SECONDARY MATH INTERVENTIONSummary of Intervention Strategies to Support Students Struggling with Math:
- Use of structured peer-assisted learning activities involving heterogeneous ability groupings.
- Use systematic and explicit instruction using visual and graphic representations.
- Modify instruction based on data from formative assessments of students (such as classroom discussions or quizzes).
- Provide opportunities for students to think aloud while they work.
- Share and discuss formative assessment data results with students.
- Instruction during the intervention should be explicit and systematic.
- Interventions should include instruction on solving word problems that are based on common underlying structures. This includes instruction on how to reading math problems.
- Be intentional regarding teaching students the eight Standards of Mathematical Practices.
- Increase opportunities for productive student discourse.
- Provide explicit instruction on writing in mathematics. For example, explaining answers and the processes taken to answer mathematical problems in writing.
In addition to the resources in the table below, we also offer the Math Tutorial Lab courses to support students with their middle school and high school math courses. For information on the tutorial labs and to view the curriculum maps, please visit the middle school tutorial lab or high school tutorial lab pages.
Supports ProvidedTextbook Publisher Intervention Resources
Big Ideas is one of the options that schools adopted as core curriculum adopted for Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. The materials come with ancillary intervention resource.
Intervention supports such as: Differentiating the Lesson, Game Closet, Lesson Tutorial, and vocabulary flash cards provided for each subject area are available digitally for all teachers.
College Board SpringBoard
SpringBoard is one of the options that schools adopted as core curriculum adopted for Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. The program comes with ancillary intervention resources.
Intervention supports such as: Getting Ready Practices, Math Mini Lessons, and Additional Practice Problem are provided for each math course and are available digitally for all teachers in schools that adopted SpringBoard. Additional resources are also available on the SpringBoard Teacher Resources tab.
College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM)
CPM is one of the options that schools adopted as core curriculum adopted for Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. The program comes with ancillary intervention resource.
Additional resources are available to support both students, parents and teachers. These resources include eTools and videos, homework help, resource pages with a toolkit, and a parent guide with extra practice. Most of these resources are also available in Spanish in addition to English.
CA Math is one of the options that schools adopted as core curriculum adopted for CC Math 6, CC Math 7, CC Math 8 and the related middle school accelerated courses. The program comes with ancillary intervention resources.
CA Math Targeted Intervention booklet, along with a Response to Intervention booklet is available online. To access these resources you can either look under Resources or you can type in Targeted Intervention within the Search field of ConnectEd.
Go Math is one of the core curriculum adopted for CC Math 6, CC Math 7, CC Math 8 and the related middle school accelerated courses. The program comes with ancillary intervention resources.
Intervention supports are provided such as: Common Core Readiness and Practice and Skills Fluency workbooks.
Engage New York (curriculum developed by the State of New York, which is free to the public)
Engage NY curriculum modules are marked by in-depth focus on fewer topics. They integrate rigorous classroom reasoning, extended classroom time devoted to practice and reflection through extensive problem sets, and high expectations for mastery.
Engage NY is a full curriculum that is available free online. Schools may choose to use parts or all of this resource.
Transmath is a math intervention curriculum that targets middle and high school students who lack the foundational skills necessary for entry into algebra and are two or more years below grade-level in math. The program engages students in real-world math from number sense to algebra.
Accelerated Math Intervention (AMI)
Currently available for students with special needs.
ST Math is game-based instructional software for K-12 and is designed to boost math comprehension and proficiency through visual learning.
Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math® by MIND Research Institute
Available for purchase with school funds
RtI Practice Guide
Can be requested from the USDE (National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance) “Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle School
Math Tutorial Courses
Math Tutorial Lab classes are offered for Math 6, 7 and 8, and for Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2.
Curriculum maps and placement guidelines can be found on the LAUSD Division of Instruction math department website.
ALEKS Mathematics Intervention optional
ALEKS is a web-based assessment and learning system that differentiates for each individual student’s needs, including students with disabilities.
Available for purchase with school funds
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. The site uses state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps.
Effective Strategies for Teaching Students with Difficulties
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The meta-analysis of research on supporting struggling students has pointed to several strategies that have been consistently effective.
· The use of structured peer-assisted learning activities involving heterogeneous ability groupings
· Systematic and explicit instruction using visual and graphic representations
· Modifying instruction based on data from formative assessments of students (such as classroom discussions or quizzes)
· Providing opportunities for students to think aloud while they work
· Formative assessment data provided directly to students
The above recommendations are found in their research clip, and are part of the larger report Effective Strategies for Teaching Students with Difficulties in Mathematics and What Are the Characteristics of Students with Learning Difficulties in Mathematics? (The full reports are available to NCTM members only.)
Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics
What Works Clearinghouse
A report from the What Works Clearinghouse has identified research-based math intervention strategies that support struggling middle school students in their report “Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools.”
You can download the full report here. The strategies identified in the report as having the strongest evidence are as follows:
Recommendation 3: Instruction during the intervention should be explicit and systematic. Learn more about this recommendation.
Recommendation 4: Interventions should include instruction on solving word problems that is based on common underlying structures. Learn more about this recommendation.
You can read more detail about each strategy, including information on implementing the strategies and short video clips highlighting each strategy on their Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics website
Putting the Practices Into Action: Implementing The Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice K-8
Susan O’Connell and John SanGiovanni (published by Heinemann)
Students who are struggling with mathematics are often missing more than basic skills or content knowledge. Very often they struggle with the mathematical practices, such as perseverance, making sense of problems, explaining their reasoning, and modeling problems. This book can help teachers support students with growing their ability to use and apply the mathematical practices to class.
Each mathematical practice is discussed in depth, reviewing why that practice is important, providing a deep dive into understanding the practice, and discussing how to get students proficient with the practice.
5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions
Margaret S. Smith and Mary Kay Stein (published by NCTM)
This short book describes a series of five practices that help structure discussions in class in a way that promotes deep learning. The steps help teachers anticipate students’ solutions, monitor work during the lesson, select student work to share, sequence the student work purposefully and connect the students work to the underlying mathematics. Students are more engaged in the work, and different methods for solving problems and addressing common misconceptions are highlighted through this process. Therefore, students are engaged and supported in their learning at all levels.
This book can be used individually by math teachers or with a whole department (Professional Development guide is included in the book).
Helping Students Struggling with Math
Elizabeth G. Shellard (published in Principal magazine by the National Association of Elementary School Principals)
“A critical instructional component is to make sure they understand a skill or concept before being asked to practice it.”
A Guide to the 8 Mathematical Practice Standards
Free On-line guide from