Where do interventions fit into my school day?


“When am I supposed to have time to do that??”  Asks every teacher at least a few times each year.  Instructional time is sacred and every minute counts, especially when you have students who may be below grade level.  Those students need to grow at an accelerated rate, and the only way to do that is to give them more time.  For most teachers who do not have an RTI program in their school, this requires some creative scheduling.

Your Literacy block must run on a whole-part-whole schedule.

One example:

Whole Group lesson

Small groups/learning centers or stations (3 rotations time permitting)

Whole group wrap-up

For teachers who say, “My kids can’t handle centers!”  First let me say YES THEY CAN!  With routines and procedures in place…and plenty of time and patience…students as early as Kindergarten can handle it.  We will get into more detail with this soon!

Another example:

Whole group

Small group/center or station

Whole group (short maybe 3-5 min)

Small group/center or station

Whole group (short maybe 3-5 min)

Small group/center or station

Whole group wrap-up

*This model may be useful when introducing centers or if students become disruptive when switching from center to center.

A third great structure is The Daily Five.  This is a structure that helps students develop independence while reading, writing and working with words daily during the Literacy block.  To learn more about The Daily Five follow this link http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/department104.cfmimage

With one of these structures in place during the block, you can see that interventions can happen during “small group/center” times.  These can go for 15-25 minutes depending on available time during the block.

For additional time,

  • using a workshop model for Writing would allow time to meet with struggling students to work on phonics skills incorporating writing as a component.
  • During Science and/or Social Studies, using another whole-part-whole structure would give another opportunity to meet with struggling students.  NEEDLESS TO SAY…this should look like another Literacy block with the difference being the content would come from your Science or Social Studies curriculum.  This is critical with the new requirement of the Common Core standards as it relates to Informational text.

Bottom line…time is of the essence and if you find that you need to have a timer to help you stay on track…by all means do it!  It is so easy for us to get involved with a good lesson and lose track of time!

REMEMBER!  Your below level students need MORE TIME.  So you may see your above level students 1-2 times each week, your  on level students 2-3 times each week….but your below level students must be seen DAILY!!  I remember repeating to my students many times that “fair is not always equal”. It also applies in this case, fair is each student getting exactly what they need!

Do you know of any other structures in the day that would allow time for you to meet with your struggling students?  Please share!!

Thx, J.


One thought on “Where do interventions fit into my school day?

  1. So true! Students at any age can learn how to navigate effectively through centers, with routines in place and continued practice. It is so important that we continue to find ways to provide teachers time to provide additional support and instruction to meet individual needs. Thanks so much for sharing Janyll!


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