Five Tips to Keep Your Intervention Groups Simple
Use an intervention template for planning
In this case, using an intervention template means doing certain activities on certain days. It is important that the format of your lesson plan is easy to use, but the most important idea is that you are beginning with an outline of lessons and activities every time you sit down to write a new intervention lesson plan. Once you have a general outline with a clear objective you can easily create your own activities or really focus your search for what you need. Download a free example of an intervention lesson plan template here or read more about how to use intervention lesson plan templates here.
Have a routine
Routines help you plan faster, give fewer directions during groups, and allow more time for student practice. Routines should be closely related to your lesson plan template. When you do certain activities in order your groups will run smoothly. For example, when you introduce the skill every Monday, students use whiteboards and markers to practice that skill. Every Tuesday your students categorize ideas by cutting or coloring to sort ideas. Maybe they play a game every Wednesday, review with a partner on Thursdays, and take an assessment on Fridays. Find what works for you and your groups and stick with it to benefit yourself and your students.
Keep your materials organized
We’ve all done it. The copies are made…if I could just find them. Use clear plastic folders, paper trays, or bins to organize papers. Have a system for managing pencils, pens, scissors, markers, and glue. Leave two minutes at the end of your group and train students how to clean up supplies properly so you are ready for what is next and the supplies are ready to be used next time they are needed.
Use simple games to reuse content
Worksheets are great for independent practice, but when you use simple games students can play multiple times to maximize their practice. They can always use the cards to play again. Games are also socially and academically engaging, so students need to use their knowledge of the skill, justify their answers if they disagree with another student, and pay attention to the game. To start using games, teach simple games like Go Fish!, Memory, Old Maid, and Bingo at the beginning of the year. These games are easily turned into games to review content. Download your free game card template, premade playing cards for prefixes, suffixes, homophones, synonyms, and antonyms, and game directions here.
Talk less. Listen more.
Intervention groups should be a time for student practice with guidance from the teacher. Use mini-lessons and brief directions, then turn the students lose to play their game or complete their activity. The teacher’s main job in an intervention group is to support and scaffold student learning. This is valuable coaching time where the teacher can not only help students learn the skill, but also help students develop strategies to work independently.
What is your biggest intervention challenge? Tell me in the comments below.