super simple intervention tip: ASK the student

I had an AHA moment the other day and it was almost too simple. So simple I almost embarrassed to write this. I have this one little girlie who really struggles with math (chica after my own heart, I know). And we have been trying everything to nail down single digit addition. She seems to have this groundhog day like phenomenom some days. I will relaly think she is getting and then she comes in the next day with – nothing. Crickets. Silence. Ugh. Frustrating is understatement at this point. I keep want to just give up but addition is such an essential life skill. I mean come on – how else can you go shopping, pay for the bus, buy food.

We have tried fluency flashcards, manipulatives, touchpoints, counting on fingers, drawing dots… I am almost out of ideas and I think one of the problem is we have maybe tried too many interventions. Now the poor girl doesn’t know which system to use. I have tried to compare which is the most effective (you know do it the right data based way) but I haven’t seen any significant trend. Again maybe we have switched too much.


I kept thinking of these complicated ideas to compare the methods and this and that and then it dawned on me! Why don’t I just ask her which strategy she preferred! I told you too simple. She answered right away that she likes drawing dots the best. Praise is a huge reinforcer for her and I know she always wants to make me happy and do well. And guess what? Math which used to be a struggle and completely dreaded topic – she now ASKS for. No I ask you – why haven’t I thought of this earlier??


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