Wednesday, February 19, 2014

RTI Help - Struggling student - lots of interventions given

I am hoping you can help me brainstorm some things for a student.

Even though we do not need to give the winter MComp and MCap, I did it for this student.  Her computation has gotten better, but is still in the below average range.  She is practicing math flash cards (the intervention ones targeting certain strategies) and has a set for home.  She is on Xtramath.  

But her math applications and understanding is in the critical range.  I have her working with a parent helper 3 times a week one-on-one.  She is very unfocused unless she works with someone to keep  her on task, and doesn't pay attention to lessons...hence the lack of understanding.  I check in with her for each lesson, and use the reteaching pages or modify her work.

Do you have any other intervention strategies I can try?  There is not one area I would say is a strength or weakness for her (i.e. geometry, patterns, computation, etc.).  She is just LOW!!!


Additional information:  

She is/has not been identified as special education and she might get the strategies for the day, if you are sitting there, but doesn't retain well.

This is one of your colleagues looking for help.  Anything you can provide would be beneficial.


  1. This sounds like a rough situation. What interventions have you tried? Does she have a consistent hi-lo partner to work with each day? That might help her maintain focus while reinforcing the knowledge of the higher student. Have you tried kinesthetic activities to reinforce/retain basic facts or combining audio/visual/and kinesthetic? Does she understand the strategies for facts or is she only attempting to memorize the facts? Explicit teaching of the fact strategies may be useful if you haven't already worked with her on that area.

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  3. It sounds like attention is a significant problem and that she sometimes comprehends the lesson when somebody is sitting with her to hold her accountable. Since you probably cannot have an adult sitting with her at all times, I wonder if you have a strong student who is mature enough to sit with her during the core lesson when you are teaching (so not just during independent practice, but perhaps throughout core instruction too). As you tie guided practice into your teaching, the strong student could very quietly talk through his/her thinking with the struggling student. I know you aren't going to put the strong student in a teacher or adult supervisor role, but the presence of that strong student might possibly be enough help keep the struggling student on-task, especially if the mature student is mature enough and close enough to the struggling student to provide quiet, polite cues when attention wanders.

    To avoid embarrassment, perhaps the two students could sit together somewhere off to the side, where they can hear the lesson and be involved, but not be stuck between other students. To avoid putting the strong student in an awkward position or directly stay that "your classmate is struggling", you could explain to the strong student that he/she has a classmate who does better when he/she has somebody to verbally communicate his/her thinking to.

    As far as retaining information, I wonder if the student would benefit from extended Common Core Review practice. You probably don't want to make this "extra" work, but instead replace it with some other workload. I hate to suggest taking the student away from real, complex application, but if the student's current needs are more basic, replacing some of that higher skill workload with the current need might be more beneficial to that particular student for now.

    I'm not sure if any of these will work, and you might have tried them in some way already, but who knows. Maybe I will think of something else to add, but this is what came to my mind most quickly. Good luck.