Miracle Math Classroom: T1I S1 E1

Miracle Math Classroom: T1I S1 E1

Jonily : That's the point of
tier one intervention is to

create this environment,
inclusive and accessible to all,

but not stripping the complexity
out of the mathematics.

Cheri Dotterer: Hello, everyone.
I'm Cheri Dotterer. And I'm here

with Jonily Zupancic. And we are
here at tier one interventions.

And we are so glad to have you
here today. Lee, we

Jonily : have a good bit of
content today that we're going

to roll out to you. We're gonna
lay some foundation, though, and

define what is tier one
intervention. And we're going to

start by Sheree and I are going
to converse a little bit about

that crazy C word that seems
like it keeps coming back. And

that is COVID. And I don't know
if it's a good or a bad thing

that we're starting with that
conversation. But I think it's

necessary. I believe that it
keeps coming back even years

later, because I believe that it
is an effect that has been on

humans since 2020. And it's
drastically changed our

emotions, our mindsets, our
practices, our thinking. And the

first thing that I want to say
about COVID in its relation to

tier one interventions is tier
one being whole class general

classroom instruction, meaning
for the last probably dozen

years or so we've moved more to
inclusion model in schools,

which means mainstream we want
every kid regardless of ability,

deficit struggle, we want them
to experience whole classroom

regular general instruction,
which we're going to call tier

one. Tier one is whole classroom
regular classroom. And I will

say that prior to COVID. In math
and writing, tier one was not

where it should be, regardless
of COVID. I actually got a

little excited post COVID
Because I thought this is a

chance to reframe what regular
classroom tier one looks like

feels sounds. And now we can
move forward with growth on

serving all kids in this tier
one inclusion model. But my fear

has come to be and that is we've
regressed back to where we were

prior to COVID. And I think that
in many classrooms, we've

defaulted back to even pre
COVID, where it was not

instruction for inclusion at
all. It is time today and for

all of the sessions to have
these conversations. That was a

lot share, you asked me to share
a little bit, but that was a

lot. And I know that you have
some specifics for writing. But

Sherry, let's just talk you and
I a little bit about how COVID

has affected schools, students,
and especially our students with

learning specialties.

Cheri Dotterer: Sure. As I was
contemplating and thinking about

the impact of COVID on my
students and job in general, one

thing I reflected back on as an
OT might, generally, across the

country and even in other parts
of the world. OT caseload, were

escalating even before COVID, we
were hearing conversations of

OTS having 100 kids on their
caseload, and I'm like, How do

you do that and treat the child
with efficiency and meet the

goals the way they're supposed
to be met? Because it's

impossible to see 100 kids as an
OT, and to do sessions with them

that are go small groups. We see
a lot of kids more in the tier

three, which we'll talk about in
a little bit. But that's more

like a one on one session. We
generally can do like a two on

one. But Medicaid doesn't allow
us to do bigger groups. Unless

we adjust time like there's so a
lot of rules about the way we

are allowed to treat kids and I
I know. So I worked in cyber,

before COVID head. So cyber had
its own issues. I know my kids

went to cyber. So I know that
there was 165 kids in a English

class general ninth grade
English for one of my kids, and

I can't remember, I think it was
Michael's class. And I'm like,

for the teacher. That's a lot of
work to be greeting Romeo and

Juliet 165 times. But yet, you
break that down, there is no

feasible way that a physically
and OT could work one on one

with a kid because a lot of what
I was doing, even in the world

of cyber, I was going to their
home, which is where they went

to school. And I was doing
direct treatment, I'm physically

in a home for one hour, one on
one with a kiddo with the travel

time with plus travel time, and
typically there was an hour

between kids. So just that's the
way that's the nature of being

in home health, home environment
setting, even when I worked in

home health, with adult rehab.
So there were some times I was

traveling two hours between
clients. So I say that, and yes,

I did work in a brick and mortar
building as well. And I was

maxed out, my brain was maxed
out trying to manage 15. Now, I

know Teresa is on this call, she
has a caseload nearly 100 kids

that she's trying to manage. But
the difference between that kind

of her caseload, and sometimes
what I was referring to, was

that she is the OT she has an an
occupational therapy assistant,

supporting her with some of the
students. So that's a code is

doing some of the work as a math
teacher, you don't get a math

assistant teacher helping you
out. But there, the way the

structure is, with ot two,
teaching is a little bit

different. So when I heard these
case loads going on, I'm like,

how can we change? How can we
make it so that it's reusable?

