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3 Easy Steps for Getting Started with Math Intervention

Elementary Pupils Counting With Teacher In Classroom

As with most things just getting started can be the most difficult step. Trust me, I know this all too well.  It wasn’t until 2009, I realized that there was a pressing need for math intervention. My students had humongous gaps in learning, after school tutoring wasn’t working, and standardized testing was on my heels.  Although I knew I needed to implement the Tier 2 intervention, I didn’t have a … Read More →

Tired of NOT Having Enough Time for Math Intervention?


I used to be one of those teachers who thought that I had to always be the one to stand up in front of the class to teach my students every lesson. Until one day I had more students who were working below grade level than on grade level. There was only one me and about seventy percent of the students from my three sections of math that needed Tier … Read More →

Reframing Deficit Thinking With Project Based Learning


When I left elementary school last school year to move to the high school in our feeder pattern, I knew that it was going to be a challenge. High school students are not only different from my fifth graders but the teacher’s approach to teaching and learning, in my opinion, is only content driven. Nothing else seems to matter much. I’m no stranger to working at schools that have been … Read More →

How to Teach Problem Solving Without Using Keywords

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Teaching students how to solve word problems can be one of the most difficult skills a math teacher has to teach. That’s putting it mildly!  Before I moved into my current position as a Math Interventionist, I taught a group of fifth graders that made me feel like I was the reading and math teacher. Their reading comprehension levels were so low that I couldn’t introduce my problem solving strategy … Read More →

5 Easy Ways to Support Students in Struggling Productively

Teacher Helping Pupils Studying At Desks In Classroom

Teaching is on the job training, so when my students were stuck on a problem I would immediately come to their rescue. I did this because I saw all my mentors do the same thing. I never thought there was anything wrong with the way that I guided my students through their frustration. That is until I attended a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics or NCTM conference. It was … Read More →

The Anatomy of a Cognitive Demanding Math Task


You all don’t have school tomorrow, I said to my fourth period class. “Can I come to school anyway?” one student shouted. I looked at him and asked why? I don’t want to deal with my parents bullshi*t! I pay bills and my parents still try to put me out. I sat there for a second looking confused. Then I said, “You’re only fourteen.”  Another student chimed in and said, … Read More →

A Practical Guide for Improving Problem Solving


I’m always amused by the choices of word problems that teachers share on social media. Often times they are fictional problems that don’t have very much substance. Problem solving is supposed to give students a context to help them make sense out of the mathematics they are learning.  According to NCTM, “Problem solving means engaging in a task for which the solution method is not known in advance. In order … Read More →

What Really Is the Best Way To Build Number Sense?


I’m always amazed when students who struggle with math haven’t got a clue about how to use a number line. I’ve been teaching my ninth grade intervention classes how to add and subtract using a number line. I was at a loss for words when one of my students proclaimed, “I don’t know where to start?”  I stood there for a second then said, “What do you mean you don’t … Read More →

3 Simple Alternatives to Traditional Math Workstations


Before I moved to high school as a Math Interventionist, I taught elementary math for over fourteen years. When I taught fourth or fifth grade every year without fail, I’d always have the same struggle with my administration over math workstations. At the beginning of every school year, the Teacher Development Specialists would descend from high to meet the teachers at their campuses. During my first classroom observation, the TDS … Read More →

How to Identify Students For Math Intervention


Have you ever heard this quote, if it quacks like a duck it must be a duck?  Well, certain data points may quack like a duck, but it’s really not a duck. This means sometimes what the numbers tell us about students may not be consistent with who shows up for class everyday. We always meet our students on paper first. Test scores and grades can be misleading, because students … Read More →