Vision for the Accelerated Instruction in Mathematics (AIM) Program
According to Texas Education Code 28.0211(a), all fifth grade students must pass the mathematics section of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) before they can be promoted to sixth grade. Students who are experiencing difficulty in mastering mathematics concepts and skills need accelerated instruction to ensure success on the fifth grade TAKS mathematics test. The Accelerated Instruction in Mathematics (AIM) program was developed to provide this acceleration. AIM provides an assessment tool to more precisely identify areas for acceleration and provides lessons for targeted intervention. The AIM program focuses on TAKS objectives one through five. Objective 6 is not addressed in isolation because it remains the same from grade to grade and must be integrated throughout the program. The AIM Program has two major components, an assessment component and an instruction component. The program allows teacher discretion in the sequencing of student expectations. The lessons within a student expectation are organized in a recommended sequence. The intent is that the acceleration occurs just prior to the introduction of related grade level student expectations so that conceptual gaps and misunderstandings can be addressed prior to regular instruction in that topic. The Assessment Component The assessment component is designed to pinpoint the student expectations for which students need accelerated instruction. The assessment consists of one challenging item for each grade two student expectation. If a student misses the challenging item, he/she is directed to four additional items on that student expectation. An analysis of student performance on the four additional items will help the teacher pinpoint student difficulties. If a student correctly answers the challenging item or three out of four of the additional items, the student does not need accelerated instruction on that particular student expectation. The Intervention Component The intervention component contains lessons that target each second grade TEKS student expectation. The lessons are designed for a thirty-minute session. Each lesson contains the student expectation addressed in that lesson, a materials list, a vocabulary list, a warm-up activity, a focus statement, the lesson outline, and a journal prompt. A materials list gives the equipment needed for that lesson. It assumes that students will bring paper and pencil to each session and that the teacher has something to write on, such as a white board or chart paper.
Calculators are also needed for some warm-ups. Most materials referenced are ones provided as part of your math support materials. The materials list summarizes the materials to be prepared and the supplies and manipulatives needed, organized by student expectation. Vocabulary is included for each lesson. These are words that should be used within the presentation of the lesson. These vocabulary words could be included on a word wall in the classroom. Warm-up activities should take only three to five minutes. Warm-up activities focus on number sense and basic facts. A detailed description of each warm-up is located at the front of the intervention section. Each lesson references the name of the warm-up and the numbers to be used in the warm-up. The focus statement is designed to provide the teacher and the students with an overview of the lesson. They also provide the students with a reason as to why this particular concept is important to them. The lesson outline is a step-by-step listing of procedures to follow for the lesson. The philosophy behind the development of lessons is that students learn best when they are actively involved in the learning. Concrete materials and group learning have been shown through research to improve mathematics understanding and performance, and thus are heavily embedded in most lessons. A journal prompt is provided for each lesson. Writing in mathematics enhances student understanding and improves communication skills. Responses provide insight for the teachers as to the degree of understanding of the lesson. They can also serve as an informal assessment of student progress.
Placement Procedures Use MAP diagnostic results to place students in the AIM program. Students who meet the current year criteria are placed in AIM. Communicate with parents using the AIM parent letter. Any student identified as needing accelerated instruction should be referred to the Campus At-risk Committee for monitoring.
Administer the AIM pretests to identified students to help target instruction. The AIM assessment is intended to be given one objective at a time. While there are six objectives on TAKS, each one consists of several student expectations from
the TEKS. AIM provides four items for each student expectation. Students should not be required to do the entire assessment at one sitting. Delivery of Intervention Program AIM 3 provides focused lessons that are approximately 30 minutes and designed for a group of 4-6 students. Use the results of the AIM pretests and classroom observations to form instructional groups and to select appropriate lessons. Reporting Procedures Records of student participation in the AIM program need to be kept to document the identification of student need and the interventions undertaken for those students at risk of failing fifth grade math TAKS. The following reports are available to support this documentation: Class Record – This form summarizes pre-test and post-test performance of the group of tested students for each TEKS student expectation. This form should go to the campus at-risk committee. Student Record – This form summarizes pre-test and post-test performance for an individual student for each TEKS student expectation. This form should be placed in the student's permanent file. AIM Lesson Plan – This form provides a place to document who received accelerated instruction, the lessons used and the dates the instruction occurred. This form is a valuable tool for the campus at-risk committee in monitoring student progress toward mastery of mathematics objectives.