Teaching Middle School Mathematics Intervention (AIS)


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Overview and Purpose

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This mini-course will provide information, tools, and strategies around how to design and implement effective Math Intervention that promotes independent learning.

The intended learners for this course are pre-service and in-service teachers who would like to learn more about designing and implementing math intervention services at the middle school-level. Learners who do not fall into these categories may still find the course and resources provided to be useful.

Needs Assessment

Within the context of Math Intervention, there are two main problems that can be identified. The first is the increasingly vast population of students in need of intervention. This shows the high need for effective instruction relating to math intervention in middle school. The second problem is primarily what this course will seek to address; the difficulties associated with designing instruction to achieve effective intervention and meets students' differing needs. Within this second problem, there are many difficulties to be addressed, such as making meaningful use of the overwhelming amounts of data that intervention teachers are faced with. These vast amounts of data can make it difficult to identify individual gaps, determine if current interventions are working, and plan instruction to meet the needs of every student in the class. Another difficulty within this second problem is the idea of engaging and motivating students who already feel a sense of failure around their abilities in Math. Research shows that "Given the crucial role of self-determined motivation in maths with regard to achievement...maintaining and fostering students' motivation and their beliefs in their own abilities must be viewed as a particularly important educational objective" (Bradenberger, et al., 2018, p. 296). Thus, these difficulties present an opportunity to foster independent learning and growth related to student success in math.

Performance Objectives

At the end of this course, learners will be able to

Explain the value of a classroom environment that fosters a growth mindset.

Recognize the importance of continuous formative assessment and the meaningful use of data in mathematics instruction.

Identify strategies that motivate students to engage with mathematical content and value learning.


Create math intervention lessons that

  • Support independent learning, self-assessment, and self-reflection.
  • Encourage student engagement and deepen conceptual understanding.
  • Target gaps in knowledge and build fluency and problem-solving skills.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Introduction to Teaching Math Intervention

After this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of incorporating certain features into instruction designed for math intervention.
  • Identify technology platforms that can be used to support instruction and student learning.

Unit 2: Fostering Independent Learning and Self-Reflection

After this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Discuss the value of teaching and encouraging growth mindsets in students.
  • Compose questions that encourage student goal setting and self-reflection.

Unit 3: Student Engagement and Motivation

After this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Explain the importance and benefits of student engagement and motivation in math intervention classes.
  • Identify instructional strategies and activities that engage students and build problem-solving skills.
  • Describe methods for individual and whole class reward systems in place of traditional grading.

Unit 4: Putting it All Together and Lesson Planning

After this unit, learners will be able to:

  • Design and organize a binder for student use in math intervention class.
  • Create and design a lesson plan for a middle school math intervention class.

Extended Resources

Brandenberger, C. C., Hagenauer, G., & Hascher, T. (2018). Promoting students’ self-determined motivation in maths: results of a 1-year classroom intervention. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 33(2), 295–317. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44951956.

Schwartz, S. (2021, November 4). What new data reveal about students’ math and reading performance right now. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-new-data-reveal-about-students-math-and-reading-performance-right-now/2021/11.