Monday, July 18, 2011

Student Intervention Cycles

One of the keys to developing interventions for students is to plan for them in advance. When developing an intervention cycle, establish an escalating series of red flags and interventions and be sure to examine student progress regularly.  Interventions should support student achievement and should not be punitive (an intervention cycle around behavior may result in punitive interventions, however). Intervention cycles can also be created for when students exceed mastery or expectations. Be sure to communicate this cycle to students and to parents and be sure to enforce the cycle regularly.
Here is an example of a student intervention cycle for a students who falter.  It can be revised, of course, as there should always be room to customize interventions for students.
Red Flag
Example Intervention
Student’s average falls below a 75% in any two-week cycle. Conference with teacher, team, and/or parent to develop a plan to get back on track (this is also an opportunity to determine why the average has fallen).
Student’s average remains below 75% for any consecutive two-week cycle. The above and mandatory attendance at a before- or after-school or lunch help session.
Test grade below 75%. Mandatory corrections or test make up.
Missing three homework assignments. Mandatory attendance at a help session so the student can make up the work.
Student completes homework but has trouble turning it in. Designate a teacher with whom the student can check in to help organize homework to be turned in.
Questions to consider when building an intervention cycle:
  1. What are your red flags? Be specific about patterns so that you can spot them easily. 
  2. What interventions will you or your team put in place once a red flag has been raised? Why have these been chosen (in general and if the intervention has been customized)? And how will you know the student is back on track once the triggered intervention has been put into place?
  3. How will you share this cycle with students and parents?
You can also create intervention cycles for students who exceed mastery or your expectations.  The process is the same. Consider what level of achievement or what behaviors would flag an intervention and plan for it.  This does not always mean more or different work.  The intervention could be that you look for ambiguities and complexities within the material you are teaching and remove scaffolds and support so that the student is more challenged.
While some students may need help understanding processes, procedures, or implementing implied skills, other students may benefit from the challenge of having to determine this themselves. Planning interventions ahead of time is a benefit to those who will be implementing, receiving, and supporting the interventions (teachers, students, and parents).
Let me know if I can be helpful with this.
[adapted from Jackson, R. R. (2009) Never work harder than your students and other principles of great teaching. ASCD: Alexandria, VA.]

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