Kristina Rosenberg's Portfolio Page

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Topic: Response to Intervention (RtI)- The what and why of education's biggest buzz word

Mini-course: Response to Intervention

“…A multi-tiered approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs” (, What is RTI?). In other words: What steps is your district taking to identify students in need and provide intervention at the earliest point possible. “The purpose of RTI is not to prevent special education...Rather, its twin aims are to prevent serious, long-term negative consequences associated with exiting school without adequate academic and to identify children with disabilities” (D. Fuchs, L. Fuchs, November 2009, p. 251).

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 Outcomes

Learners should be able to recognize the need for a more specific interventions that target basic skills and strategies first. For instance, learners will understand the need for students who struggle with reading in fourth grade to be divided into comprehension and decoding groups to provide a more precise "prescription" to meet their needs. Participants will also be able to create their own reccomendations for students with are not performing on level.

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem: “The term best practice has been applied in various contexts to identify strategies experts believe to be clearly superior”(Peters, Heron, 1993, p. 371). According to Jack Millet, a senior faculty member at the School for International Training in Vermont, “a main goal is to shift a teacher’s attention from the material she is using in the class to the students” (Johnson, 1997, p. 20). The world is changing. Students are different. When a car is not functioning properly or selling well due to its problems, a manufacturer “re-invents” it and fixes it. Well, if students are not learning like they used to, we need to “re-invent” that and figure out how to make it work again. This is where accountability ties into Response to Intervention (RTI) and differentiation (modifying classroom instruction to meet the needs of all learners). In order to properly instruct our students, we need not worry about our materials, but how we are going to differentiate and meet their needs in a step by step process.

What is to be learned: Students will learn the basis of RTI and simple ways of implementing it to better improve instruction and intervention services within their own district's literacy instruction.

About the Learners: Participants are classroom teachers, specialists, teaching assistants who are looking to develop a basic understanding of RTI, its basis and purpose in the changing world of education today.

Instructional Content: This course will contain several topics to help learners develop a foundational understanding of RTI in regards to literacy education; they include:

  • What is RTI and Where did it come from?
  • A Baseline Model of Intervention
  • What districts and notable people are doing/saying
  • Personal Viewpoint/RTI Model Activities/interactions within the course may include, but not be limited to:
    • Creation of own district, personal experience needs assessment
    • Three Tier RTI model pertinent to learners’ educational needs
    • Opinions with evidence to support or go against the RTI philosophy.

Instructional Problem/Solution: “As the RTI model advances, schools should keep abreast of changes to guarantee that they continue to operate most efficiently and follow best practices in RTI” (Wright, 2007, p. 188). My current building in my district is suffering from +30% students in grades K-5 who are in need of reading services. Since September of the 2010-2011 school year, primary reading students have been reduced by 6%; this is also the population of students receiving a researched based intervention. Due to the high number of students requiring intervention, the problem remains as to which students should receive more intense services, and which students should receive services from their classroom teacher. The concept of students receiving help from the classroom teacher is aligned with RTI, as well as Academic Intervention Services- both which call for students in need to be provided with additional support to the lessons already provided. Arlene Crandall, a lecturer, developer and former teacher, as well as Patricia Calabrese, in the same type of position, state that if 20% or more of students require intervention, then Tier 1 or classroom instruction needs to change.


  • Assessment of students who receive reading services data
  • Information of a 3-Tier RTI model for reading/students in need of support in the area of literacy
  • Placement of students based on need within each tier

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

Task Analysis


The aim of this course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of RtI, it's purpose, and resources to implement a model within their own classrom/building/district.


Essential Prerequisites

  • Recognize and understand the meaning of Response to Intervention
  • Identify students in need of intervention/support services through assessment
  • Explain the steps necessary to create an RtI model

Supportive Prequisites

  • Label each Tier created for individual RtI models
  • A supportive attitude in regards to specific student interventions
  • Understand the definition and purpose of an IEP and other special education documents/services