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RTI for Teachers - a brief description, tools, tips and resources
One complaint about RTI is that it's theory without any specific tools for implementation. Some feel it's another "gimmick" that schools will spend limited resources to implement plans. We don't think so, not this time, but it's in its formative stages, and tools and techniques are only now being developed. We've collected links to sites that help sort this out below.
What is it? RTI (Response to Intervention) is a way of managing the classroom to provide the best student outcomes for academic achievement. Ed Reform has taught us the importance of student assessment as a way to measure gains in academic achievement. We have an article for you to review that will describe it and answer some of your basic questions.
RTI brings assessment and data collection into the classroom and down to the individual student level. We've all had students who for various reasons, lag behind their peers. In the past, the solution was often to refer the child for Special Education services, a costly, and sometimes unnecessary step. Now, the teacher can identify the problem with formal and simple classroom assessment tools, and then with individual student attention, bring that student to achievement.
Assessment: Your school may use DIBELS™ as a formal reading assessment for all students. Fairly simple to administer and score, DIBELS may help you spot students who will need remediation. The question for many teachers is "then what"?
When you sort through all the material about RTI, the answer is, follow-up, further curriculum based assessment, and individual interventions to target the problem and provide the student with tools to improve. There is an emphasis on integrity of design and materials.
Types of student achievement barriers to look for?
1. Behavior - often there are behaviors a student employs to avoid the work he finds most difficult, we have a simple tools for intervention in that case here. You don't need a formal assessment for that, the student disrupts your class every day. Students can be defiant and non-compliant, we have an article here to help you identify them with some tools to help the student achieve.
We recommend some books for these behavior modifying tools here.
2. English Language Learners in the classroom can be easily identified, and
strategies for helping them can be found here.
3. Let's say you have a student who is lagging behind in math and reading.
DIBELS™ has confirmed this for you, but now you need ways to assess progress as you work on those areas. We're being told by teachers that our worksheets, readings and test item sets are very effective in determining grade level competencies for students in an informal way.
For instance, if you are a Fourth Grade teacher, pull the student aside, perhaps up to your desk, select reading or math problem sets for them to work on at the 3rd Grade level to establish a baseline then work through the sets in grade sequence to build success. The sets are good for improving fluency and comprehension.
Overview with excellent resources: http://wrightslaw.com/info/rti.index.htm
National Center for Response to Intervention http://www.rti4success.org/
There are many books coming to market about RTI, our selections can be found here. Some of them are explicitly about RTI, others will provide planning and staff development strategies.
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