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Math Intervention and the Promise of Adaptive Learning

April 01, 2014


According to The Nation’s Report Card, compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, students in Grade 4 and Grade 8 scored lower in mathematics than in 2013. This comes as no surprise to educators working to find math intervention and response to intervention solutions to the pervasive problem of underachievement in math skills in every grade, and students graduating without the foundation necessary to succeed in college and the workplace.

Adaptive learning is an approach that overcomes many of the current challenges to implementing the RtI model and providing very effective math intervention.

A consensus has emerged that corrective reform and innovation is necessary to reverse this trend. This DreamBox report delves into the pedagogical models that address the needs of struggling students, with streamlined instruction targeted to the unique learning profile of each student: comprehension, skill level, learning style, and strategies for processing thought.

Intelligent Adaptive Learning: Next-Generation Math Intervention

Adaptive learning is a promising approach that fits within the Response to Intervention model (RtI). It goes far beyond the expectation of intermittent assessment and adjustments to instruction. Formative assessments throughout the learning process help shape that process. Every mouse click is tracked in real time to gain insight into student strategies. Then, based on that insight, individual learning paths are dynamically created to guide the student through the curriculum.

However, not all adaptive learning platforms are created equally. Learn about the five capabilities that are the capstones for making it a complete and effective approach:

  • Achieving math proficiency—faster.
  • A strong math curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards.
  • Sound pedagogy as the foundation for instruction.
  • Instruction integrated with on-going assessment to provide students a step-by-step path to higher achievement.
  • A highly engaging and interactive learning environment, fueled by data that informs both students and teachers.


The Challenges to Successful Math Intervention

Explore the challenges to successful math interventions and solutions including RtI and adaptive learning in the classroom as highlighted in this case study from Anderson County, Kentucky.

Some of the challenges for successful math intervention included:

  • Class size
  • Lack of resources
  • Lack of time
  • Need for individualized student instruction
  • Lack of subject-specific expertise among teachers


Strong Curriculum and Pedagogy Lead to Effective Math Intervention

In the face of all these challenges, the good news is that all children can learn mathematics. But to develop effective math pedagogy for all students, additional basic assumptions need to be present throughout the process, including the idea that:

  • Not all students learn at the same rate or in the same way
  • Intervention is proactive, not reactive
  • Even talented students may need intervention opportunities
  • Math intervention is about teaching and the opportunity to learn, not a deficit model

A strong curriculum, whether teacher instruction or digital, combined with student-centered pedagogy, assures that high math-proficiency outcomes are achieved. Learn more about how Intelligent Adaptive Learning combines both of these elements to support all students in meeting grade-level proficiency standards.

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