Math Intervention for Enrichment

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This school year I’ve been given the opportunity to work with a select group of second grade math students.  Since early October I’ve been seeing two groups of around 20 students for approximately 30 minutes twice a week.  These 40 students were selected based on unit pre-assessment scores and teacher recommendations.  The second grade students that I see tend to be in need of enrichment of the math skills that they’re exploring in class.  This enrichment can take on many forms, but mainly I’ve been looking at have students develop a better understanding of numbers and patterns.  I’ve been asked to expand on the unit being taught in class and report back progress that students have been making.  The groups that I see are designed to be flexible and change depending on a particular math unit.


Here area  few things I’ve observed as the year has unfolded:

1.)  30 minutes twice a week is a short time period.  I’m all for packing in as much instruction as possible, but 30 minutes goes by very quickly.  I’ve had to redesign many of my lessons to overlap the two days in a week.  Retention can also be an issue with this.  I spend each session with a bit of review and that has seemed to help.

2.)  I’ve had to incorporate my own pre/post-assessment to show student growth.  At first I thought this was extremely time consuming as students only have a small amount of time in my class and I want to make sure that the class time is being used appropriately.  This year many of the classes in my school are using the same pre-test as the post-assessment.  I’m using that model right now but it may change as the year progresses.

3.)  I’m not able to meet with the second grade team every week so we decided to use Google Docs as a communication tool.  My students’ pre/post assessment scores are located in the shared doc and can be assessed by any of the second grade teachers.  I also attached a copy of the pre/post assessment to the document so teachers are aware of what topics I’m addressing.

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4.)  I’ve been using effect size to show student growth.  I learned about effect size in more detail after attending a Visible Learning conference over the summer.  I feel like this has been a useful tool and has shown some insight into student gains in my class.  This tool has also been important as it brings some finality to the units that I teach and can be used as one data point in transitioning students in/out of my class.

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5.)  Student reflection is key.  This year I’ve been giving students a copy of their pre-assessment stapled to their post-assessment.  Students are then able to review their growth and ask questions.  The focus is on student growth and not necessarily on point value or grade.  Thankfully at second grade students aren’t used to traditional grades yet.


I’m looking forward to seeing how this enrichment opportunity develops over time and the positive impact it has on students.


Web-Based Math Differentiation in Elementary Schools

Different Learning Paths for Different Students
Different Learning Paths for Different Students

It’s apparent that student achievement data, in many different forms (formative, standardized, norm-referenced, common assessments, etc.) is becoming increasingly valued by administrators and teachers alike.   Teacher PLC teams analyze this data to become more aware of strengths/concerns and differentiate their instruction accordingly.   Instead of whole group instruction, teachers are beginning, or already using guided groups to meet the diverse academic needs of their classroom.

Once needs are identified, teachers put together plans to address the needs in the classroom. Generally, teachers utilize guided reading/math groups, small groups, resource specialists, to meet the needs of individual students, whether the needs are remedial or for enrichment purposes.  One of the goals is to meet the need with some type of teacher support or intervention; although this is not always possible with time constraints and limited staffing.  Have time to be able to individualize instruction is vital for any teacher.  At times, time and staffing limit the amount of differentiation that can occur.  Teachers continue to look for ways to supplement their instruction for differentiation in and outside of their classroom.  Which leads me to this question …

What free online tools can be used to supplement math differentiation in and outside of the classroom?

Note:  All of the tools below are aligned to the Common Core Standards and can be accessed at school or home.  I’m not suggesting that these tools replace school interventions, but they may be helpful if used appropriately.  Click the pictures to enlarge.


MobyMax is an adaptive online curriculum provider that creates individual education plans for students.  Student take a pre-assessment that seems to be fairly accurate (at least in my opinion).  The pre-assessment determines where to start instruction and helps students practice skills that they haven’t yet mastered.  Student data is collected on every lesson and problem that is completed, so progress monitoring is quite painless.  Mobymax also has an app for easy access.

MobyMax - You can assign specific concepts for differentiation
MobyMax – You can assign specific concepts for differentiation


Scootpad is another adaptive curriculum provider that enables teachers to assign specific CCSS concepts to individual students.  Teachers determine the mastery level and they are able to keep track of individual student progress.  As of right now, there aren’t any lessons associated with the questions.

Scootpad - You can analyze performance on specific concepts
Scootpad – You can analyze performance on specific concepts


TenMarks is used to introduce or reinforce teaching in the classroom.  Students are able to review online lessons and are asked questions related to the topic.  Teachers are able to track student progress over time with TenMarks.

TenMarks - Allows lessons to be interactive with feedback
TenMarks – Lessons are interactive with feedback


Xtramath is designed to help students improve their math computation fluency.  This isn’t a program that’s for everyone.  I’ve found that students who need practice with multiplication/division tables benefit from this web-based intervention.  The program is very user-friendly and has a progress monitoring component which seems beneficial.

XtraMath - Students practice math computation facts
XtraMath – Students practice math computation facts

Photo credit: weesen via photopin cc

What tools do you use to differentiate instruction in/out of the classroom?

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