Monday, February 25, 2013

The Scoop on Success Time {or My School's VERY Fluid Intervention Block}

I'm re-linking this post to Jodi's "Be a Fly on my Wall" linky as she's focusing on interventions for this linky!  I hope you'll check out the ideas and link up too!

Yay!  It's a Monday and I'm at home in my PJs (which I may stay for the day!).  It's Mid-Winter Break for this gal!  We had Friday off, today off, and tomorrow go to see Mike Mattos, who is an AMAZING RTI guru and a speaker who lights a fire under your booty and makes you want to work so hard.

I'm super pumped!

In my building, we have an intervention time that I think Mr. Mattos would be proud of.  I mentioned this last week and got lots of comments asking to hear more... so, here goes!

Having a successful intervention time really hinges on the effectiveness of the PLCs you have in your building.  In mine, we operate in grade-level PLCs and subject area PLCs.  We have a grade-level PLC every month that is headed up by the Title 1 teacher.  She brings data for the Tier 3 kids and we re-evaluate these students every month.  For our intervention time, we evaluate data all the time...

Here is how "Success Time" works...

My building has three grade levels: 3-5th.  Each grade level has a 35-minute period of time in the morning for "Success Time".

I think it's something like this:

4th- 8:00-8:35
3rd- 8:35-9:10
5th- 9:10-9:45

I'm not sure how exactly it works for 4th and 5th grades, but during that time in 3rd grade, each classroom teacher (there are 4 of us), the Title 1 Teacher, two Paras, librarian, and one of the special ed teachers all have groups going on.  The librarian doesn't teach a group- there is a large group of students working independently on IXL or Math Facts in a Flash on the computer.

That keeps the other groups much smaller since there are 8 other adults running a group at that time.

We've been primarily doing math interventions, although we've also done math and reading and sent kids to the one they needed the most.  When we did that, I had a low fluency group and we did Six Minute Solutions, Fry Phrases, and Reader's Theaters.

Currently, we are focusing on math interventions.  We're doing timed multiplication tests as kids progress through levels at their own pace and then working on whatever students need for math... what this means is that, depending on the assessments the math teacher gives, the groups change often... which is awesome.  They are literally changing weekly... occasionally daily!... but our kids are getting the instruction and practice they need at that moment, which is awesome.

The Title and 3rd grade math teacher are incredible at meeting to look at data and form new groups.

This coming week is a short one- just Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday- so our groups are a little different...  all of our groups this coming week are...

Subtraction with regrouping... which only has two kids!  Hooray!
A small reading group
Multiplication facts x3
Multiplication facts x4
Independent fact practice in the computer lab
Multiplication facts x10
Two leveled groups of multiplication properties
And I'm doing a writing intervention group with kids who need help organizing their thoughts.  We'll be reading a lot of books, writing summaries, and interacting with texts through writing.

As kids pass their x3 facts, they'll go right to x4, and as soon as the kiddos in the subtraction w/regrouping group master that, they'll go to where they need to be and that person will be re-assigned to teach something new.

It's fluid, fluid, fluid and we all have to be flexible, flexible, flexible!  I love it!

It's really easy when you do interventions to get comfortable and lose the focus... which is doing what is best for KIDS.  I have found in the past that there are teachers who won't want to have fluid groups because they've already planned out what they are doing in their intervention group and they don't want to make another copy, or re-arrange the pairings, or whatever.

I feel really fortunate to work with a group of teachers who know that Success Time is about helping our students become successful!  And, that sometimes means that we find out 10 minutes before school starts who will be in our groups for the day... but our kids are making great progress!

This would be our Tier-2 interventions.  The students who still need support are pulled out throughout the day for more intense small group instruction.

Here's a little video about RTI, if you aren't familiar with it, and you can see Mr. Mattos in the video.  He's a great speaker... if your district is looking to expand your PLCs or learn more about RTI, this would be the man to provide it!


  1. I really enjoyed hearing more about how your interventions work- we are looking to do something like this for our ESL students next year, using the Fountas and Pinnell assessment kit. It is so great that your team is so flexible- it is always nice to work with a group of teachers who are open to change!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. Thank you for the explanation. Success time sounds AWESOME!! I'm trying to see how we could do something like that in our building.

    Literacy Without Worksheets

  3. This is exactly what RTI should be...more schools need to adopt this model. Now if only we could figure out how to adjust the model to work at the secondary level!

    Mrs. D

  4. Thanks for sharing. Great post on RTI. How does your grade level team for the content areas? You mention that you have a math teacher and I know you were doing ELA at one point. In CA, we all teach all subject areas and our students are with us all day long. I'm curious how you do it.
    What i have learned

  5. Great explanation! We have been through lots of trainings for RTI, but our building is not sure how to implement it. It is great to see how other school are able to do it successfully!
    3 Teacher Chicks

  6. Awesome work! You are definitely helping lots of kiddos through your time, expertise, and dedication to knowing exactly what their needs are. :) Hooray!
    I Want to be a Super Teacher

  7. Thanks for explaining how your school tackles RTI interventions through Success time. Our school is looking into starting something very similar to this. I think we're calling it FLEX time, and the administration is trying to figure out the logistics of it so that we will be able to implement it. I'm going to pass this post along to my administrators.
    Mrs. Miller’s Monkey Business

  8. I absolutely LOVE this! Would you consider adding an image of some sort so that this is a more "Pinnable" Post? I think it's awesome and needs to be shared.

  9. I wish we could find a way to do math interventions as well. We started out the year with doing reading interventions from 8:30 - 9:00 and Math from 9:00 - 9:30, but it was SOOOOOOOOO hard to fit everything in for the remainder of the day. Thanks for linking up!!!!

  10. Math interventions would be great too! We started with reading last year in first and now the entire school does it:)

    The Resourceful Apple


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