Sunlit campground

Nurturing potential in Chester Elementary’s Intervention classes

Mrs. Twitchell holds up a letter cardChester Elementary Intervention teacher Mrs. Twitchell practices letter sounds with a student.

In any given classroom, students can display a range of abilities and learning speeds, creating a unique challenge for educators. How do schools effectively meet these varied educational needs? One essential strategy is the use of what’s called an instructional intervention. This method is much more than just extra help; it involves a specific program or set of steps designed to address particular academic needs.

With 29 years of teaching experience, nine of them at Chester Elementary, Mrs. Lara Twitchell is excited to be leading the school’s Intervention classes this school year. This is her first year of teaching Intervention sessions, and she’s enjoying the challenge of doing something new to her. “Having small groups for short periods of time is really different from a typical classroom setting, and it helps me connect with students individually,” she says.

Using a combination of data from diagnostic tools like i-Ready, as well as classroom teachers’ observations, Twitchell works collaboratively with teachers to provide support for students who may benefit from additional help. In half-hour sessions, students are able to get the targeted support they need without missing key learning time with the rest of their class. 

“The classroom teachers and I monitor each student’s progress weekly, using our knowledge of the student’s learning style as well as data from i-Ready to decide how best to support that student,” says Twitchell. “We can bring students in or wrap up their intervention sessions depending on the progress we’re seeing,” she says.

Building words with a magnetic letter board

Students use magnetic letter boards to see how changing a vowel makes a word sound different.

In a recent session for students learning to read, Twitchell uses SPIRE, an intensive, multi-sensory literacy curriculum, to reinforce fluency with vowel sounds in different words. From saying the sound each letter makes to using magnetic letters to spell words, and playing a word guessing game on the whiteboard, students remain engaged as they accomplish each learning task. Twitchell explains that because each student learns differently, providing multiple ways of interacting with the material helps students learn more effectively.

By addressing learning issues early on, Intervention can help students be successful throughout their education journey. It’s not just about identifying challenges, it’s about nurturing each student’s potential. 

whiteboard spelling practice

Students take turns guessing which word they will turn over on the whiteboard. 


Published February 9, 2024