Algebra-Readiness Mathematics Intervention for Middle School Students: Project AIM


The purpose of this grant is to develop a Tier II mathematics intervention for students in middle school. The team will write, revise, and test 8 to 10 modules, each containing 15 to 20 lessons, over 3 years in Texas and Missouri. The project will use an iterative development process. The intervention lessons will be vetted in “authentic” classrooms, allowing results to be generalized across different groups of students.

Research questions include the following:

  1. How should instructional components be modified to improve the feasibility of the Tier II intervention and student response?
  2. How do brief learning trials, feasibility studies, and student and teacher perspectives influence researcher perspectives about “operating as intended”?
  3. What practices would help mathematics teachers deliver the intervention lessons as intended?
  4. What are teachers’ perspectives about the Tier II lessons?
  5. What are students’ perspectives about the Tier II lessons?
  6. What effects do the Tier II lessons have on student mathematics performance?


Research is ongoing.

Project Design


In year 1, we are conducting brief learning trials. Teachers implement the lessons at least 3 days per week. Each lesson is designed to be completed in 30 to 45 minutes. Observations determine the effectiveness of the lessons. Progress monitoring before, during, and after each module and independent practice activities during each lesson identify student growth in skills. Researchers will use the data collected in the first year of the study to modify the lessons to reflect current practices and research and to increase student success.

In year 2, we will undertake feasibility studies, working with the same teachers from year 1 and additional teachers from Missouri. As in year 1, observations, progress monitoring, and daily data will determine fidelity of implementation and whether additional scaffolds are needed to improve student success.

In year 3, we will conduct pilot studies to determine the “promise” of the intervention. We will work with teachers in both Texas and Missouri, with half assigned to intervention and half assigned to comparison. Students will complete a common universal assessment and ongoing progress monitoring within each module. As in years 1 and 2, the intervention will occur at least 3 days per week. We will test a total of three to four modules across multiple middle school grades.


Middle school students (grades 6 to 8) identified by their district as achieving below their peers on state assessments, universal screeners, classroom grades, and/or teacher reports