Academic Intervention Strategies for Math

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a middle or high school math teacher, you are sure to encounter some students who struggle with the content you teach. This lesson offers some academic intervention strategies you can use in the math classroom.

The Need for Math Intervention

Mr. Lazur has been teaching high school math for the last ten years and has seen a lot of changes in his school's philosophy. When he started teaching, a student who did not understand math just got a bad grade and that was the end of it! Increasingly, Mr. Lazur is being encouraged to support these students by finding academic intervention strategies, or ways to help them succeed.

Mr. Lazur can see that engaging in academic intervention will make him a stronger and more ethical teacher, so he devotes himself to learning what exactly academic intervention looks like in a math classroom.

A Strong Classroom Environment

First of all, Mr. Lazur learns more about the importance of a strong and supportive math classroom environment. Even when students are not struggling, they need to feel safe when they are learning math. Otherwise, how can they take risks?

Some keys that help create a strong classroom environment include:

  • ensuring that students have plenty of space to move around in the classroom
  • being clear about what students should do if they do not understand something
  • offering preferential seating to students who struggle, especially with attention and executive function
  • making calculators, tables, and manipulatives readily available to all students
  • providing specific and clear positive reinforcement to students for making an effort
  • emphasizing process over product

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