A-I Matrix™

The A-I Matrix: For a nominal fee (i.e. less than your morning latte or cappuccino), you can access current information on strategies, which link practical interventions to areas of need, as well as areas of strength (PIKS). For a free sample: Click on the button at the intersection of Homework and Executive Functioning in the table below for information and strategies pertaining to how Executive Functioning impacts Homework. To sign-in or subscribe: Click any purple button (other than the free sample) in the A-I Matrix below.

View Enter The Matrix instructional video

Note: Interventions and strategies are not necessarily exclusive to a single placement in the matrix grid and can overlap/apply to other areas. Efforts were made to minimize duplication of strategies, so be sure to look across various areas in the matrix for ideas.

Practical Interventions to help Kids Succeed (PIKS)
Time / Organization
Test Taking
Social / Emotional / Motivation
Academic Skill
Verbal Reasoning
verbal reasoning homework strategies verbal reasoning time and organization strategies Verbal reason test taking strategies Verbal reasoning and focus strategies Verbal reasoning and meltdown strategies Verbal reasoning and social strategies
Nonverbal Reasoning
nonverbal reasoning homework strategies nonverbal reasoning time and organization Nonverbal reasoning test taking strategies Nonverbal reasoning and focus strategies Nonverbal reasoning and meltdown strategies Nonverbal reasoning and social, emotional and motivation strategies nonverbal reasoning and academic skill strategies
Language / Auditory
language / auditory homework strategies language / auditory organization strategies language / auditory test taking strategies Language / auditory focus strategies language / auditory homework strategies Language / auditory social, emotional and motivation strategies Language / auditory academic skill strategies
speed homework strategies Speed time organization strategies Speed and test taking strategies Speed and focus strategies Speed and focus strategies Speed and social, emotional and motivation strategies Speed and academic skill strategies
memory and homework strategies memory and time and organization strategies Memory test taking strategies Memory focus strategies Memory meltdown strategies Memory and social, emotional and motivation strategies Memory and academic skill
Homework attention strategies Time, organization and attention strategies Attention and test taking strategies Attention and focus strategies Attention and meltdown strategies Attention and social, emotional and motivation strategies Attentiona and academic skill strategies
Executive Functions
executive functioning homework resources executive functioning time management and organiztion resources executive functioning time management and organiztion resources executive functioning time management and organiztion resources executive functioning time management and organiztion resources executive function and social resources executive functioning time management and acadmic resources
Social / Emotional
social / emotional / motivation homework strategies Social emotional time organization strategies Social emotional test-taking strategies Social emotional focus strategies Social emotional meltdown strategies Social emotional and social strategies Social emotional and adademic skills
Sensory and Motor
Sensory / Motor and Homework Sensory / Motor and Time Organization Sensory / Motor and Test-taking Sensory / Motor and Focus strategies Sensory / Motor and Meltdown strategies Sensory / Motor and Social strategies Sensory / Motor and Academic strategies
Achievement and Homework Achievement and Time / Organization Achievement and Test-taking Achievement and Focus Achievement and Meltdowns Achievement and Social / Emotional / Motivation Achievement and Academic Skills

NRventions Blog

Blog 19: Welcoming Students Back to School 08.14.22
We interrupt the blog series of Practical Interventions with this blog for Back-to-School.

The beginning of the school year can generate excitement or a fresh start for some students, but trepidation or grumpiness for other students. The same may hold true for school staff and parents. Think about the strategies your school may already have in place to help promote a positive beginning. Are there ways that you can add to those strategies? Some examples to consider include:

Community involvement
- Events to help families feel involved (e.g. assembling bags with school supplies, demonstrations for how to set up a workspace at home or how to organize a backpack)
- Communication with families about resources, procedures, what’s new for the year
- Provide tips for ways to prepare their children for school

Schoolwide awareness
- Teachers provide a warm, friendly greeting, especially to students who look downtrodden, isolated, or agitated; sometimes teachers can become quite frazzled with all the preparations and responsibilities they have on their shoulders and that can be reflected to and by students, so a supportive reminder of how important their initial demeanor is for setting the tone with students can be helpful
- Training teachers on how to promote a growth mindset or excitement to learn
- Reassurance and supportive atmosphere for teachers and staff
- Review of procedures and overall philosophy of the school

Individual support for teachers and for students
- Arranging a designated greeter or buddy system for students most vulnerable to stressors at the beginning of the year
- Help students who easily fall behind to develop a specific plan for how to stay on top of assignments, manage their schedule, and remain optimistic; arrange for them to meet weekly with someone to maintain the plan
- Provide ongoing support to teachers who may have a particularly challenging student; help identify what aspects are working and what adjustments are needed

Foster a team approach and help others (and yourself) to remember that you are not alone. Find others who are supportive and remain encouraging. Many thanks to our educators who inspire a love of learning and a lifelong sense of competency.

Related Articles:

Blog 18: Practical Interventions: Test-Taking 07.09.22
Part 3 of 7-part series featuring the Practical areas of need (PIKS) in the A-I Matrix

Raise your hand if you enjoy taking tests! Some students approach exams with an unruffled demeanor and strategic thinking to help them analyze questions and answers. They may view tests as a stimulating challenge or simply a way to demonstrate their knowledge. If this does not describe you, well, you are not alone. Many students have some level of understanding and knowledge of material, but when it comes to taking tests, the outcome may be less than ideal. There are a variety of reasons why this may happen and de-mystifying the process and variables may be helpful.

Factors that may impact test-taking include:

• Do you categorize, synthesize, and de-construct complex language (verbal reasoning),

• Do you view the global gist, apply information to new situations, and deal with ambiguity (nonverbal reasoning),

• Do you know the vocabulary and do you elaborate or go into depth (language),

• How is your pacing and time management (processing speed),

• Do you rehearse for memorization and retrieval (memory),

• Do you pay attention to detail, direct your focus, and filter for relevance (attention),

• How is your daily preparation and flexibility of thought (executive functions),

• Can you manage anxiety level (social/emotional),

• What is your sensory comfort or overload level (sensory),

• Know your obstacles and enhance your skills (achievement)
The area in parentheses designates the related neuropsychological area.

Use the A-I Matrix for strategies and tools to assist with test-taking: refer to the third column (entitled Test-Taking) in the A-I Matrix and click on the corresponding boxes under that column related to the various neuropsychological areas that may contributing to struggles with test-taking. For example, if the student is struggling with recall of information on tests, then click on the box that cross-references Test-Taking & Memory. If the student is struggling with anxiety, then click on the box that cross-references Test-Taking & Social/Emotional.


4 Ways to Become a Good Test-Taker 

Research on Test-Taking

Study Preparation for Text Anxiety

Different types of bias and perception when taking tests (the blog by Henry focused on the MCAT, but can be useful information for various types of exams)

for past Blog posts, click here