Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making Time for Interventions

My last day being the lead teacher was Friday. My CT was absent all day and I was only present for the morning so it was a whirlwind of an am!! I taught the Math lesson in the morning so that the substitute teacher would not have to worry about it. The lesson was on Stem-and-Leaf plots and I actually think it went pretty well. I spent a lot of time going over the concept and doing quite a few whole class examples. Most students seemed to understand the concept, but one thing that I think about frequently is when I can pull the students who don’t get it and work in small groups with them to help them understand the concept.

I know that my Math curriculum will look different next year, but it is so important to find to provide for interventions wherever possible. I feel like failing to do so simply allows for those students to fall through the cracks. If it is my goal to make sure all students succeed to their highest levels, I must create opportunities consistently through the day to help those students who may be struggling. In my current classroom, I have pulled struggling students when others are working on independent practice problems. This worked fairly well, but it was difficult to provide assistance to students working independently when they needed it. The battle still wages in my mind on how to help all students within a very tight window of time that is the school day.

How do you provide interventions during your Math block? What other suggestions do you have on helping struggling learners during the school day?


  1. Hi!

    Thanks so much for your comment on my latest post. I hope I did a sufficient job in making it clear that I am not at all against bilingual education. I completely agree with your perspective that literacy in a native language is essential. I just have an issue with the particular program at my school because the students learn in one language at the expense of another. They barely get any literacy instruction in English and as a result, it is not truly a bilingual program. The program you will be working in sounds like a more effective model because there is a gradual transition and instruction becomes more balanced as students get older. Those types of programs are more well though out and have more stability and typically don't run the risk of just being cut off one year (am I right on that?). As I said in my post, the issue makes me uncomfortable because I would never want to be seen as someone who is against bilingual education, yet my experience with this particular program leads me to believe that some changes could be beneficial. I am still processing it though as the entire educational issue is very complex and I think we are still searching for the "best way."

    Thanks again for your comment!


  2. Re your math comments. Math is a collection of arbitrary consitent statements. Teachers must know how students think, and build from there using the basic principles. See "Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better" on amazon.

  3. Hello! I just recently found your blog. Math was always a subject I hated as a student because it did not make sense to me at all and back in the day (wow, that makes me sound old, huh? -- I'm really not old lol), they didn't really do interventions. You either got it or you didn't and there wasn't a lot of reteaching.

    My district switched to using Everyday Math a few years ago and we've had a lot of success with that program. It is the only math curriculum I have taught (I was lucky and it was the one used in all of my student teaching placements too). For awhile I had 3 math groups and my students would either be working with me, working on Math Boxes and Multiplication Groups sheets quietly on their own or playing the math games that come with the series in a small group. I didn't get to do it very long due to multiple, multiple instances of being out of my classroom for meetings and then taking a leave for the rest of the year, but I am determined to do it again for 2010-2011 and make it work because it provides built-in intervention time since you can scaffold and support the struggling students during the course of the actual lesson.

  4. With regards to your comment about my goal of learning more about helping struggling spellers, I just bought a book called "My Kid Can't Spell" which is more aimed towards parents but the "sneakpeak" through Amazon allowed me to see the table of contents and read a bit and it sounds pretty interesting. I will post about it once I receive it, but it will take 2-3 weeks to get delivered since it's a more random book that doesn't stock.

    Stay tuned!