“….Make the most of every opportunity.”
– Colossians 4:5 NIV
Once school gets underway, you will be most likely providing some type of assessments to see where your students are at academically. If you do not know where they are at, it is hard to get them to where you need them to get to by the end of the year. After the dust settles and assessment results are in, you will find a wide variety of results. You will have some students who are at the top of the grade level in that subject area, a majority that are somewhere in the average range, and many that will be below grade level. For many teachers, they find themselves rushing around to develop a plan to close the achievement gap for some students while also trying to enrich those that already understand the material.
When you have a plan in place, you are more likely to execute it with fidelity and you will be more confident in delivering the interventions. Today we are going to look at a few ways that we can remediate and enrich the students in our class based on our assessment results. Check out this resource to help with setting up tiered interventions in conjunction with PBIS strategies.
Analyzing the Results
Once you get your results from your beginning of the year assessments, take some time to dig into your findings. Are there certain areas of strength or challenges you see in your group as a whole? Take reading for example. Let’s say you give a benchmark reading assessment in the beginning of the school year. From this assessment you might find that most students in your class need support with comprehension. Others require fluency support, while others still need help with phonemic awareness. As you locate weak areas in reading, you will probably notice that that students with phonemic awareness gaps also struggle with fluency and their comprehension. You then have potentially three areas that you need to help close their achievement gap through the year. This can seem overwhelming, but knowing this information can help you plan your interventions and enrichment program for the year.
Now that you have your data and have determined your academic needs and students within those needs, now it is time to set up your remediation program within your classroom. Here are some factors to consider when building your program:
- Time- Most intervention sessions need to be around 30-45 minutes in length. This takes into account transition time, coaching around a certain strategy, and student practice.
- Location- Will you have the students work in small groups, one on one, or outside of the classroom?
- One Size Does Not Fit All– As you look at your results, not all students will need the same support, build in interventions for various needs throughout the week.
- Getting Others Involved– Who can help you out during this time? Can you get a high school student, an adult teacher assistant, or a volunteer or two from the community? With more people involved it can be easier to deliver these interventions to a variety of students.
- Use Research-Based Strategies- Get the most out of the intervention by using one that is backed by research and proven to see positive results. Below are resources to check out for great interventions to try for reading, writing, and math:
- The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers by Jennifer Serravallo.
- Strategies for Mathematics Instruction and Intervention, 6-8 (Implement an RTI framework to improve your mathematics program)“>Strategies for Mathematics Instruction and Intervention, 6-8 – implement an RTI framework to improve your mathematics program by Chris Weber, Darlen Crane, and Tom Hierck
- Check out Intervention Central for more great resources!
Many of the same factors should be considered when working with students who need enrichment within the curriculum. Here are a few tips to up the rigor without having to develop a whole new curriculum:
- Time- Make independent work time meaningful to them. Challenge their thinking by asking those higher level questions.
- Project-Based Learning– Have students take learning into their own hands by proposing a project that they could work on to further develop their understanding of the curriculum.
- Seek Support– Contact your district our county’s gifted and talented consultants to help you with meeting the needs of those students. They are here to serve and support you and your students!
- Start Small- If each colleague takes a unit to work on, then each teacher is invested in the project and spreads the workload evenly.
Resources for Teaching Gifted and Talented Learners
- Differentiating the Curriculum for Gifted Learners (Effective Teaching in Today’s Classroom) 2nd Edition
- Project-Based Learning
- Uppervention: Meeting the Needs of Gifted and Talented Students-Edutopia Blog Post
How do I know if My Interventions Are Working?
After you have your strategies and interventions in place, try some formative assessments once a week or so to see if you are making progress in the right direction. These should be very quick like an exit ticket or something to see if the concepts need to be revisited in a different way.
Being Patient is Worth the Benefits
Try the intervention for about six weeks or so. If you are seeing little to no progress, get with your special education staff, school psychologist, etc. to come up with another intervention. It might take a few interventions to find the one that works for your student or small group. If you put in the time now to set up remediation and enrichment strategy, you will be ready to make the most of every opportunity you have throughout the year.