Advanced Mathematical Teaching Strategies and Models for Integrating RTI in Secondary Schools

Advanced Mathematical Teaching Strategies and Models for Integrating RTI in Secondary Schools

Lynn Gannon Patterson (Murray State University, USA) and Meagan R. Musselman (Murray State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8322-6.ch007

Abstract

Creating an effective educational support program for secondary school students in the important content area of mathematics is essential. This chapter provides an overview of intervention structures and strategies to support the teaching and learning of mathematics within the response to intervention (RTI) model at the secondary level. The adolescent mathematics intervention structure, the importance of motivation, opportunities for academic discourse, cooperative learning, strategies for all learners, and ways to create a positive mathematical classroom environment are among the supports shared in this chapter. Supports for each tier in the RTI model are provided along with suggestions for a mathematical learning environment that includes a focus on multiple representations for mathematics, manipulatives, integrated learning, and targeted learning centers designed specifically to meet secondary students where they are.
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Introduction

Creating effective educational support for a mathematics program is always challenging. Couple that with the complexity of the middle school and high school format, and educators really have to become creative in their delivery methods. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a type of school improvement that is designed to help all students achieve. As Fitzell (2011) stated, RTI really stands for Really Terrific Instruction! However, Response to Intervention must be handled very differently in a middle or high school setting compared to an elementary setting, where most classes are self-contained and teachers have the luxury of adjusting instructional minutes according to need. Some states prefer the term Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS) rather than RTI because they regard it as more inclusive in addressing the needs of all students, including needs in social/behavioral areas in addition to academic issues (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2018). This chapter presents a four-tiered system of intervention entitled the Adolescent Mathematics Intervention Structure (AMIS); the components of time and structure of interventions will be addressed with each tier. In addition, the chapter will address the power of motivation; providing rigor and challenge; the useful role centers or stations can play as an intervention for adolescents; integrating instruction for meaning and purpose; and creating equitable structures and removing barriers in the middle and secondary school classrooms.

Today, mathematics is at the heart of most innovations in the “informational economy,” which is increasingly driven by data. Mathematics serves as the foundation for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and, increasingly, as the foundation for careers outside of STEM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2018).

Eight mathematics teaching practices provide a framework for strengthening the teaching and learning of mathematics in middle and high school classrooms across the United States today. This research-informed framework of teaching and learning reflects the eight mathematical practices of the NCTM, as well as other knowledge of mathematics teaching, that have been accumulated over the last 2 decades. As a reminder, the eight mathematical practices are the following:

  • 1.

    Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

  • 2.

    Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

  • 3.

    Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

  • 4.

    Model with mathematics.

  • 5.

    Use appropriate tools strategically.

  • 6.

    Attend to precision.

  • 7.

    Look for and make use of structure.

  • 8.

    Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. (National Government Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief School Officers, 2010, p. 7)

Another important list of eight practices is also provided here. The list below identifies the eight Mathematical Teaching Practices that represent a core set of high-leverage practices and essential teaching skills necessary to promote deep learning of mathematics.

  • 1.

    Establish mathematics goals to focus learning.

  • 2.

    Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem-solving.

  • 3.

    Use and connect mathematical representations.

  • 4.

    Facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse.

  • 5.

    Pose purposeful questions.

  • 6.

    Build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding.

  • 7.

    Support productive struggle in learning mathematics.

  • 8.

    Elicit and use evidence of student thinking. (NCTM, 2016, p. 10)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Centers: An instructional approach where students are divided into small groups and placed at work stations with specific tasks to accomplish.

Manipulative: A hands-on object or representation of an object to help the learner understand a concept.

Achievement Gap: The gap that describes the academic differences between the lowest-performing and highest-performing student within a classroom.

Direct Instruction: Instruction where teachers deliver content information to students by lecturing or demonstration.

Differentiated Instruction: Varying instructional approaches that help convey information to students who do not understand the information from the traditional instructional approach.

Cooperative Learning: Small groups of students working together to learn information.

Integrated Curriculum: Connecting different content areas of instruction with each other and relating them to real-world situations.

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