Vision for the Accelerated Instruction in Mathematics (AIM) Program
According to Texas Education Code 28.0211(a), beginning in 2005 all fifth grade students must pass the mathematics section of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) before they can be promoted to the next grade level. In order for students who are experiencing difficulty in mathematics to be successful on the fifth grade TAKS mathematics test, interventions need to occur before the fifth grade. Students failing to master TAKS objectives as third graders need to have accelerated instruction as fourth graders to address these concepts and skills. TEC 28.0211(a) requires an acceleration program after a student has failed the fifth grade TAKS, however, it would be more advantageous to provide that acceleration to students so they will not fail the fifth grade test. The Accelerated Instruction in Mathematics (AIM) program was developed to provide this acceleration. AIM provides an assessment tool that more precisely identify identifies problem areas and provides targeted intervention. AIM focuses on TAKS objectives one through five. Objective 6 is not addressed as a separate objective 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 fourth grade student expectations so that conceptual gaps and misunderstandings can be addressed prior to regular fourth grade instruction in that topic. The Assessment Component The assessment component is designed to pinpoint the student expectations that caused students to have less than 70% mastery on specific TAKS objectives. Students who do not meet the 70% criteria on a TAKS objective are administered the AIM assessment for that particular objective. The assessment consists of one challenging item for each student expectation tested on TAKS. 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 the cause of non-mastery of the TAKS objective. 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 third grade TEKS student expectation assessed as part of TAKS. 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. Most materials referenced are ones provided as part of your math support materials. (A list is available the summarizes the materials to prepare, 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 Third grade TAKS results should be used as the criteria for placing students in the AIM program. TAKS results by objective are summarized on the TAKS
Objective Mastery Class Summary and should be printed by the end of second week of school. Students who do not meet the standard for any tested objective other than Objective 6, Mathematical Processes and Tools, are given further assessments. Parent letter number 1 should be sent to the parents or guardians of students identified on this report before the assessment is administered. Administer the assessment by objective to students identified on the Objective Mastery Class Summary. The 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. Plan the administration of the assessment to be completed by the end of the first nine weeks. After the results of the assessment are compiled, send parent letter number 2 to those students who need accelerated instruction (AIM.) Any student identified as needing accelerated instruction after administration of the objective assessments should be referred to the Campus At-risk Committee for monitoring. Delivery of Intervention Program Lessons require a 30-minute block of time. There are approximately 24 weeks of instructional time available between the end of the first nine weeks and the administration of the TAKS test. The program is comprised of approximately 100 lessons. Teachers will need to schedule four thirty-minute sessions per week in order to complete all of the lessons. Even with the best classroom instruction, there may still be students who need more time and targeted instruction to master the objectives. 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.