The setup depends of course on the players.  Ideally you’d have funding for interventionists that are licensed teachers and able to rotate through groups of students all day long.  For our setup at Randolph we utilize our Reading Specialist for Tier 3 reading intervention.  On some grade levels special education teachers provide Tier 3 instruction.  Tier 2 math and reading is provided by general education teachers, special education teachers, and instructional assistants.

Here is a picture of our 2015 schedule that will help further explanation (sorry about the quality):

DRAFT-RES 2015-16 Master Calendar3

As with any schedule, this is a starting place.  SPED services, actual lunch times, and other negotiations make things vary from classroom to classroom.  You can see the green Intervention/Enrichment (IE) blocks throughout KG-3.  The yellow is a mix of IE and 1:1 time to encourage use of iPads (4/5 students have their own).  Grade 4/5 IE was set to be together in order to provide overlap for intervention and enrichment opportunities.

This year Reading Specialist is working five days a week with four students from grades KG-3.  As there is a non-IE gap in the morning she has scheduled extra time with Kindergarten, seeing two morning groups and the one marked afternoon group.  This allows for a heavy focus on our newest readers.  We have designated reading as more critical than math – so students that may need both miss out on math intervention opportunity.

Most grade levels are following a Monday, Wednesday, Friday reading schedule and a Tuesday, Thursday math schedule.  For instance, in 3rd grade two teachers and one special education teacher take 4-6 students each for tier 2 reading intervention.  The other 55-60 students are split between the other two classrooms, engaging in enrichment activities such as children’s engineering explorations.  On the other two days the teachers switch intervention with enrichment.

There are variations based on the number of students needing intervention, number of staff available to help, level of student need, level of teacher experience, and other issues.  A few other examples:

  • 2nd grade has chose to use a five day model as they have five teachers, two SPED staff, and the reading specialist available.  Two gened classrooms have six students doing reading, a SPED teacher takes a mix of gened/sped, one gened room has six working on math intervention, and the two remaining classrooms have large classes for enrichment (an aide is helping in one of those rooms).
  • 1st grade felt it was important for flow to own kids with a partner teacher (instead of throwing all the students to potentially four different classrooms).  Three days a week six kids from two classrooms go for reading and all the others go to the partner teacher room.  Then on the two math, days six student visit the other teacher with everyone else going to the other partner teacher.

Lessons learned:

  • For the last two years we’ve tried to give special out of classroom enrichment clubs and activities including sports club, reading olympics, art, chorus, computer coding, newspaper, etc.  This opportunities are absolutely needed.  Unfortunately when trying to give everyone an opportunity during the IE it really hurt the consistency for some students needing intervention.
  • Last year we tried to have all of the teachers provide both intervention and enrichment within their classrooms.  They were tasked with given an independent projects to enrichment students and then honing in on core skills with the intervention group.  This was a problem for a few reasons.  First, the enrichment students always took attention away from the intervention work.  This year one teacher commented how she noticed in the first early days of just having the six intervention students in her room she was scanning the room – realizing how much attention was pulled away from the group the year before.  The other issues are grouping similar needs (better this year) and not being tempted to remediate with your own students on current pacing content – versus concentrating on an intervention core skill lesson.
  • There is not a one size fits all.  And what works for a grade level may change.  Don’t set things in stone and allow teachers to help solve the problem.  We joked in one data meeting where I was trying to lead the discussion of how to switch things up at mid year.  One teacher “elbowed” in and I just backed out of the way, handing the shared google document to them.