student upsetThis is the first in a series of five posts on Common Mistakes Made in Math Intervention by Guest blogger Jeff Hartman

Mistake 1:  Starting at the Top

A student who has major skill gaps from previous years is unlikely to fare well in grade level instruction. Unfortunately, too often educators start with just-below-grade-level instruction in hopes of bringing them quickly up to grade level. The temptation is to try to teach objectives that are just under grade level since they seem like the necessary prerequisites for grade-level learning, but often an intervention student is operating significantly behind grade level. It is far more efficient to begin instruction at the level of the student’s lowest skill gap. Not only does this fill in the deepest foundational cracks in their knowledge, it is also where their competency lies.  It is where they are most likely to re-discover the sense of accomplishment that can lead to momentum and enthusiasm for learning math.

Too see just how common it is for students to have below grade level skill gaps download this report: Which Math Skills Students Are Missing.

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