By Pamela J. Bell
Explore these annotated, research-based websites to find information and resources that you can share with colleagues to identify practices and strategies to improve implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in your school. Warning: Exploring these websites could be habit-forming!
Campus RTI/MTSS Implementation and Data Driven Decision Making. The Building Capacity for Response to Intervention Implementation project has over 700 resources on its searchable website, http://buildingRTI.utexas.org. Find these resources for school administrators:
- A Resource for Student Evaluation Personnel in Schools Implementing RTI systematically discusses RTI and its federal requirements, roles of assessment personnel, instructional collaboration, problem solving when a student is not making adequate progress, and using RTI data in student evaluation for special education. It also includes letters from the Office of Special Education Programs.
- The Campus Needs Assessment Tools for Reading, Mathematics, and Behavior helps educators understand their level of campus implementation, identify areas that need improvement, and develop an action plan.
- Instructional decision-making procedures: Ensuring appropriate instruction for struggling students in grades K-12 is designed for campus teams to examine their decision-making practices related to English learners, reading, math, and behavior in areas of assessment, curriculum, instruction, intervention, and referral to special education. The format helps teams collaborate and develop Administrative Action Plans and Professional Development Action Plans.
- The Campus RTI Progress Monitoring Tool (RTI-PMT) is a free, easy-to-use customizable app that educators can use to monitor student progress in an intervention over time, and administrators can use to monitor grade-level progress and make resource and professional development decisions.
- What Works Clearinghouse has many resources. Find the practice guide, Using Instructional Data to Support Instructional Decision Making. https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide/12
- Keeping parents informed about their child’s progress is an important requirement of RTI/MTSS implementation. Understood.org is designed for parents: https://understood.org
Providing direct, explicit instruction is critical to successful learning. Effective lessons maximize learning within the allotted time, and follow a sequence that allows teachers to demonstrate, provide guided practice, and then monitor independent practice to automaticity. The teacher explicitly states the learning objective, and models the new concept (I Do); models again and thinks aloud (I Do); then provides several opportunities for guided practice (We Do) [and, if necessary, models again to be sure every student understands (I Do) and provides more guided practice (We Do)], and then lets students practice with partners or independently (You Do). Effective teachers use a variety of response strategies to engage students and provide instant feedback to know when students are ready to practice independently (You Do) or need additional instruction in a small group.
The Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) has free modules for continuing education credits.Find this one: Improving Instruction, Accessibility, and Outcomes: Multi-Tier Systems of Supports (MTSS), Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Differentiated Instruction (DI). http://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/mtssudldi-professional-development-module/ CEEDAR also has a module on Features of Effective Instruction: http://www.learnersedgeinc.com/ceedar. Course Enhancement Modules on many topics related to RTI/MTSS are also available on the CEEDAR website. The modules include slides with speaker notes, videos, and multiple resources; perfect for professional developers and teacher educators. Check out Evidence-Based Reading Instruction K-5, Classroom and Behavior Management, and MTSS for Mathematics. http://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/cems/
Visit the Kansas University website for a thorough description of direct instruction with examples of programs in reading and mathematics. www.specialconnections.ku.edu/?q=instruction/direct_instruction
Visit http://buildingRTI.utexas.org and find the free module, “Keys to Success: Differentiating Instruction.” It includes videos of a teacher providing whole group instruction, small group Tier 1 instruction with an “able” group and an at-risk group, and Tier 2 intervention with the at-risk group. Walk-through tools for administrators are used to view the videos.
Search “all student response strategies” for ideas to increase student engagement. See the NorthWest Evaluation (NWEA) Teach Learn. Grow. blog at https://www.nwea.org/blog/2015/five-easy-implement-all-student-response-strategies/
- Find the Middle Schools Matter Institute at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) and review lesson plans, videos, and research articles.
- Visit the Teaching Channel website, https://teachingchannel.org. Vetted, it has K-12 content area strategies, graphic organizers, and student engagement and more. Be sure to visit these webpages if you work with secondary students (Warning: You will find it hard to stop looking.):
Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instruction Products (EQuIP) has a website of educator-reviewed exemplar science lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards. http://www.achieve.org/EquIP.
National Geographic: This website has an ever-growing collection of resources, activities, lessons, and units on a multitude of topics. Find the activity for “Engineer in the Classroom” on “Wind Turbine Design and Testing” for grades K-4. http://nationalgeographic.org/education/teaching-resources/
Look for Boeing’s industry partnership with educators, Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Flight Exhibition: Education. http://aboveandbeyondexhibition.com/education/teachers-guides-and-resources/
K-12 Literacy Instruction and Intervention
Reading is essential for success in all content areas. Too many teachers have little knowledge of instructional routines or strategies that will help their students access the concepts they encounter in text. They need to know the components of literacy, and proven literacy strategies they can embed in their everyday content area instruction.
- Reading Rockets (http://www.readingrockets.org) is sponsored by WETA; it has booklists, author studies (toolkits), author interviews, PBS shows, parent tips and more. Look under “Articles” and discuss this one in your next study group or Professional Learning Community: “In the Media: Expanding Students’ Experience with Academic Vocabulary” teaching approach. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/media-expanding-students-experience-academic-vocabulary
Vocabulary instruction is essential and should be explicitly taught in every subject area. Students have a lot of fun exploring words and word origins:
- Word Nerds: Word Nerdery. Look at this video made by seventh graders. http:wordsavviness.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/differentiation-its-not-always-good. A similar web site is Fourth Grade Frolics: We are becoming word nerds. http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2014/01/we-are-becoming-word-nerds.html
Explore the vocabulary matrices at Real Spellers: Realspellers.org/Resources/Matrices “Muse is the base of a lot of words” and “A Revolutionary Matrix.” Go to the Lesson Plans section and find “Collaborative Round Table Word” and then the one for a student explaining the word ladder she created for the book Stargirl. http://www.realspellers.org/resources/lesson-plans/801-ann-whiting-s-concept-ladders
The Word Works Literary Center in Ontario Canada: Peter Bowers has the Beyond the Word blog by Lyn Anderson http://wordsinbogor.blogspot.ca
The National Center for Intensive Intervention has oodles of resources for parents and teachers of students who need intensive intervention. Its focus is on meeting the needs of students who do not respond adequately to intervention, including students who need special education. http://www.intensiveintervention.org/
Finally, the website of the organization that disseminates this publication, the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) has a multitude of resources for parents and educators who work with students with dyslexia as they journey from elementary school to post-secondary education. Be sure to explore its website: https://dyslexiaida.org
Pamela J. Bell, Ph.D., has designed and implemented campus, district, state and regional education initiatives for more than 40 years. At the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin, her projects translate research findings into instructional practices. The Building RTI Capacity project (http://buildingRTI.utexas.org) focuses on preventing learning and behavior difficulties. She also works to promote collaboration between educators and care providers to realize positive outcomes for students in foster care.
Copyright © 2017 International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Opinions expressed in this article and/or via links do not necessarily reflect those of IDA.
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