School-Based Intervention Idea from


Math Computation: Two Ideas to Jump-Start Active Academic Responding  (Skinner, Pappas & Davis, 2005)

Research shows that when teachers use specific techniques to motivate their classes to engage in higher rates of active and accurate academic responding, student learning rates are likely to go up.

Here are two ideas to accomplish increased academic responding on math tasks. First, break longer assignments into shorter assignments with performance feedback given after each shorter ‘chunk’ (e.g., break a 20-minute math computation worksheet task into 3 seven-minute assignments). Breaking longer assignments into briefer segments also allows the teacher to praise struggling students more frequently for work completion and effort, providing an additional ‘natural’ reinforcer. Second, allow students to respond to easier practice items orally rather than in written form to speed up the rate of correct responses.


Skinner, C. H., Pappas, D. N., & Davis, K. A. (2005). Enhancing academic engagement: Providing opportunities for responding and influencing students to choose to respond. Psychology in the Schools, 42, 389-403.

Copyright ©2017 Jim Wright