Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties

MSTAR Interventions



The following MSTAR Equivalent Fraction Intervention lessons target struggling Tier 2 students. The intervention lessons provide a concrete structure to help students learn the foundational skills necessary for success in increasingly complex mathematics curricula. 

The intervention lessons do not have a recommended time limit, as students may move at varying paces, depending on prior experience with the content. We estimate that each intervention lesson will take at least 30 minutes and that some lessons will need to be divided up over several days.

Each intervention lesson contains several aspects of research-based intervention strategies and lesson design. Additional activities are included for students who need further practice.

Lesson Design

Overview provides the connection to the Texas Response to Curriculum Focal Points and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The Overview summarizes the outcomes and key ideas for each lesson as well as the preskills needed for success. The Overview also provides scaffolding ideas and common misconceptions associated with the content. 
Preview lets students know what is coming and establishes a purpose for learning.
Engage Prior/Informal Knowledge gives students an opportunity to talk about what they know and provides a platform for the new content to be connected.
Demonstrate leads students through the lesson concepts in an explicit manner with direct guidance from the teacher. Some aspects are solely demonstration, and others encourage students to mimic the teacher’s steps
Practice outlines several activities that promote interaction with the teacher, as well as small-group collaboration and peer interaction. These activities provide teachers with opportunities to give immediate feedback and additional instruction to students who need it.
Independent Practice activity sheets give students an opportunity to show what they have learned individually. The content closely follows that of the guided practice; however, students work without assistance, so that knowledge can be accurately assessed. Teachers can use these activity sheets for error analysis to determine mastery of the content or areas needing improvement. These activity sheets also are used to monitor the progress (discussed later) of each student across the course.
Closure provides an opportunity to review, tie in the new content, and make final connections about what was learned. Teachers have a final opportunity to address any misconceptions and make judgments about the necessity of supplemental activities to ensure understanding.

Lesson Features

Teacher Note focuses on additional information or alternative scaffolding that may be better suited for the individual group with which the teacher is working. 
Watch For provides information on struggling students’ common misconceptions about activities and content in the lessons. Each Watch For feature describes these specific struggles and provides error-correction suggestions.
Italicized Content provides a contrast between general lesson directions and the suggested lesson script. Italicized sections are to be read aloud by the teacher. 
Resources include a host of additional content relevant to this module. Among these resources is a framework that details how teachers and instructional content fit into the algebra readiness progression. There are also additional downloads, tools, and websites for teachers to successfully implement the intervention. 
Assessments include pretests and posttests for each course. These are available by clicking the “Assessment” tab in the navigation bar on the left of the page. The assessments are based on the lesson content and monitor overall progress in the lessons. 
Progress Monitoring is implemented throughout the course in the form of the Independent Practice activities. The teacher collects all student work, which can be used for error analysis. Students graph their Independent Practice scores on the How Am I Doing? graph, which the teacher can use to indicate which concepts need more attention. Note that the graph indicates the number correct per lesson and that different content is provided in different lessons, so the graph measures each student’s level of success with individual lesson content—not growth across the course. Teachers can also use Excel to graph progress. Instructions for doing so are available online.