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The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a systematic, explicit, intensive Tier 3 (tertiary) intervention on the mathematics performance of students in second grade with severe mathematics difficulties. A multiple-baseline design across groups of participants showed improved mathematics performance on number and operations concepts and procedures, which are the foundation for later mathematics success. In the previous year, 12 participants had experienced two doses (first and second semesters) of a Tier 2 intervention. In second grade, the participants continued to demonstrate low performance, falling below the 10th percentile on a researcher-designed universal screener and below the 16th percentile on a distal measure, thus qualifying for the intensive intervention. A project interventionist, who met with the students 5 days a week for 10 weeks (9 weeks for one group), conducted the intensive intervention. The intervention employed more intensive instructional design features than the previous Tier 2 secondary instruction, and also included weekly games to reinforce concepts and skills from the lessons. Spring results showed significantly improved mathematics performance (scoring at or above the 25th percentile) for most of the students, thus making them eligible to exit the Tier 3 intervention.


Bryant, B. R., Bryant, D. P., Porterfield, J., Dennis, M. S., Falcomata, T., Valentine, C., . . . Bell, K. (2016). The effects of a tier 3 intervention on the mathematics performance of second grade students with severe mathematics difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(2), 176–188.

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Mathematics Instruction
Special Education/Learning Disabilities

Type of Resource

Journal Article/Book Chapter



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