Scheduling Challenges: Tiered Math Intervention



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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Read what others had to say...

Formative assessment
Hi Lauren,
Do you make the CFA regularly based on content learned? Are you able to share one as an example? We have a progress monitor, but I like your idea of a short formative assessment more regularly.

Thanks for the post!
Dawn Novak