Kelly
    Joe
    *NOTE: All names have been changed to protect students’ identities.

    In grades 3, 4, and 5, where struggles with math mastery really begins to impact our students, we rearranged our master schedule to increase math classes from 60 minutes to 75 minutes to create time for grouping our students to provide extra support for students experiencing difficulties with mastery of math standards during their regular Tier 1 core instruction time, while leaving plenty of time for new core instruction. We also designed a program that would allow those students already working at mastery level to extend their learning to ever increasing levels of higher order problem solving and rigor. In this model, we push in intervention (PII) and enrichment simultaneously during the regular math period three days each week for 30 minutes. We administer quick five-question CFA’s each Friday morning to sort students for the following week’s PII Time. Below you can see the model design for our Math PII intervention program, followed by an actual schedule from last year.

    Sample RtI Tiered Intervention Schedule
    Math PII (Classroom Push In Intervention) Model
    DAYS: T – W – TH      TIME: Thirty Minutes    STANDARD:
    Tier 1 Students Tier 2 Students Tier 3 Students
    Extension Intervention Support
    Intensive Intervention Support
    Classroom
    Teacher
    A
    Classroom
    Teacher
    B
    Classroom
    Teacher
    C
    Classroom
    Teacher
    C
    Math
    Support
    Teacher
    #1
    Part Time
    Intervention
    Teacher
    #2
    Special
    Education
    Teacher
    20 – 28
    Students
    20 – 28
    Students
    8 – 10
    Students
    8 – 10
    Students
    2 – 4
    Students
    2 – 4
    Students
    1 – 2
    Students
    7 Kagan
    Groups
    7 Kagan
    Groups
    Specific
    Skill Needs
    Group
    Specific
    Skills Needs
    Group
    Specific
    Skills Needs
    Group
    Specific
    Skills Needs
    Group
    Specific
    Skills Needs
    Group
    Cooperative
    Group
    Learning
    Activities,
    Problem
    Solving
    & Projects
    Cooperative
    Group
    Learning
    Activities,
    Problem
    Solving
    & Projects
    Data
    Identified
    Focused
    Skill
    Instruction
    Data
    Identified
    Focused
    Skill
    Instruction
    Data
    Identified
    Focused
    Skill
    Instruction
    Data
    Identified
    Focused
    Skill
    Instruction
    Data
    Identified
    Focused
    Skill
    Instruction
    DATA ANALYSISarrow-rti-blogGROUPINGarrow-rti-blogINSTRUCTIONarrow-rti-blogMONITORING
    REGROUP WEEKLY BASED ON PROGRESS MONITORING DATA

    OCEAN VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

    NOVEMBER MATH PII
    GRADE 4
    DAYS: T – W – TH     

    WEEK OF: NOV. 13 - 15
    TIME: 10:30 - 11:00
    STANDARD: 4.4 A, B, D
    Multiplication:
    -estimation
    -flexible strategies
    -single and multi-step
       word problems
    Tier 1 Students Tier 2 Students Tier 3 Students
    Extension Intervention Support Intensive Intervention Support
    Classroom
    Teacher
    JW

    Classroom
    Teacher
    AH

    Classroom
    Teacher
    KG

    Classroom
    Teacher
    JF
    Math Support
    Teacher
    DP

    Part Time
    Intervention
    Teacher
    EM
    Special
    Education
    Teacher
    LG
    20 – 28
    Students
    20 – 28
    Students
    8 – 10
    Students
    8 – 10
    Students
    3 – 4
    Students
    3 – 4
    Students
    1 - 2
    Students
    7 Kagan
    Groups
    7 Kagan
    Groups
    Multi-step
    Word
    problems
    Estimation Individualized
    Strategies
    Individualized
    Strategies
    Individualized
    Strategies
    Penny
    Brett
    Jia
    Kai
    Raymond
    Lynzie
    Kym
    Rick
    Asia
    Cy
    Sierra
    Reiny
    Declan
    Aaliya
    Tama
    Hailie
    Matthew
    Kathleen
    Scott
    Ron
    Alexandra
    Myles
    Mitch
    Demonte
    Elijah
    Tam
    Alisa
    Drew
    Maeve
    Kia
    Sam
    Bobby
    Topher
    Candace
    Kasey
    Alex
    Jose
    Aki
    Kenji
    Jon
    Kenisha
    Sonia
    Jared
    Lauren
    Jen
    Sammy
    Adanya
    Joe
    Chris
    Titan
    Ana
    Ron
    Issac
    Sohraab
    Josh
    Liang
    Dean
    Mikah
    Sophia
    Harper
    Lecia
    Andreo
    REGROUP WEEKLY BASED ON PROGRESS MONITORING DATA

    *NOTE: All names have been changed to protect students’ identities.

    Needless to say, this is all very labor intensive work. However, if what we as educators are doing doesn’t take our students to ever increasing levels of mastery and rigor, then we must roll up our sleeves and find a better way. In fact, this year we have started experimenting with yet another in-class model of rotating math groups similar to what we do with our guided reading groups because we are finding that our non-proficiency rates in math have greatly increased with our new and much more rigorous state math curriculum. Our Tier 1 PII groups were shrinking and our Tier 2 and 3 groups were increasing. Time to try something new. And the beat goes on…
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