And that's when I'm started
delving into what can we do in a

kindergarten classroom, to
collaborate, co teach, and

potentially, upfront our
intervention, so that we can

help cover these kids that are
going to struggle potentially

later, by giving them intensive
instruction. And when I go to

all of the research on the
science of reading, that's

exactly what structured literacy
is designed to do is to create

intensive reading instruction,
so that down the road, we can

decrease the number of tier two
and tier three.

Jonily : And obviously, tier two
and tier three are never going

to be eliminated. No, but as you
talked about Sherry, prior to

COVID, not only our occupational
therapists caseload is

increasing. But the number of
kids with math needs were

increasing, then COVID hits, and
then we're out of control with

the number of kids that have
needs. So either the kids have

to change, or we have to change.
And what Sherry and I are

promoting is that we in schools
in tier one regular classroom,

make changes, so that the bottom
line is, we are able to serve

more kids in less time with more
frequency, and not eliminate,

but reduce the number of
students for needs at the tier

two tier three level. And we'll
define these tiers in a moment

more specifically, but right
now, I just want Sherry And I'd

have this conversation that I
want everybody listening to just

hear the conversation as a
thought provoking exercise. So

the point of Tier one is to be
able to serve more kids in less

time through this collaborative
process. Let me talk about what

I do what Cheri does, I am

Cheri Dotterer: rupt you for a
moment. Yeah, go ahead. And what

struck me about math class is I
had this experience One day, and

it hit me like led brick. I was
actually while while I was

writing, handwriting Brain Body
disconnect, I was substitute

teaching. And I was I took a job
in a learning support classroom.

So I was the Learning Support
teacher for the day. One of the

students, I had to shadow them
into math class. And I had

already known you or I was just
getting to know you at that we

Jonily : know math classes
broken Cherie, so just lay it on

us here. But

Cheri Dotterer: so that was
like, 2018 ish, that this

happen. And I'm going, Whoa, I
can see where this kid is

struggling. Now. He was in a pre
algebra class. So he was in

ninth grade, which was not my
typical, I usually was taking

elementary kids when I was doing
the substitute teaching. But

they had asked me they were
like, I need some support today.

So I took the job. And I ended
up doing a lot of OT for not

just that kid in the class, but
several other the other kids in

that class. And the teacher
went, where did you come from,

and, and had no idea where I was
trying to intervene and not stop

the math class. But yet, I
needed to because he was going a

mile a minute. And I think this
is one of those scenarios that

we talked about in math
disconnected. And for anybody

who is listening, I know that
might take us off on a tangent.

But when I think it was one of
those things that we were

talking about, as we were
developing that story, where the

math teacher gets derailed by
the therapist, because the

therapist is coming in making
suggestions on how to change the

entire classroom to make it more
accessible for all students


Jonily : Absolutely. That's of
tier one intervention is to

create this environment,
inclusive and accessible to all,

but not stripping the complexity
out of the mathematics. And what

we're going to bring to you
today. Through tier one

instruction. Tier one
intervention is how to increase

the complexity of the
mathematics. So we're going to

actually have our most
struggling kids learning more

understanding more, and being
able to decipher more math,

symbols and notations that are
their biggest struggle. We're

going to increase the complexity
for all but we're also going to

increase the accessibility at
the same time too good to be

true. It's not that's what we're
bringing to you today. And that

is exactly what's your one means
with Sherry, being occupational

therapist, from this medical
world, from this neuroscience

world, from this brain based
world, and myself Jonily Being

from the educational world,
general classroom teacher, as we

begin to have these
conversations, and then we've

had these conversations over
time, we realize that what we're

doing in our own worlds without
the connection of each other, is

not serving these kids long
term. So through our

collaboration, and through
Sherry's therapies, and math

interventions together, what we
bring to you is the post COVID

Miracle math classroom, for lack
of a better phrasing. And I know

Sherry, you talked you always
are talking to me about the

execution of writing, the fall
of writing. Sheree, talk to us a

little bit about how in 2009,
like way prior to COVID, the

effects that legislation had on
writing in the classroom. And

I'll make that connection to the
mathematics. And I know it

sounds like oh, my gosh, in this
first 30 minutes, we're just

we're like, massaging the
problem, but it's the elephant

in the room. We've got to talk
about these things. And then for

the following two hours, it's
going to be all solution based.

