Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Math Interventionist

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My day starts at 7:15am when I arrive at school.  I am the Math Interventionist for grades 2-5.  I meet with my counterpart, the Reading Interventionist.  We’re working on a data analysis from our latest benchmark, charting growth (or no growth) of our students; so we share information and tasks that still need to be completed.  We also have a Student Support TEAM meeting to prepare for so we share tasks for that too. 

At 8:00am I attend a 4th grade Professional Learning Committee Meeting – We’re discussing what each content area is doing and how we can coordinate our efforts to collectively prepare students to be successful in all areas. 

At 9:00 am, I have 4 back to back 30-minute intervention lessons for 4th graders and 3rd graders.  Our students recently took a Fall benchmark assessment on all of the math content they’ve learned this year.  The students have created a SWAG report (graph of the questions they answered correctly (green) and the ones they missed (red) by each  Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills "TEKs".  The graph gives them a visual of which TEKS they know and which TEKS are weak.  They each have a notebook that has their SWAG report, a blank benchmark, and their original benchmark.  We’re reworking all of the test questions using our campus-wide problem-solving strategies QFSA and RIJ:  

We are primarily focusing on interpreting and understanding what the question is asking us to find.  We read the question.  We try to see a movie in our mind as we listen to the story problem situation.  We draw a picture if we can.  I’m discovering when students have a full and complete understanding of what the question is asking, they can complete the rest of the problem-solving steps independently.

At 11:00am I pick up my 2nd graders.  We are learning about double-digit addition. My students think it’s a game to model the addends with unifix cubes by connecting the groups of 10 then counting the tens and ones to find the sum.  

It’s not quite as easy to move from the concrete unifix cubes to the abstract algorithm.  I begin showing them the addition frame and we talk about how it’s similar and different to the unifix cubes grouping that we’ve made.

While my students and I are building, counting, using math terms to talk through what we’re doing and I am asking strategic questions to lead my students to discover regrouping, I’m being evaluated!  What?!  And, our campus has a new principal and she wants to observe the evaluation process so she’s observing as well.  NO PRESSURE!!

At the end of our session, I return my sweet friends to their classroom and swing by the cafeteria for a lunch salad.  Some of my 4th grade students have asked to eat lunch with me so they can practice their math facts.  They use flash cards or play a game with a deck of cards (take out Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Jokers, first) where each player turns over a card simultaneously and both try to be the first to solve the multiplication of the numbers on the overturned cards.

When lunch is over, I send them out to recess and join an adorable first grader in his math class.   He Is working independently adding and subtracting 1-digit numbers so I help anyone in the vicinity that needs help by strategic questioning.  Then I bite my tongue and wait as long as I can – reminding myself that students learn when they talk and do. 

At 1:00, I head back to my classroom for 2 30-minute back-to-back 5th grade intervention lessons to solve our latest benchmark math assessment questions.   

At 2:00, I go to the TAP room for professional development. Our campus is focusing on helping students improve their writing across content areas.  Today we are learning about the DIG (Define-Identify-Give examples that show a personal connection).  process of brainstorming before writing an expository personal narrative.

3:00 – 3:15. Bus Duty

3:15 – 4:15 Math Facts Club – students struggling with automatic recall of math facts practice using games – card games, board games, computer games. 

4:15 – 5:30 Analyzing recent benchmark data for my students.  Have they grown since their last assessment?  As I discover weak TEKS, I drill down to specific questions that were missed.  Why did they miss?  Do I need to reteach a concept?  Or did students know the math concept but misunderstand the wording?  Did they only do one step of a 2-step problem?  Did they perform an actual calculation when a problem required an estimate?  Did they struggle to retrieve data from a table, chart or graph to perform a calculation?  I drill down in detail so I can more fully understand the needs of my students.  My intervention time is short, so I have to be intentional. 

5:30pm I go home, and like most teachers, I’m reflecting over the day's events -  what went right? what went wrong?  How can I modify to better meet the needs of my students?

What's your day like?  I'd love to know!  
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1 comment:

  1. I would like to incorporate math workshop for my 7th grade self-contained class. IEP wise they are all on different levels. Should that be my guided math based on IEP? Should I focus on Grade level content as whole group?