As teachers, we are committed to making sure that all children succeed. For our children who struggle, we make sure many things are in place to catch them before they fall. One structure that my school has in place is Progress Monitoring Meetings. Every six weeks or so, we take two hours out of the school day for each grade level to meet about the students we are concerned about in the areas of literacy, mathematics and behavior or social issues. Everyone who works with this child is present at the meeting – classroom teachers, specialists, resource teachers, guidance counselor and administration.
We bring data in the form of running records, anecdotal notes, DRA assessments, portfolios, work samples, county benchmark tests and any other formative assessments given to support our observations, concerns and thinking. We use this time as a “meeting of the minds” to work together as a team to target strengths, weaknesses and decide what we can do to help each child succeed.
This time is not “just another meeting”, as many of us can relate to. It’s a focused, productive meeting that allows us to zoom in on every child who is struggling and make a plan for helping him or her. We create specific goals and a plan of action for each child, and work together to see that it is carried out. We come back together and share at our next meeting – refining goals, celebrating successes and deciding next steps. Intervention is a team effort. We view the students in our school as “our kids”, not “my kids”, and we all work together to make sure they are successful.
Reflecting back on the year, I am amazed at how much progress our most struggling students have made. I think approaching intervention for our children who need us the most through a collaborative, goal-oriented plan, based on ongoing assessments and quality data, has truly helped us catch many children before they fall.
How is intervention working at your school? We’d love to hear about it – please share!