On Conferences and Intervention

We recently concluded the annual conference of the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM).  This year and next, I am serving as the conference co-chair along with Ann Summers, a colleague from Littleton (Colorado) Public Schools.  This year’s conference went very well; we had almost 1200 attendees, a wide range of speakers, and a great panel of exhibitors.  We anticipate that next year’s conference will be even better.

The theme of the conference was “Best Practices in Mathematics: The Best Intervention for All Students,” a thought that is consistent with my belief that “quality first instruction” (or “highly effective first instruction”) is really the number one thing we can do help students.  If we want to significantly reduce the number of students in need of intervention, then good core instruction is the key.

Which brings me to my presentation at the CCTM Conference, “Middle School Intervention Based on Student Need.”  In the district I work in, we have implemented a double-dose intervention for our middle school students who are significantly below grade level.  My presentation summarized this program, from the selection of students to the course structure to the first-year data.  You can view the presentation here.

The bottom line with interventions in any school or district is that they must meet the needs of every student.  Finding the right combination of time, resources, and teachers takes time and careful planning.  It won’t be perfect the first time around, and maybe not the second; but anything we do to help students accelerate toward grade-level content – and proficiency with that content – will have an impact on those kids.