But Sherry talked about some of
the catastrophe that happened

with writing, and explicit
writing instruction or lack

thereof. And then I'll parallel
that to mathematics. And why

this is affected tier one
instruction as well.

Cheri Dotterer: My entire career
has been funding changes so on

But I'm even going to take it
back a little step further

because yeah, graduated from
college in the late 90s, I

entered acute care. As they were
changing all the fundings and

all the regulations from you
could treat kit people as long

as you want. And that's when
they were trying to minimize the

amount of time that you spend in
the hospital. So we went from

this large gap of time spent in
a hospital enter acute care, we

start DRGs. So don't worry about
what the definitions is with

those. But they were trying to
shorten hospital stay. I moved

my progress my life over to long
term care. The whole medical

world shifted. And now they were
implementing the same DRGs and

in subacute, an acute and long
term care. So I work with that a

while. By the time I get to
homecare, they did the same

thing with DRGs and have gone,
when am I going to get free of

this limiting my ability to do
work, I transitioned over to

pediatrics. And doggone it,
don't they come up with a thing

called Common Core. So around
the time that I was starting to

work in pediatric school based
therapy, I was also working

early intervention zero to two.
So I was going out to homes and

I'm working with babies,
toddlers, don't they do the same

art thing where they have
similar things called the same

DRGs, which were the limiting
the thing to babies and

toddlers, which happened around
2009. And what happened was,

when babies were having a Dilek
developmental delay, they will

come out and there were six
domains. And don't ask me to

recall those domains, right at
the moment, because I forgot to

pull that up and list them out
because I can never remember

them. Anyway, long term short
is, within those six domains, if

there was one of them that there
was 25% delay, they could get

therapy for that area. So it
could have been that they needed

learning support. So they get an
actual special education teacher

who was zero to two trained. So
I don't know where you get that

specific training in education,
I think you have to go back and

get a master's degree. But
besides birth one, so you could

get that if they had gross motor
skills, they were getting PT,

speech, delay, speech, therapy,
and then ot would do fine motor

and play. While that was
happening, I was also working

school system. And we were doing
pretty good. And NAD around word

2012, this thing called Common
Core hit and I'm like, What is

going on. And that's when the
escalation started. So the

combination of oxtails sub the
kids hitting first second grade

having that decrease in that
percentage, because so I forgot

to say was that with the change
in Rockdale, it was now overall

25%. So it wasn't just one area,
it was overall 25%. So you could

have still had it 30% delay in
fine motor skills and knockout

therapy. So now these kids we're
hitting kindergarten, first

grade, I'm working with these
kids, and I'm getting more

referrals for for kindergarten
and first grade, that they're

struggling with fine motor
skills, incomes Common Core. And

we get escalated. And all of a
sudden, caseloads are starting

to go Raizy across the board in
occupational therapy, and we're

like, What in the world is
happening as

Jonily : far as fine motor
handwriting, those types of

things. And because it was not
direct in the curriculum


Cheri Dotterer: And so thank you
for referring my brain back to

what happened in Common Core is
the writing standards do not

specifically say handwriting
instruction. They say text and

font. And the way it's worded it
does not say that somebody needs

to be able to read and write in
a handwritten font. All of a

sudden, all these other demands
were coming on the teachers

Himani get pushed and pushed and
pushed. And all of a sudden

there's just no time in the day
to do that. recommended 20

minutes of handwriting
instruction, which is what the

research says. The research says
20 minutes of handwriting

practice per day improves long
term handwriting it also

improves memory and retention
skills. Boom, let's

Jonily : not just like breeze by
that. It also improves memory

and retention skills.

Unknown: Nilima says tier one
interventions was a sensitizing

workshop systematically thought
through put into an easy to

understand framework and well
presented. Thank you to you

both. Thank you Nilima. You've
been listening to tier one

interventions with Jonily
Zupancic and Cheri daughter.

Tier one interventions is
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