Why You Need to Plan Intervention Sequences

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


It's a trap we have all fallen into. 

You teach your math lesson for the day and then pull aside the group that didn't quite get it yet. You work on the independent practice together. 

Here's the problem. The next day? You're likely working with the same group of students. 

It's easy to fall into this trap - but there is a clear way out! 

Instead of planning individual lessons when it comes to math intervention you need to plan a sequence!

Try This! 

  1. Take a look at your broad math topic- not just what you are working on in a given day. For example, "understanding teen numbers". 
  2. Brainstorm ways you can teach this topic with multiple hands-on materials. For example, building teen numbers on a double ten frame, building teen numbers using linking cubes, building teen numbers using cups of ten beans and some more beans, etc. 
  3. Brainstorm ways you can teach the topic with representational models. For example, representing teen numbers using a number bond, representing teen numbers using place value cards, representing teen numbers with a place value drawing. 
  4. Think about the end goal- how can your students demonstrate to you that they understand the topic? 
  5. Using your lists of models and representations, build a sequence of lessons that allows your students to start hands-on and move through representations before demonstrating that they understand the topic. 

Why Does It Work? 

When you remediate each individual day (ex: how to build teen numbers on a ten frame) as a stand-alone topic, your students are left with a collection of individual skills that they may or may not have mastered with support. 

When you build your remediation plan as a sequence of lessons, your students will start at the foundation and build up their understanding as the lessons progress. 

You will know which of your students still needs hands-on materials. And you will be prepared to give them these tools even during tier 1 instruction so that they can be successful! 

You will know which of your students are successful with a given representation. And you will be able to build off of this success in your tier 1 instruction! 

You will know where your students are on the way to understanding the big idea you are working towards! 


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