Have you ever seen time fly? No, I don’t mean throwing the clock out the window. I mean, when you are in the moment with your students and they are rocking it out and you glance up to realize you are 10 minutes late for the next class? Intervention feels like this most days because the time is so important and yet not nearly long enough. I have 5 tips on how to maximize your intervention block today that I think will really help!
Tip 1: Set a Timer for Groups
If I have on my intervention plans that I am going to meet with three groups during a single block, I need a timer to make sure that I stay on schedule. If you are required to meet with a group four times a week, you MUST meet that many times or else your data will not reflect the intervention plan.
I use an alarm on my phone and give myself a one minute warning. The kids in centers or stations hear the first alarm and start getting ready to transition. My group knows we are about to wrap up. And I know that I need to start summarizing and ending my small group lesson. It just works best this way! Set that timer!
Tip 2: Every group should have an additional activity or worksheet.
There is nothing worse than having students who are off task and loud during intervention small groups. I love collaborative centers and stations, but my time for it was during guided reading and guided math groups, not during intervention groups. This is when I need my students hyper-focused and soaking it all in! Be proactive! Whatever your center activity is, make sure that it takes 5-10 minutes longer than what your normal rotation time is. This will help ensure that students have plenty to do in their stations. I loved using my Listening Centers because students could pick their book and then complete an activity/follow up sheet.
Tip 3: Hold Kids accountable with a digital camera or iPad.
If you have planned a sight word tile activity, VersaTiles, magnetic letters, word sort, etc, how do you really know they are working and not playing around? I held all my centers accountable. Even if there wasn’t a worksheet, you had something to turn in. In many cases, if it wasn’t a worksheet, you had a digital picture to turn in. Students would come and grab my class camera and snap a picture of their finished sort or sight word activity so I could “see” it was completed correctly. It if wasn’t correct, I printed the picture on white copy paper and circled, highlighted, etc.
Tip 4: Pull your guided reading materials or intervention supplies and set in bins the day before.
There’s nothing worse than on a Monday morning realizing your center activities, guided reading books, and intervention supplies weren’t ready for you. It never failed, those would be the days I had an observation, a student threw up in the floor, and I would have on two different kinds of shoes. #totallyserious I made it my mission to make sure I never left until everything was ready for the next day – even if on Fridays I had to stay a little later so I wouldn’t have to arrive early Monday morning (nobody’s got time for dat).
Tip 5: Maximize time by setting routines and expectations the first two weeks.
With intervention groups, your student will probably change out quite often. Don’t be discouraged. Keep going over exactly how you expect your room to operate every time there is a switch of students. This will really help make sure no time is wasted in your room. Returning students should become role models and demonstrate those expectations for the newbies.
Remember to set timers, have plenty of activities, hold students accountable for turning something in, set things up ahead of time and stick to a routine. I hope these 5 tips will help you make the most of the time you have.
Have you found tricks that help maximize the effectiveness of your intervention block? I’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below or on my Facebook page.