Response to Intervention

Kristina Rosenberg's Portfolio Page

Course Intentions

Response to Intervention (RTI) is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention, the purpose of the three tiers is to make sure districts are taking the proper steps to utilizing the least restrictive environment. In this course, students will be able to develop a foundational understanding of the three tier apprach that seperates students who need interventions from students of average to above average learning abilities, and those students who receive services from those in need of special education services.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this wiki-course, students should be able to:

1. Understand the value and need for an effective RtI process for students in need of literacy support.

2. Explain the three tiers of RtI by using the pyramid model.

3. Create a methodology/mission statement of how to incorporate RtI into their own building or district.

4. Design an RtI model for their own building or district

5. Adapt literacy lesson plans to meet student needs in each tier of RtI


Unit 1: What is RtI & Where did it come from?

Picture This

Scenario

You are a classroom teacher, you're class has the following makeup:
    • 18 Total Students
      • 2 Identified Speech Students (IEP)
      • 1 Resource Room (IEP)
      • 3 Reading Students
Your literacy curriculum lends itself to allow for daily small group instruction; including, but not limited to guided reading, strategy lessons, conferencing and centers.

Problem

While you have flexibility for small group instruction, you have several students that require your attention due to their varying academic needs. In addition to your identified students, you have 2 more students who are struggling. They struggle as follows:
    • Student 1 has difficulty decoding words, making his/her reading choppy with short, minimal phrasing
    • Student 2 readins fluently and expressively with good intonation, but lacks the comprehension of basic story elements or within and about text questioning.

Solution?

What do you do to intervene with these students?

Unit Objectives:

Students should be able to:

  • Define and explain the purpose of RtI
  • Label a pyramid model of RtI implementation and briefly define/explain each tier and it’s purpose


A Brief History:Response to Intervention (RTI) is the practice of providing high-quality instruction and intervention, the purpose of the three tiers is to make sure districts are taking the proper steps to utilizing the least restrictive environment. In reference to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004, “this legislation prevents schools from classifying students too hastily as LD (learning disabled) because it requires that they first demonstrate that the student has received adequate instruction in the general education classroom and that the student’s academic progress in that setting has been closely monitored” (Wright, 2007, 10). Special Education laws of this kind started back in 1975 with the Education of All Handicapped Children Act. This was a mandate that all districts provide identification of students with school-related disabilities and educate them. This led to a method known as the Aptitude-Treatment Interaction model where LD students were profiled based on their IQ test deficiencies (Wright, 2007, p. 7). If a child scored low in reading, but was great at math- they may learn how to use a register more than learning how to read. This was modified in the 1980’s as schools acquired more academic monitoring and tracked student progress over long periods of time. Lentz and Shapiro, 1986 stated that over time there was an emerging understanding that students with learning problems do not exist in isolation, but rather that their instructional environment plays an enormously important role in these students’ eventual success of failure. Which leads to the above mentioned IDEIA and least restrictive environment (LRE). IDEIA was a driving force in the education of special needs students this past decade. It also provided that local educational agencies have flexibility in determining intervention services as well as providing those services early (www.nrcld.org , RTI Manual, August 2006). “No systematic process was outlined in the earlier regulations for ensuring that the learning experiences provided before referral for evaluation were those that have been found to be typically effective for the child’s age and ability levels (www.nrcld.org , RTI Manual, August 2006).

A Baseline Model for Intervention:At a June 2009 conference in Yaphank, NY, Jim Wright, the author of RTI Toolkit: A Practical Guide For Schools explained five core components for RTI service delivery. They are as follows:

    • Student services are arranged in a multi-tiered model
    • Data are collected to assess student baseline levels and to make decisions about student progress
    • Interventions are evidence-based
    • The procedural integrity of interventions is measured
    • RTI is implemented and developed at the school and district level to be scalable and sustainable over time

In lay terms, we as educators need to take the appropriate steps necessary to identify students starting with the general education classroom. Next we are to collect data, which could be anecdotal or student work that reflect they are struggling academically or emotionally. A research-based intervention is implemented and utilized district-wide. Wayne Callender from the University of Oregon describes the basic three-tiered model as the following:

http://www.bremertonschools.org/curriculum/specialprograms/RTI_Dysslexia_Oct_2007.pdf

