This project is creating and studying a blended professional development model (face-to-face and online) for mathematics teachers and special educators (grades 4-7) with an emphasis on teaching struggling math students in the areas of fractions, decimals, and positive/negative numbers (Common Core State Standards). The model's innovative design differentiates professional learning to address teachers' wide range of prior knowledge, experiences, and interests.
This project's first goal is to study the national landscape of mathematics intervention classes, which are additional classes provided to struggling students, including learners with and without identified disabilities. We administered a survey to a nationally representative sample of 2,024 urban and suburban public schools with grades 6-8 to find out how these classes are being implemented and the types of challenges faced. Approximately 43% of schools (876 schools) responded to the survey; the findings revealed widespread implementation of these classes (69% of schools) and highlighted a range of practices in terms of class size, scheduling, duration, staffing and content focus. Our project's second goal is to apply the survey findings to design professional development to support teachers of mathematics intervention classes, helping them to build knowledge and practices for addressing students' wide range of learning needs.