As empirical studies have consistently shown, low achievement in mathematics at the secondary level can often be traced to deficits in the understanding of certain basic arithmetic concepts taught in primary school. The present intervention study in middle schools evaluated whether such learning deficits can be reduced effectively and whether the type of instruction influences students’ progress. The sample consisted of 123 students in 34 classes, split among one control group and two intervention groups: (a) small group instruction and (b) independent work partially integrated into regular classrooms. Over a period of 14 weeks, students were taught basic concepts, such as place value and basic operations. In addition, they practiced fact retrieval and counting (in groups). Multilevel regression analyses demonstrated that the interventions can be used to reduce given deficits.