If you are like most teachers, you have a room full of eager learners who struggle with different math concepts. How do you implement math strategies that help with interventions and that fulfill the needs of each of those students and still keep your sanity?
Creating a differentiated learning plan for each of your kids can seem overwhelming. The trick is providing instruction of new concepts as a whole group and then focus the core of your practice on the skills and concepts that each student struggles with.
It could be that they aren’t struggling too. Maybe you need to enrich their math education. Either way, it’s still a very daunting task to find what will meet each of your student’s math skills and needs.
Ideas for Math Intervention Strategies
- Games for Practice – This one is easy and there are loads of resources. You can use iPad/Table apps that your students think are “just fun” but they are really reinforcing math concepts and fact fluency. You have added a math intervention and they think that you are just giving them technology time. Card games where you play multiplication war or guess the factors while players hold up cards on their foreheads. Studies show that talking and being social actually cement concepts in your brain. What better way than a game of cards or dice!
- Technology – I must admit this is one of my top choices. It saves my sanity in so many areas (not just math interventions!). I use Moby Max, but you can use any of the latest programs that are meant to follow Common Core standards and fill in your students learning gaps. Other options would be Front Row, Smartick, etc.
- Task Cards – These are my second choice. I love creating task cards for my students to use at centers, small groups, or a SCOOT game. I have taken the time to dig through all my NWEA reports for each student to determine what levels they should be practicing at and then created task cards that meet each of the RIT bands for my 3rd and 4th graders skills. The added bonus is that these are also Common Core standards so I am providing individualized practice, math intervention strategies, and meeting my curriculum. You can also print these as game cards or individual packets for students to take home for practice. More in another blog post soon!
- Spiral Practice – Finding ways to implement the practice of concepts that my students have already mastered, or that they are right on the edge of mastering, and then adding in new concepts so they can tie it all together is a great way to increase their math skills. I use my NWEA Math Intervention Digital Slides or math worksheets for this. I can assign them to each student at their level in Google Classroom and then assess their growth based on concepts that they answer well or concepts that they seem to struggle with.
Using reports like NWEA or Moby Max to find each students gaps and needs has been a great way for me to determine which math intervention strategies I should use and then what content works best to help fill those gaps.
Learning How to Differentiate
There are so many ways to differentiate your math instruction. The important thing is to find what works for you and then fine-tune that process. Your classroom will run differently than mine. We are each unique and bring different talents and quirks to our instruction.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t help each other with some of the overwhelming processes and cut out some of the work that would take us each hours and hours to dig through. Using resources that will help you differentiate your math strategies and instruction not only helps you but it will help your students to grow and thrive.
How can you start to implement these same strategies in your classroom? Feel free to share in the comments below 🙂