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Many students are suspected of having a learning disability in mathematics when their learning difficulties are actually due to a lack of appropriate instruction in math or inadequate English proficiency.

These students can benefit from early intervening services in mathematics. Many Texas schools are implementing response to intervention (RTI), an instructional approach that:

- Identifies at-risk students Immediately
- Provides them with evidence-based intervention
- Monitors their progress, or “response” to the intervention

*Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos and Chris Weber*

**Response to Intervention flourishes when educators implement the right practices for the right reasons.**

We educators are directly responsible for crucial, life-saving work. Today, a student who graduates from school with a mastery of essential skills and knowledge has a good chance of successfully competing in the global market place, with numerous opportunities to lead a rewarding adult life. In stark contrast, students who fail in school are at greater risk of poverty, welfare dependency, incarceration, and early death. With such high stakes, educators today are like tightrope walkers without a safety net, responsible for meeting the needs of every student, with little room for error. Fortunately, compelling evidence shows that Response to Intervention (RTI) is our best hope for giving every student the additional time and support needed to learn at high levels (Burns, Appleton, & Stehouwer, 2005).

**By** **Christina A. Samuels**February 14, 2017

As a method of organizing efforts to help students who are struggling academically, response to intervention has seen widespread adoption. But as an improved method of identifying students with learning disabilities, RTI shows far less clear.

What does it take to improve student success and interest in math? The Philadelphia-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) asked more than 400 U.S. high school math teachers for their advice related to teaching and learning mathematics.

“The good news is that students can have success in math class with the right effort, attitude, and behavior, regardless of a natural affinity or being ‘good at math,’” said Michelle Montgomery, project director of the **MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge** at SIAM. “Using quantitative skills to solve real, open-ended problems by employing the mathematical modeling process is a great way to get started.”

When I was an elementary classroom teacher, I always welcomed activities that could serve dual duty—combining the goals of two subjects at once, in a seamless whole. Such activities streamlined my work efforts (so important for busy teachers), and they used valuable classroom time to the fullest.

With the current strong emphasis on literacy and math, it makes great sense to combine these two subjects.