Fuchs and Fuchs refer to the first tier as Primary Intervention. It is “the core instructional program along with classroom routines for differentiating instruction” (D. Fuchs, L. Fuchs, November 2009, p. 251). In the district I am currently employed, we utilize tier one in exactly this manner. Teachers use a district developed RTI log (attached) to keep log of student struggles, observed behavior, and document differentiation. This is the part of the definition in which high-quality instruction is looked at through a microscope. In tier 2, “interventions are individualized, and tailored to the unique needs of struggling learners” (Wright, 2007, 3). This creates small group instruction in areas like literacy. Students can receive both push in and pull out services to both reinforce classroom strategies and areas in need of improvement. Tier 2 is more intense through Academic Intervention Services (AIS). Again, where I currently work, we assess these students frequently and keep copious notes to satisfy data needs. Once these students have received AIS and been monitored, if progress is still lacking, students will move into tier 3. This final tier is often considered the step to special education. A building/district team (I know this is as Instructional Support Team or IST) meet to determine if services need to be increased or if an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) be put into place. This would classify the student as special education, but provide them with legal guidelines and goals that classroom/ special education teachers must meet to move this child forward. “Success at this most intensive level of instruction with a school’s most difficult-to-teach children requires a highly skilled reading specialist or special educator” (D. Fuchs, L. Fuchs, November 2009, p. 251).

Student Task

Using the information provided,including the above scenario, write a brief evaluation of what/if any current system of intervention your current building or district is using. Based on what you have discovered, and learned, make a determination as to whether or not you think such a process will or will not be beneficial in determining students with learning disabilities.



Unit 2: A "How-to" Guide on Creating an RTI Model

Implementing New Learning

Scenario

You are a classroom teacher, you're class has the following makeup:

    • 18 Total Students
      • 2 Identified Speech Students (IEP)
      • 1 Resource Room (IEP)
      • 3 Reading Students
Your literacy curriculum lends itself to allow for daily small group instruction; including, but not limited to guided reading, strategy lessons, conferencing and centers.

Problem

While you have flexibility for small group instruction, you have several students that require your attention due to their varying academic needs. In addition to your identified students, you have 2 more students who are struggling. They struggle as follows:
    • Student 1 has difficulty decoding words, making his/her reading choppy with short, minimal phrasing
    • Student 2 reads fluently and expressively with good intonation, but lacks the comprehension of basic story elements or within and about text questioning.

Solution?

    • How often do you want to see these students and why? Is it small group or 1:1? What specific intervention are you going to try first, starting at the bottom or lowest skill and building up- based on what you learned in unit 1?


Unit Objectives:

Students should be able to:

Define and explain the purpose of RtI Label a pyramid model of RtI implementation and briefly define/explain each tier and it’s purpose


Unit Objectives: Students should be able to:

  • Create and explain their own RtI Model including definitions and purpose of each tier and how it would be utilized in their own educational setting.

What districts and notable people are doing/saying

The RTI Action Network (www.rtinetwork.org) identifies four models of implementation. The first of which is a problem based solution where a team of meets to discuss individual student needs and progress (similar to IST). This team then decides the direction to take each student and follow them closely (VanDerHeyden, 2007). This team needs to be composed of several essential components. Such components include diverse representation (i.e. principal, nurse, special education teacher, reading teacher and classroom teacher), collegiality (each opinion matters and is heard with the utmost respect), structured focus (school, not home interventions), research-based intervention (not a mix of everything, but proven best practice), and parent involvement (we want to help your child succeed) (Wright, 2007, 48).
RTI Network also recognizes functional assessment models. These models are defined as using a baseline assessment to determine area of need. From that point, incentives are used to help improve learning. Unfortunately, this model does not focus on specific interventions and more on incentives.
Standard protocol is modeled after those who have used more comprehensive reading intervention. The benefits are that the intervention used here is more research-based. Finally, there is the description of hybridized ore blended models. This model takes all three previously mentioned and makes a model that works for each specific district (VanDerHeyden, 2007).
Again, we come back to best practice. Why focus everything on one model when a mix of everything can better meet student needs? In literacy we started with phonics then went to whole-language. From that point we had a little mix and then there was balanced literacy. Balanced literacy is composed of phonics, whole-language, differentiation, and modeled teaching. A little bit of everything. It’s almost like dieting- everything is good in moderation! “The concept of best practice has been an attempt to point out that achieving meaningful outcomes requires the effects of several procedures working in concert” (Peters, Heron, 1993, p. 377). In the best interest of the child- a blended, hybridized model seems to better hold accountable what RTI is proposing.
Richard (Dick) Allington, professor at the University of Tennessee and president of the International Reading Association spoke at the February 2009 Eastern Suffolk BOCES Literacy and Learning institute in Huntington, New York. Among the many points and resources provided to the attendees, he made mention of myths associated with RTI. On such fallacy is that RTI is a three-tier model. “This model exists, but is one of several frameworks for RTI. States should work with their stakeholders to decide what is best for them” (Available at www.nasdse.org, Myths about RTI). That said he felt there should be a five-tier model for RTI.

