I recently read an article about a great student intervention plan a teacher implemented in her classroom last year called “Flagged for Success.”
As an 11th grade English teacher, I used to get frustrated at interim time because I would go through my grade book, calculate the grades, and realize for the first time that a student was struggling. By then, five weeks into the nine-week marking period, it was almost too late for me to intervene. The students who struggled spectacularly were easy to spot, but it always distressed me to realize that other students were also slipping through the cracks.
So I looked at how I tracked student progress to see how I could sift through all the information and turn it into early warning signals that would enable me to intervene in time. I wanted various objective flags that would enable me to consistently give all my students the support they needed. For example, I decided that any student who earned less than 75 percent or missed more than one-fourth of the questions on a quiz would need additional support. Once a student triggered a red flag, he or she would immediately go into the intervention cycle and receive progressively more intensive interventions until he or she moved above my mastery thresholds. Once a student was back on the path, that student could exit the intervention cycle.
What I love about Robyn’s plan is that she picked a target to flag students far before they were failing her class and had a series of interventions in place to immediately begin working with her students to ensure they stayed about her ‘red flag’ line.
If you read the entire article linked above, you’ll read how her intervention system worked on three different students in her classroom that year — very cool results!
Robyn gives some tips for establishing red flags:
Red flags should be unambiguous. You don’t want to have to make a ‘game time’ decision of what a red flag is — you want to be able to decide quickly when a red flag has been triggered.
Red flags should be hard to ignore. Established a sign that is hard to miss.
Red flags should trigger action. Once you see a red flag, you should not have to figure out what steps you are going to take next, but have interventions already in mind to get back on track.
For any goal we are working on, wouldn’t it be great to have already defined some “red flags” for success? Although this is a GREAT system for the classroom, I can see it used in all kinds of goals.
For example, what would a Red Flag of Success be for your weight loss goal?
One red flag for me is when I start wearing the “fat” jeans — the jeans I go to when my regular jeans start to get snug. Wearing the “fat” jeans is a clear signal to me that I am off track on my weight loss goals. My intervention could be something like eating a go-to “good” meal for my next meal or fitting in 30 minutes of exercise that day, or starting up my food journal again.
How could you Red Flag your own goals for success?