Special Education teachers often struggle with knowing exactly what to do during their math intervention time. It’s hard to know how to balance ALL of the areas that our students need to work to improve.

After years of trial and error, these four things are critical in every math group. Just adapt to the level of your students.


Computation will look different for many of your students. Maybe they need to work on simple addition and subtraction facts. Maybe they need long division help.

Either way, find a time to address their computation needs during your small group time. For me, this typically takes about 10 minutes of our small group time.

Math Facts

I think it is also important to work on math facts. Once again, you can choose the kind of problems your students need. But working on them every single day is important.

I like to do a timed test, but this could certainly be altered for students with high testing anxiety. During this time, we work to master personal goals. When a student meets their goal, we celebrate it and set a new goal. I like to add five problems to their current score.

Word Problems

I know, I know. Word problems are miserable. But we have to practice them. Whether we like it or not.

I practice word problems in a variety of ways, depending on the age and ability level of my students. The operation can also vary depending on what they are ready for.

Other Critical Skills

I always try not to get on my soap box when talking about things like this. So, here I go.

There are so many “easier” math skills that we are simply not covering on a regular basis. Then, when our students take universal screeners or high stakes testing, we are eye rolling when they cannot do simple math tasks.

Well, we have to take time to practice it.

In addition to computation, math facts, and word problems, I like to add a few other skills that are just important. Skills that are easy, like reading a graph, when we actually take time to practice it. Skills that are essential life, like telling time or counting money.

Plus, this usually takes me about 5 minutes of my group time and is a BIG confidence booster to my students.

I include all of these routines in my weekly math intervention booklets. It makes it easy to prep, yet I still know that my students are getting exactly what they need every day.

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