You are here

Rubric for Intervention for Math Acceleration

Mathematics outcomes logo and banner

Intervention Rubrics to Improve Math Outcomes

Intervention is the practice of providing evidence-informed, high-quality instruction and progress monitoring to students who are below proficient in math. Intervention is provided with intensity that is matched to student need. This involves more time daily, above and beyond universal (Tier 1 or core) instruction, which is focused on the specific needs of the student as identified by a diagnostic measure. Intervention is distinct from core programming in its targeted diagnostic assessments, interventions and formative assessments aligned with those diagnoses, and valid and reliable summative assessments aligned with diagnoses.  A good benchmark is if more than 20% of students need intervention, it should be handled in core instruction.


  1. Intervention should be distinct from core programming, not simply a slowed-down version of core programming.
  2. Diagnostic assessment is critical to determine the core barriers to student success as this could fall into multiple categories ranging from the classroom environment to a skill gap to a mindset issue.
  3. Using a strengths-based, positive deviance framework, diagnostic assessment must include identifying a student's family/community supports, strengths, passions, and interests.
  4. Interventions must be flexible to draw from the student’s strengths and address the core barriers to success.
  5. Formative assessments and feedback must be provided through the learning process and must continually assess the barriers and strengths that were identified in the diagnostic assessment phase.
  6. Summative assessments must accurately reflect the student’s skills and understanding (validity) and consistently produce the same results (reliability).

Individualized Diagnostic and Methods Rubric

The following rubric is designed to act as a compass, providing educators with opportunities for reflection and a starting point to identify strengths and areas for growth in mathematical intervention. Assessing areas for growth with this simple tool will allow educators and administrators to build tailored strategies aligning with the individual needs of students.

Printable Individualized Diagnostic and Methods Rubric (PDF)


This rating system can be used to gain evidence and provide feedback in 3 sections of math intervention:

  • 0 = Not Meant
  • 1 = Partially met
  • 2 = Met

Section 1: Diagnostic Assessment

The intervention program has valid, reliable diagnostic assessment tools to identify a student’s strengths and barriers to success in math.

  • Validity: Assessments are accurately measuring variables. No current evidence exists that the assessment is biased toward or against any subgroup of students.
  • Assessment of Classroom and School Environment: Assessments include observational tools to identify strengths and gaps in the classroom and school environment that may be impacting the student (instructional practices including instruction in the language of mathematics grading policies, growth mindset…).
  • Assessment of Individual Student’s Strengths and Assets: Assessments identify student strengths, past successes, interests, passions and community/family supports to provide a basis upon which to build out interventions.
  • Assessment of Individual Student’s Barriers to Success: Assessments identify student barriers to success including content gap(s) (CAS), skill gap(s) (aligned with Common Core State Standards Mathematical Practices), mindset limits (growth, identity), relevance and motivation gaps.
  • Multiple Methods of Assessment: Assessment methods include multiple measures, for example, observations; teacher, parent and student perceptions; various diagnostic instruments from questionnaires to performance tasks.
  • Diagnostic Report: The diagnostic report is easy to understand for multiple audiences, including the student, and indicates key strengths to build upon and key barriers to address.

Section 2: Instructional Tools

The intervention program has a wide variety of flexible instructional tools that can be easily adapted to individual student needs.

  • Goal-Setting and Tracking: There is a method for all parties (student, caregivers, teacher, interventionist, etc.) to know the goals for the student and to track progress towards goals.
  • Flexibility: There are ways to draw flexibly from multiple resources based on diagnostic assessment and to easily adapt resources when helpful.
  • Multiple Methods: Instructional tools are varied to provide options for learning methods as well as context that aligns with a student’s strengths and assets. Multiple methods could include collaborative group work, modeling the problems and solutions, project-based learning, preparing to teach the material to a younger student, and various targeted practice for specific skills and technology integration. They should also include multiple representations such as visual, physical, symbolic, contextual, or linguistically-inclusive verbal forms and include tables, graphs, drawings, diagrams or models.
  • Building Self-Efficacy: There are methods to ensure that students are integral in the goal-setting and progress tracking process. Student voice and choice is central throughout the intervention. Student self-assessments are regularly completed and reflected upon with person delivering the intervention.
  • Formative Assessment, Feedback and Relearning: There are regular formative assessments; there are tools to support rapid, descriptive feedback; and opportunities to relearn, revise and/or re-try to demonstrate new levels of competency. Growth mindset messages are apparent through this process.

Section 3: Usability and Support

The intervention program has materials and support to enable interventionists to effectively use the program (Including resources for English Language/Multi-Language learners).

  • Organization: Printed and/or digital materials are well-organized and easy to locate.
  • Materials: All materials needed are readily found in a typical classroom or provided and are culturally responsive.
  • Teacher Resources: Teacher editions are concise with clear information on the purpose of each instructional tool and how to use and adapt each tool to individual students.
  • Professional Development: There is high-quality professional development provided to introduce the person providing the intervention to the intervention program, including on how to work with multilingual learners.
  • Ongoing Professional Support: Coaches are readily available for advice and trouble-shooting as the intervention program is implemented.


For further assistance, please contact