You likely have students who have math gaps in a variety of skill areas. When is the ideal time to tackle these gaps?
Unsurprisingly, as soon as possible.
It is imperative that students performing below grade level expectations receive intervention and small group instruction before gaps widen.
Why Prioritize Math Intervention to Close Math Gaps?
- Early math ability has been shown to be an indicator of later *reading* skills! If you want to promote future literacy, make time for math interventions now!
- Gaps in math understanding only grow over time. The longer we wait to prioritize closing gaps in understanding, the larger and more complex future interventions will need to be.
- It’s a matter of equity. According to a paper by Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama (linked here) students from families with a higher socio-economic status demonstrated more proficiency than students from families with lower socio-economic status as they first entered school. By not taking the time to support our students with the greatest need we are allowing these math gaps in proficiency to grow.
Food For Thought…
In every elementary classroom, students learn to read at different rates. Teachers prioritize small group reading for all students but especially those with the greatest need. You can picture what it looks like for a teacher to be working in “reading groups”.
You’re likely envisioning a teacher sitting at a horseshoe table, a small group of students seated around her reading books together. Or perhaps the students are attending to the teacher and her whiteboard as she moves around colored letter magnets, providing instruction around a particularly tricky word part.
In math, our students also learn at different rates. But, for some reason, small group intervention isn’t consistently prioritized even though this is exactly the vehicle that will support closing math gaps for our students. Try and create a picture of math intervention in your mind- is it as clear as your vision for small group reading?
It’s time to make a change and prioritize a strong math intervention strategy as early as possible.
Ready to Learn More?
If you are ready to commit to implementing a math intervention strategy, join me this summer in Math Intervention Uncomplicated– a clear and simple system for developing math intervention plans that work.