Math Interventions

  • Mathematics interventions at the Tier 2 (secondary prevention) level of a multi-tier prevention system must incorporate six instructional principles:
    • Instructional explicitness
    • Instructional design that eases the learning challenge
    • A strong conceptual basis for procedures that are taught
    • An emphasis on drill and practice
    • Cumulative review as part of drill and practice
    • Motivators to help students regulate their attention and behavior and to work hard
    (Found in Mathematics Intervention at the Secondary Prevention Level of a Multi-Tier Prevention System: Six Key Principles by Lynn Fuchs, found at

    Focus interventions on whole and rational numbers, word problems, and fact fluency.
    In grades K through 5, math interventions should focus intensely on in-depth treatment of whole numbers and operations, while grades 4 through 8 should address rational numbers as well as advanced topics in whole-number arithmetic, such as long division.
    Interventions on solving word problems should include instruction that helps students identify common underlying structures of various problem types. Students can learn to use these structures to categorize problems and determine appropriate solutions for each problem type. Intervention teachers at all grade levels should devote about ten minutes of each session to building fluent retrieval of basic arithmetic facts. Primary-grade students can learn efficient counting-on strategies to improve math fact retrieval, and intermediate and middle-grade students should learn to use their knowledge of properties (e.g., the commutative, associative, and distributive laws) to derive facts in their heads.

    Helpful Links for Response to Intervention
    • What Works Clearinghouse - The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviews the existing research on different programsproductspractices, and policies in education. The goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. 
    • Intervention Central - Intervention Central provides teachers, schools and districts with free resources to help struggling learners and implement Response to Intervention. 
    • National Center on Intensive Intervention - NCII builds the capacity of state and local education agencies, universities, practitioners, and other stakeholders to support implementation of intensive intervention in literacy, mathematics, and behavior for students with severe and persistent learning and/or behavioral needs, often in the context of their multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) or special education services.  
    • Evidence-Based Intervention Network- University of Missouri - To support the use of evidence based interventions (EBI) in schools, the Evidence Based Intervention Network (EBIN) was developed to provide guidance in the selection and implementation of EBI in the classroom setting. The EBIN has an extensive resource base including evidence based intervention briefs, video modeling of EBIs, information on selecting and using EBI.