Teaching is a complex task. Not only do we have to create high-quality initial instructional activities, but we must also be prepared to intervene. Students who are not successful with Tier I instruction must then receive additional support through a math intervention. There are many strategies to do this, including computer programs, reteaching, or small group instruction. But, what about math stations? In today’s post, I’m sharing a strategy for using math stations to provide a Tier II math intervention.
If you been a reader of this blog for a while, you know I love to use math stations. Read more about math stations here. They’re versatile and a great way to keep students engaged in learning.
Using math stations as a Tier II math intervention does three things. First, they provide an easy and predictable structure. Second, they offer an opportunity to review and practice multiple skills at the same time. Third, they allow opportunities for differentiation, especially for higher achieving students.
Creating the Math Intervention
- Determine the focus content. This can be done through an assessment or established from classroom observations.
- Create a quick review. My favorite way to do this is through an interactive notebook activity. This way, students can refer to their math notebooks while working on the follow-up activity. For me, I like to ensure there is enough information on the activity page to provide support when students complete more independent tasks.
- Design a quality follow-up activity. Often times, I use an activity that I may have used during initial instruction. Sometimes, students just need another opportunity to practice. My favorite station tasks are easy card/dice games, task cards, and file folder/ board games. Don’t overlook what you already have available.
- Decide on a station format. This decision really depends on the number of rotations you want to have. I really like to use three or four rotations, sometimes even up to six. Time is a huge factor here. Ideally, it’s nice to have at least 20-25 minutes for each station activity. (Remember: Setting up and cleaning up take extra time.) If you only have 50 – 60 minutes, I would use a smaller number of stations. Completing the stations over a few days is also an option and may offer more time for each station activity.
- Organize your stations. Think about each group’s rotation sequence. With your target group(s), you’ll want to ensure they work with you first. This means they will need to complete the review activity with you before completing the follow-up. You’ll want to program a challenge activity or activity for another skill that one group can do before meeting with you if you have more than one target group. The higher achieving students, or those that mastered the focus skill, can complete challenge activities during the rotation.
- Fill the buckets. Decide which activity to program for each station. Then, gather the materials and fill your station bags or buckets.
Getting to Work
Now, it’s time to start your station rotation and put your math intervention plan into action! Need a quick way to assess student learning after the rotation? Then, check out these assessment ideas!
Looking for more information about math stations? Grab a copy of my Getting Started with Math Stations eBook using the form below.
Looking for ready-math activities that are perfect for math stations? Check out my Texas Math Scholar series for Grade 4 and Grade 5 and my Focus on the Core series for Grade 5 in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Sound Off! How do you engage your Tier II math students in your classroom? Respond in the comments below.