Building Number Power Strategies for Math Intervention

Presented by Diane Burtchin
Adapted from the book “Math Intervention: Building
Number Power with Formative Assessments,
Differentiation, and Games” by Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Cox
 To
fine tune our definition of math
 To discuss the four goals for learning
mathematics and to recognize the
importance of each
 To share important ideas for teaching math
and for making math intervention meaningful
 To walk away with some games and activities
that can be used in your math intervention
 Please
share with a neighbor your definition
of math intervention
 Be
sure to discuss at least three core
elements of successful intervention
 What
is it?
It is targeted instruction for students struggling
with mathematics.
This targeted instruction must focus on the
precise academic needs of the students.
Intervention must have a focus on correcting
students’ misconceptions and filling in learning
gaps in ways that build their mathematical
 Accuracy-
how to obtain the correct answer
 Efficiency- how to obtain the correct answer
as quickly as possible
 Flexibilty- understanding how to apply their
learning to new situations and in different
ways (adaptability)
 Fluency- relates to the confidence and ease
with which students work with mathematics
 These goals are interconnected
Timing is very important- we can’t jump to
efficiency and flexibility too fast!
 Teaching rules and procedures isn’t the same as
teaching concepts!
 When concepts are ignored and the focus is on
rules and procedures, struggling students often
develop misconceptions and learning gaps.
 If students understand the concepts then we can
help them increase their efficiency and
flexibility by teaching rules and procedures.
However, we MUST include reasons and
connections to make this math meaningful.
 Typically
the problems that students who
struggle in math have relate to number sense
and computation.
 What is number sense?
It is an expansive and inclusive understanding of
numbers and operations that allows a person to
make sound judgments and utilize practical and
effective math strategies (McIntosh, Reys & Reys
1.) Instruction needs to be explicit
2.) It is precise
3.) It is focused on students’ immediate
learning needs
4.) It applies the structure of RtI
5.) Group structure
6.) Quantity and quality of the tasks
7.) Use of new strategies
8.) Educator’s expertise
9.) Incorporation of problem-solving
10.) Student’s level of motivation
Within math intervention, there should be
formative assessment on a regular basis.
 It allows us to know what to teach, and it gives
us information about what a student already
 This will then provide us with the opportunity to
adjust our lessons and instruction to match the
needs of our students.
 The assessments can take a variety of forms:
paper-and-pencil, informal questioning,
performance tasks, etc.
 These assessments can actually save time
because we know where to target our instruction
rather than “wasting” time teaching everything
Also extremely important for math intervention and
the RtI process
Students also need to understand their progress
Questions to ask:
Is the student making progress?
What does the student need to learn next?
How solid is the student’s understanding?
Does the student need more work with a specific
Is the student having difficulty maintaining and utilizing
specific concepts?
What misconceptions does the student have?
Where are the learning gaps?
Is the student’s knowledge incomplete? If so, what is
This is often a key component of math
 Effective reteaching is not teaching the exact
same thing in the exact same way again and
again 
 Reteaching in intervention involves identifying
the concept and then presenting it in a different
 This may require the teacher to back up to
previous content and skills in order to build
prerequisite understanding (filling the gaps)
 This may also require the teacher to find and
address misconceptions in order to properly
learn the new content and skills
 It
is critical to understand the concepts as
well as the progression of student learning
 Don’t focus on a particular grade level but
rather the level of understanding of the
intervention students
 Layout of activities:
Formative assessment (for determining level of
Sample questions (based on Bloom’s Taxonomy)
Math game directly connected to a specific math
concept (many of them address multiple
Content differentiation ideas
Find a chapter that interests you
 Suggestions for each grade level:
KG- Ch. 1 Early Number Concepts (one-to-one
correspondence, rote counting, rational counting,
keeping track, cardinality, conservation of a number,
 1st- Ch. 2 Numbers and Number Relationships
Concepts (representing numbers, more and less,
equal and unequal, composing and decomposing
numbers, understanding 10, ordinal numbers, even
and odd, basic place value, basic fractions,
 2nd and 3rd- Ch. 3 Addition and Subtraction Concepts
(total and parts, counting on and counting back,
joining sets, number line proficiency, various addition
and subtraction strategies and problems, fact
 4th-
Ch. 2 Multiplication and Division
Concepts (various strategies and problems
for multiplication and division, arrays,
perfect squares and near squares, fact
 5th- Ch. 3 Multifaceted Number Concepts
(expanded form, thousands and millions,
properties, prime and composite numbers,
multiples, factors, fractions, decimals, and
mixed numbers)
 Share
one take away from today regarding
the structure of Math Intervention
 Share
one activity you would like to try with
your students
 Share
 Do
any questions that might still have
we need a follow up to this session?

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