Dick Allingon’s model is as follows:

Richard Allington’s RTI Tier Interpretation
Tier 1: Research-based daily classroom reading instruction
Tier 2: Adaptation of daily classroom instruction (i.e. additional reading lesson, extended day extra help, etc.)
Tier 3: Daily small group (n=3) remediation from reading teacher, and tied into curriculum.
Tier 4: Individual expert intervention in additional to daily classroom reading instruction and daily small groups (i.e. Leveled Literacy Intervention, Reading Recovery).
Tier 5: Special Education
Dick Allington also felt that Tier 1 & 2 refer to the classroom teacher, while 3 & 4 refer to the reading specialist in a building. In a baseline RTI model, Tier 1 is the classroom teacher, while 2 & 3 are specialists. This model seems more explicit and better capable of holding accountable the act of differentiation; especially because it still begins with high-quality classroom instruction. Special Education should be its own Tier- how else are we going to show that we are meeting federal mandates if we do not have a classification for those we monitored and intervened with? “Intervention has to be all day long” (Richard Allington, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, February 2009).
RTI needs to be fully implemented by 2012. This does not mean a plan of action, but putting a plan into action. Districts need to make sure that they are providing high quality instruction, utilizing universal screeners (general, but research-based assessment to identify, not classify students in need of intervention). “Educators committed to RTI as a means for improving the services for difficult-to-teach students must take on the challenge of introducing a model that for now is promising but incomplete- a work in progress” (Wright, 2007, p. 185). This goes back to best practice and reflection. “Thinking of a child's physical Presence and Gesture, be attentive to what stands out to you immediately. Then, take note of size and build, but also of style of dress, color preferences, prized possessions, and so forth" (Carini, 2000, p. 58). Keep data, take anecdotals, and be prepared to present your case as to what fits or doesn’t fit this child. Explain your answer.

Student Task

Creating the grey area::Now that you have your background information, scenario, an alternate model, and ways of implementing RTI- research and create your own model. This model should be able to be utilized in your classroom. Start with the basic summary of instruction, followed by how you intervene with students and what decisions are made to categorize them into proper tiers of intervention. Does your model have 3 tiers like the baseline model or more like Dr. Allington’s? Cite any additional sites you may have used to prepare your brief RTI model.

Side-note:  :Here is a link to the NYS Guidance document for RTI. As you will see, a true document is several pages in length and has a lot of explicit detail. Your model is only a sketch of what you would hope to expand on. http://www.nysrti.org/docs/NYSED%20RtI%20Guidance%20Document.pdf



Unit 3: Your Plan

Scenario

Now that you have a direciton in mind; i.e how many tiers your plan will have, you need to decide how this plan will work for you. Do you have assessments? Are the diagnostic or universal?

Unit Objectives:

Students should be able to:

    • Write up a basic plan including the following information
      • Identify students in need of intervention/support services through assessment
      • Briefly summarize the students who may or may not fit into this category. One of the best ways to mold a plan specific to your needs is to know the whole student, not just want they are struggling with.
      • Write, define and explain the tiers created in Unit 2, using their own students.

Student Task

Take the above mentioned objectives and create a 5-7page write up of how you see RtI working for you. You must include oustide sources, as well as an assessment schedule and implementation plan (when and how will RtI be introduced). Use the NYS Dept. of Ed Document provided in Unit 2 as a guide.