So this 2015-2016 school year concludes my Response to Intervention (R T I) job title. Am I sad? maybe a little…
I graduated in 2013 (not too long ago) and I can say that my Undergrad studies rarely touched on this
beast integral aspect of teaching…as did [or should I say didn’t] my Graduate studies…
I have one question…WHY?!
Today’s classroom teacher is asked to do so much; however, most are unsure (even veteran teachers) how to effectively implement interventions and/or accurately document progress monitoring/parental consent forms/etc.
If I had to guess, most people reading this post either have no clue what RTI is (which is the norm) and some clicked to see what my take on it might be…
Herein lies the first issue…RTI means many different things to many different people…
• What is R.T.I.? •
RTI Action Network describes RTI as follows:
In long: “Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction. RTI is designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data”
In short: Student has a deficit…we identify it, teach to it (with research-based interventions), chart it, analyze it, continue or change interventions, repeat…
This cycle continues until either the student continues up the tiers to ultimately qualify for Special Education (been there, done that job too) services OR they may move between tiers OR they can exit all together…
• Research-Based Interventions •
Where does one find said research-based interventions?! Wait..no! How do I know/find what the student’s basic deficits are and then find the interventions?!
In Math, Hall County created a little thing of beauty called a Developmental Math Assessment (DMA for short)…this guy was created to align to Common Core standards…HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
There are two versions, K-2 and 3-5. The directions are pretty straightforward and after it is completed, there is even a Common Core Aligned guidance form that shows the question missed and which standard you need to either address or find an intervention to address.
In Reading, there are many “tests” and such to help you pinpoint deficits…in our case, we use the Developmental Reading Assessment (sound familiar) a.k.a the DRA to pinpoint deficits.
The county doesn’t really have a correlation chart but it is a bit easier to know if a student needs help ranging from phonics to comprehension, for the most part.
Many other schools use DIBELS, simple running records, etc.
My advice would be to talk with your instructional coach (IC…if you are lucky enough to have one) for a way to assess. After assessing, analyze the results…still lost? (Which is perfectly fine by the way…) I would visit my IC again or a veteran teacher to pinpoint deficits.
Next…I have analyzed the outcome and I know what we need to focus on…now on to the slippery slope that is research-based interventions…
Again…my county has them neatly placed on the Reading and Math sites linked above..Thank you Hall County!
Feel free to download them all and use them, they describe the deficit and then cite the book/website in which the intervention came…let us do some of the work for you!
Another great resource is any and everything my Jennifer Serravallo…you may [or may not] remember my post about her newest book The Reading Strategies Book [pretty direct name might I add]… TONS-o-interventions in there.
P.s. She didn’t pay me to say these nice things…It would be nice, though, ha!
Okay, so we identified the student, “tested” to find the deficit, found it, found a targeted intervention…now what? How will I know it is working?
Two words. Progress. Monitor (PM)…it is exactly what it sounds like…monitor the student’s progress [of the deficit].
Now, some schools differ here. We are lucky enough to have positions that intervene all day while the homeroom teacher is responsible to PMing [to know where their students are for meeting’s sake].
Other schools, it is all up to the teachers [beef up that resume!!] and I don’t see how they do it…my hat[s] is/are off to you!
In general, though, intervene and PM until the next RTI meeting [usually every 4-6 weeks]….okay…sounds simple enough but HOW MANY TIMES?!
In my case… I did as follows…
Tier 2 – Every other week…I usually increased if the student was a high priority to be either moving up to Tier 3 or down back into the Tier 1, general classroom
Tier 3- EVERY week…no excuses…EVERY week. These students are in a tricky area where you want to make sure all information is documented to show growth to either get them back down to Tier 2 or to show regression to help receive necessary services at Tier 4 [SPED].
I also want to point out a VERY important point…RTI ≠SPED, I repeat..
RTI ≠ SPED
RTI is meant to help students through giving them any and everything they need to succeed…some students may not respond to intervention, that is okay. At least we know we attempted all actions to help the students…
With that being said, at RTI meetings, the PM is presented..most times in a table or graph format, to show growth or regression.
If regression is happening, talks can then begin about submitting to Tier 3 or Tier 4…
If progression is happening, find the next deficit [if any] and change interventions as needed or exit [if and ONLY if there are no other deficits].
If you’ve made it this far or skimmed (a wonderful reading strategy might I add) through and you still feel fuzzy about RTI or inspired to learn more, the following is a great resource:
- Wonderful book excerpt provided by ASCD
• Do you have any questions? •
Please let me know if I should add anything or clarify anything further!
I look forward to hearing how everyone implements RTI or any other questions.