Practice Guide iconPractice Guide
Taking early action may be key to helping students struggling with mathematics. The eight recommendations in this guide are designed to help teachers, principals, and administrators use Response to Intervention for the early detection, prevention, and support of students struggling with mathematics.
Screen all students to identify those at risk for potential mathematics difficulties and provide interventions to students identified as at risk.
Show More Show Less
Instructional materials for students receiving interventions should focus intensely on in-depth treatment of whole numbers in kindergarten through grade 5 and on rational numbers in grades 4 through 8.
Show More Show Less
Instruction during the intervention should be explicit and systematic.
Show More Show Less
Interventions should include instruction on solving word problems that is based on common underlying structures.
Show More Show Less
Intervention materials should include opportunities for students to work with visual representations of mathematical ideas and interventionists should be proficient in the use of visual representations of mathematical ideas.
Show More Show Less
Interventions at all grade levels should devote about 10 minutes in each session to building fluent retrieval of basic arithmetic facts.
Show More Show Less
Monitor the progress of students receiving supplemental instruction and other students who are at risk.
Show More Show Less
Include motivational strategies in tier 2 and tier 3 interventions.
Show More Show Less
Transcript PDF (138 KB)
Video (5:50 minutes)

These materials should be selected by committee.

Learn More About This Recommendation (4.0 MB)

Transcript PDF (141 KB)
Video (5:27 minutes)

This includes providing models of proficient problem solving, verbalization of thought processes, guided practice, corrective feedback, and frequent cumulative review.

Learn More About This Recommendation (4.0 MB)

  • Administrators
  • Policymakers
  • Researchers
  • School Specialist
  • Teacher

This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica under contract ED-07-CO-0062.

The following research staff contributed to the guide: Shannon Monahan, Libby Scott, and Jamila Henderson.

These videos were prepared by WestEd under the Doing What Works Contract (ED-PEP-11-C-0068).
All videos are based on recommendations from the WWC practice guides and are designed to complement the guides.

  • Russell Gersten (Chair)
    Instructional Research Group

    Play an interview of Panel Chair, Russell Gersten, and Sharon Vaughn: RtI and Special Education (7:13 minutes)
  • Sybilla Beckmann
    University of Georgia
  • Benjamin Clarke
    Instructional Research Group
  • Anne Foegen
    Iowa State University
  • Laurel Marsh
    Howard County Public School System
  • Jon R. Star
    Harvard University
  • Bradley Witzel
    Winthrop University
Webinar: Assisting Struggling Students with Mathematics
November 8, 2017

This webinar presents research-based approaches to assisting students who are struggling in math. It focuses on recommendations from the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Assisting Students Stru...
Interview with Panel Chair Russel Gersten
April 17, 2015

Play an interview of Panel Chair, Russell Gersten, and Sharon Vaughn: RtI and Special Education (7:13 minutes)
Identifying and Assisting Elementary and Middle School Students Struggling with Mathematics
January 22, 2015

REL Appalachia hosted a webinar focused on equipping elementary and middle school mathematics teachers and curriculum coaches with: 1) research-based recommendations (approved by the U.S. Department o...

Connect With the WWC

back to top