Differentiation and Intervention are two very different things, yet I often see them used almost synonymously. Funny story—Our school was audited by an outside company several years ago. During their debriefing, they expressed that they weren’t seeing much differentiation happening in grade level classrooms. I heard one teacher say, “Well we send our kids to Title?!” Although this is seriously a laughable story, when you understand the difference, it was sad that the two words were being confused.
What is differentiation?
What are interventions?
Interventions are designed for students who fall into the bottom 25% of your classroom in a particular subject area. Many times interventions are delivered by Title One or Special Education, however, there are many cases when intervention takes place in the classroom by a general education teacher. Students should receive grade level content during the Tier One phase, but also receive instruction for an additional block of time, sometimes known as Tier Two instruction. Typically, this intervention is a small group of 3-5 students for 30-45 minutes per day. Often times, these interventions are based on a program that accompanies your reading series or a benchmark assessment used by your school district.
The primary purpose of an intervention is to allow a student or students to receive instruction in areas that are troubling them or preventing them from meeting grade level standards. These interventions are also necessary if you are looking to identify a student for special education.
Why do we need to know the difference?
I love assessing and writing measurable goals that target the specific needs of lower performing students. I created a video to share my steps for drafting the perfect goal! Click the image above to check it out.