What is Intervention Time?

The first thing you need to know: “What IS intervention?”. Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), or Response to Intervention (RtI), is data driven instruction based off of benchmark assessments, screeners, etc.

The data is used to identify gaps in student learning and then group them based on the targeted skills that will be taught in that group/session.

These groups then attend intervention blocks during a common time of the school day. Intervention block is a period of time used for additional instruction with no disruption to regular coursework. Each of these groups have targeted learning goals, and teachers differentiate instruction to support the specific needs of each learner.

The work students are doing may or be at varying levels – and that’s ok! This means extra academic support/remediation for those who need it, as well as opportunities for enrichment.

If used effectively, intervention time can tremendously help schools and their students. There are several reasons why intervention is so important:

  • It continuously progress monitors ALL students to help make informed decisions.
  • It addresses the needs of ALL students, not just those with IEP, 504s, LEP.
  • It helps teachers stay informed on student gaps and gains so they can improve classroom instruction.
  • It aids in student confidence because the instruction meets them where they are and is aligned to their specific goals so they can show growth.
  • It supports schools in identifying students for extra services and from disproportionately identifying minorities for Special Education services.

Why Give Intervention Time a Special Name?

Here’s the thing, we know that intervention time is vital for student success and a time for meaningful instruction, but students don’t. Often they view intervention block in two ways:

  • A “fun time” or “chill time” OR
  • As a time that has a stigma attached to it.

This is why it is important to have strong student investment in the intervention block. If students have buy-in they are more likely to take the time seriously.

Let’s look at these two issues. First, the “fun/chill time”. Sure, intervention should be fun so that students are engaged in the lessons and activities. However, it should be clear to them that this is not a “time to chill”.

Second, the intervention block also needs to stay away from labeling or tracking kids based on academic success. Students are well aware when they are being “tracked” and it does not help with their confidence, which students may already struggle with.

This is why intervention time deserves a special name…because the name is just the start of it. The name helps to remind students that this time is just as important as other classes.

A special name also helps them to better understand that this is a time for them to receive specialized attention, not a time for them to be judged based on academic performance. It can help them focus on their own improvement.

A name should help to reflect positivity and growth. It should never be named after ability – ie Level (or Tier) 1-2, Basic-Advanced, and similar labels. Or the very boring and basic, “intervention time”, which just sounds to kids like a time to be labeled and tracked.

Ideas For Intervention Time Names

1. Names That Represent What the Time is For

If you are looking for a general name to call an intervention block that identifies what this specific period of time is used for, this is a good option. The name should somehow relate to what is being done during this time.

Examples:

Personalized Learning Environment (PLE): PLE time is clear, that is a specific time allotted for personal growth. It also indicates that it is academic time.

Flex: Flex can be used as an option if this is a time of mixed academic work and enrichment. Some schools choose to rotate between interventions, enrichment courses, celebrations. Flex indicates that this time is allotted to learning, but is “flexible”. This could be a good name for schools who have large numbers of students in RTI that have multiple intervention needs.

Stage Time (“Time for you to shine”): Similar to PLE and the name is more focused on individualization of learning. This name reads positive, and focuses on a students’ abilities, not deficits.

2. Names That Are School-Specific

This can help build a positive school culture. You can create a name for intervention time related to the name of the school, something special to your school, or the school mascot.

Example: The sports team of a school we work with are the ‘Clippers’. They use the name ‘Clipper Time’. A name like this makes the time period easy to identify, and can even build enthusiasm around it.

3. An Intervention Time Name That is Related to the Local Community

Maybe your region is well known for something? It should be something that students can relate to and brings some sort of joy along with it. This could also be something that helps connect students to the community.

4. An Intervention Time Name that has Appropriate Age-Group Interests

Depending on what grade levels your school serves, you may want to create an intervention name that is of interest to their age. Using something related to pop culture or age appropriate interests are a great way to get students to buy-in to the block. You can come up with your own ideas, or take a poll to see what topics are popular with students.

5. Intervention Time Name Based On An Acronym

Schools love acronyms! You can come up with your own acronym related to what intervention is supposed to achieve, or relate it to your school. Make sure acronyms are simple, catchy, and that students are clear on its meaning.

Example:

6. Intervention Time Name Based After a School Leader

If you have a large leadership team (Principal, Assistant Principals, Directors of Curriculum, etc), you can use them as the sort of heads of intervention groups. While they would not be the ones teaching the groups, they could be the one that leads them. Students don’t often get to see leadership as much, but are usually interested in time spent with heads of schools. Intervention could be used as a time to build rapport with them and share goals.

Example: K-2, AP Ms. A’s Apples; 3-5, AP Mr. B’s Blueberries, etc. The names could change based on grade level, or be combined with other name suggestions.

During this intervention time, Assistant Principals or Principals could make sure to schedule drop-in time to each intervention group. They can use this time to help support the group, teach a small lesson, discuss goals with students, or just be a presence.

This allows students access to those in leadership roles and also helps the leaders themselves see what’s happening in their school in real time. It also keeps students invested because what kid doesn’t want to impress their Principal or AP with the great work they are doing!

7. Get Creative and Ask Students for Intervention Time Name Ideas!

Reach out to students and teachers if you are unsure. You need to know the population of students you are working with. You can easily do a survey of interests, have students vote on different names, or even have students come up with the names themselves!

The possibilities are endless: have grade levels partner up like a “Big” and “Little” (K with 5, 1 with 6, etc), use alliteration, name it based off of teachers names (Webb’s Warriors), use themes (colors, foods, cartoons).

You might be surprised with the ideas amazing teachers and creative kids can come up with!

Intervention Time Names — The Bottom Line

We understand that educators have a ton on their plate! Sure, you can easily call the block “intervention time” and move on with the other million tasks at hand. However, we also know that being proactive will help you and your students thrive in the long run.

When students are fully invested in what they are doing, they show better results…and intervention time is all about growth! If we want our students invested in more academic time, we need to invest time on the front end. By doing so, not only will students do better, but our jobs will be easier too. After all, it is much easier to teach a child who is engaged and interested in reaching their goals.

Naming your intervention block is one simple way to get buy-in from students. Plus, you can make it fun…like being in intervention time is being part of a team!

In the end, a name that is unique and positive will help shift students’ perception about what intervention time is. It will help to navigate away from “chill time” or that there is a stigma attached to it and allow students to focus on reaching goals!