March 19, 2015

How To Effectively Use Interventionists In Your Classroom

Guest post by Lindsay Perro of Beyond The Worksheet.

Do you have an interventionist in your classroom? Do you sometimes struggle with how to use him/her? Do you sometimes forget about them all together and then either send them away or give them something not very meaningful to do? If you’ve answered YES to any of the questions above, I’m here to help!

As a former math interventionist, I was fortunate enough to work with many different teachers and students in every math class in the building. Some teachers were always prepared for me and others didn’t seem to know how to use me.

How not to use an interventionist:
  • As a babysitter. I often entered a classroom to hear “Oh good! I can go make copies!” or “Can you watch them… I need a break!”
  • As a way to get rid of “those kids.” You know… the kids who’ve been plucking your last nerve all day?
  • As an assistant. Your interventionist is not there to make copies, pass out papers, or go grab your lunch.

How to maximize time with an interventionist:
  • Plan ahead 
    If you know your interventionist will always be there on Tuesdays, keep that in mind when making your plans. 
  • Co-Teach 
    Interventionists often don’t get the opportunity to teach large groups anymore. They should welcome the chance to occasionally co-teach with you. This should be something the two of you plan in advance. Determine who will have which roles and how the two of you will work with the class during independent or group work time. 
  • Small groups
    This will probably be your go-to for your interventionist. The groups should be strategically chosen based on who needs a little extra help with the skill you are currently working on. Intervention provides the opportunity for students to work in a very small group with individualized attention. These students can really benefit from this time, so choose wisely! Small groups can be held either in your classroom or pulled out to another area of the school. This will depend on what else you have going on in class that day. It is important to make sure you do not introduce any new material while a small group is being pulled. You don’t want those students to miss anything. 
  • Stations
    I LOVE stations but they can be a little stressful if your students are less than cooperative or you have a large class. Your interventionist could have a specific station to work at. As each small group comes around to that station, those students will have a great opportunity to work with your interventionist. 
  • Special Education Modifications 
    This one can be tricky depending on your district. If your interventionist is scheduled to come into your classroom on a day you are giving an assessment, you can either send them to another teacher (tell them in advance) or use them to help meet IEP goals for students who need extra time, small group testing or some other modification.

Here’s a free resource just for Corkboard Connections readers! These small group planning sheets will help you organize your intervention time! Click directly on the image below to grab your freebie now!

After spending 8 years in the classroom, Lindsay Perro is currently a full time teacher author, creating math resources for the middle grades. She believes in providing students with work that is hands on, engaging and relevant to the real world. She is the author of the blog Beyond The Worksheet.


  1. Thanks so much for these resources! I feel like I'm always trying to get something together for my Title One aide. I don't want to just give her something that isn't going to be helpful, but sometimes I totally space it. Keep the ideas coming!!
    Thanks so much!
    Happy Days in 4th Grade

  2. Great post! I don't currently have an interventionist in my class, but if I do, I will definitely make a point to prepare things for them to work with the children! Thanks!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  3. I LOVE this and it is so needed in my classroom. I try to have a plan in place for my ESOL assistant, but her schedule keeps changing (lots of spring testing they keep pulling her for) and with all the teachers she helps she can't seem to remember who to work with and what skills to work on without me stopping class to explain it to her. Being able to have this in the same place each day for her is going to be a life saver!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.