Posted on 12/09/2010 at 11:53 AM by Global Reach

You have a student that you think is just not making it. His classroom scores are low, he’s not progressing like the other students, and you just know he needs some extra help.

So, you need to start an intervention?  

What exactly is an intervention?
An intervention is simple any good, research-based instructional strategy, matched to a unique student need, delivered with higher intensity than general instruction, over a period of time and with systematic progress data collected in order to inform the next decision.
The purpose of an intervention is to 1) determine what instruction works for the student 2) help differentiate a “difficulty” from a “disability”.
Interventions may be variations of strategies you already know!

Example: a ‘Story Mapping’ strategy to improve comprehension might be a good classroom strategy, but becomes an “intervention” when applied to an individual learner with sufficiently high frequency and intensity (i.e. 20 min./day) over a period of time (i.e. 6-8 weeks) and with regular and frequent progress monitoring data collected and graphed.

The intervention should teach the skill with a technique that is different from the way it was originally taught.

Represent the concept being taught in multiple ways through pictures, conversations, words, books, and games- the more ways you teach the more likely you are to reach every possible learner.

#1  Collect BASELINE Data
Examples are:
1.    Words per minute
2.    Math problems solved in a timed setting
3.    Written sample scored by rubric
4.    Number of sight words correctly read
5.    Number of math facts correctly answered
6.    Number  of “talk-outs” during a specific amount of time

This data will be compared to the student’s peers, so data from the entire class or information for what a typical student at that grade level earns is needed.  This information is collected by the classroom teacher.

Example: reads 21 wpm; solved 10 out of 30 math problems correctly; knows 50/100 of the 3rd grade sight words; up and out of seat 6 times during a 15 minute period; writes 1 complete sentence for every 6 sentences attempted; knows 10/57 basic math facts; 8/26 lower case alphabet letters.

NEXT determine the target goal.  This should be what the average student knows.
Example: 94/100 3rd grade sight words, 20 out of 26 upper case alphabet letters, 49/57 basic math facts, reads 106-136 wpm at the 4th grade level.

#2  The INTERVENTION  (Direct Instruction Required)

1.    Interventions are scientifically based and carried out by the teaching staff for approximately 6 or more weeks.
2.    Usually 10-20 minutes in length.
3.    Use in 1:1 or small groups of 2-4.
4.    Weekly probes using same type of assessment that was used to determine baseline.
5.    Parents should be informed of concern and kept aware of process.
This information is recorded on a graph to show the progress and aim line (target goal).

Sample effective interventions for reading include
•    Mental Imagery (Think Aloud)
•    Text Lookback
•    Phonological and phonemic awareness
•    Reading Recovery
•    Reading Mastery Reading Program
•    Edmark Reading Program
•    Reading Milestones Program
•    Read Naturally
•    Literacy Wings
•    KU Strategies (gr. 3 and up)
•    Florida Center activities
•    Reading Actively

Reading, recalling and reviewing the contents of every paragraph
•    Error word drill
•    Comprehension activities
•    Graphic organizers
•    Answering and generating questions
•    QAR- Question Answer Relationship
•    Recognizing Story Structure
•    Story Mapping
•    Partner reading
•    Self- monitoring
•    Drawing inferences
•    Finding main idea
•    Strengthening vocabulary
•    Cause and effect relationships
•    Story mapping
•    Cloze procedure
•    Sequencing
•    Vocabulary
•    Word learning strategies
•    Context clues
•    Using information about word parts
•    Indirect learning of vocabulary
•    Fluency
•    Partner reading
•    Structural Analysis
•    QuickReads
•    Phrasing

Sample effective interventions for writing include:
1.    Sentence Check Routine
2.    Spelling Drill
3.    Checklist
4.    Teach COPS, PENS strategy
Sample effective interventions for math include:
1.    Math Facts Drill Cards
2.    Cover-Copy-Compare
3.    Utilize Web sites for basic math fact drill
Sample effective interventions for behavior include:
1.    Reteach appropriate behavior and use a daily tracking form
2.    Teach self-charting of desired behavior
3.    Teach self-charting of undesired behavior
4.    Use behavior reward system
5.    Contracting for good behavior
6.    The Incredible 5 Point Scale
7.    Check in-Check out System

#3 The GRAPH

Charts and graphs are used to clearly show whether the intervention was successful.  It is hoped that students will respond to the intervention using effective strategies and avoid the need for special education.  In the event that students do not respond to the intervention, the team would need to discuss whether an evaluation was needed.  In addition, changes in the intervention are noted on the graph.

If you teach in Iowa, we have the Iowa General Education Intervention Plan (Gen. Ed. I-Plan).  Contact your AEA instructional coach to get you started on it. The I-Plan is a tool. It helps formalize an intervention to make sure all parts are addressed.  Teachers are able to use the 
I -plan as they feel needed. It doesn’t mean a student will always be evaluated for special education because an I -plan has been started.  

What are some successful interventions that you have implemented? 

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