RTI: The Essentials for Elementary School AdministratorsJim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org
RTI: An Introduction • Sampling of Academic and Behavioral Interventions • Assessment & Progress-Monitoring • Systems-Level Change: Helping the Classroom Teacher to Become an RTI ‘First Responder’ RTI : The Essentials: Agenda…
Keynote PowerPoints and Related Resources Available at: • http://www.jimwrightonline.com/AWSA.php
“The quality of a school as a learning community can be measured by how effectively it addresses the needs of struggling students.”--Wright (2005) Source: Wright, J. (2005, Summer). Five interventions that work. NAESP Leadership Compass, 2(4) pp.1,6.
School Instructional Time: The Irreplaceable Resource “In the average school system, there are 330 minutes in the instructional day, 1,650 minutes in the instructional week, and 56,700 minutes in the instructional year. Except in unusual circumstances, these are the only minutes we have to provide effective services for students. The number of years we have to apply these minutes is fixed. Therefore, each minute counts and schools cannot afford to support inefficient models of service delivery.” p. 177 Source: Batsche, G. M., Castillo, J. M., Dixon, D. N., & Forde, S. (2008). Best practices in problem analysis. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp. 177-193).
RTI Assumption: Struggling Students Are ‘Typical’ Until Proven Otherwise… RTI logic assumes that: • A student who begins to struggle in general education is typical, and that • It is general education’s responsibility to find the instructional strategies that will unlock the student’s learning potential Only when the student shows through well-documented interventions that he or she has ‘failed to respond to intervention’ does RTI begin to investigate the possibility that the student may have a learning disability or other special education condition.
Essential Elements of RTI (Fairbanks, Sugai, Guardino, & Lathrop, 2007) • A “continuum of evidence-based services available to all students" that range from universal to highly individualized & intensive • “Decision points to determine if students are performing significantly below the level of their peers in academic and social behavior domains" • “Ongoing monitoring of student progress" • “Employment of more intensive or different interventions when students do not improve in response" to lesser interventions • “Evaluation for special education services if students do not respond to intervention instruction" Source: Fairbanks, S., Sugai, G., Guardino, S., & Lathrop, M. (2007). Response to intervention: Examining classroom behavior support in second grade. Exceptional Children, 73, p. 289.
Tier 3: Intensive interventions. Students who are ‘non-responders’ to Tiers 1 & 2 are referred to the RTI Team for more intensive interventions. Tier 3 Tier 2 Individualized interventions. Subset of students receive interventions targeting specific needs. Tier 2 Tier 1: Universal interventions. Available to all students in a classroom or school. Can consist of whole-group or individual strategies or supports. Tier 1 RTI ‘Pyramid of Interventions’
Core Instruction,Interventions, Accommodations & Modifications: Sorting Them Out • Core Instruction. Those instructional strategies that are used routinely with all students in a general-education setting are considered ‘core instruction’. High-quality instruction is essential and forms the foundation of RTI academic support. NOTE: While it is important to verify that good core instructional practices are in place for a struggling student, those routine practices do not ‘count’ as individual student interventions.
Core Instruction, Interventions, Accommodations & Modifications: Sorting Them Out • Intervention. An academic intervention is a strategy used to teach a new skill, build fluency in a skill, or encourage a child to apply an existing skill to new situations or settings. An intervention can be thought of as “a set of actions that, when taken, have demonstrated ability to change a fixed educational trajectory” (Methe & Riley-Tillman, 2008; p. 37).
Core Instruction,Interventions, Accommodations & Modifications: Sorting Them Out • Accommodation. An accommodation is intended to help the student to fully access and participate in the general-education curriculum without changing the instructional content and without reducing the student’s rate of learning (Skinner, Pappas & Davis, 2005). An accommodation is intended to remove barriers to learning while still expecting that students will master the same instructional content as their typical peers. • Accommodation example 1: Students are allowed to supplement silent reading of a novel by listening to the book on tape. • Accommodation example 2: For unmotivated students, the instructor breaks larger assignments into smaller ‘chunks’ and providing students with performance feedback and praise for each completed ‘chunk’ of assigned work (Skinner, Pappas & Davis, 2005).
“Teaching is giving; it isn’t taking away.” (Howell, Hosp & Kurns, 2008; p. 356). “ ” Source: Howell, K. W., Hosp, J. L., & Kurns, S. (2008). Best practices in curriculum-based evaluation. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp.349-362). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists..
Core Instruction,Interventions, Accommodations & Modifications: Sorting Them Out • Modification. A modification changes the expectations of what a student is expected to know or do—typically by lowering the academic standards against which the student is to be evaluated. Examples of modifications: • Giving a student five math computation problems for practice instead of the 20 problems assigned to the rest of the class • Letting the student consult course notes during a test when peers are not permitted to do so
Savvy Teacher’s Guide: Reading Interventions That Work (Wright, 2000)
Big Ideas in Beginning Reading • “Phonemic Awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words. • Alphabetic Principle: The ability to associate sounds with letters and use these sounds to form words. • Fluency with Text: The effortless, automatic ability to read words in connected text. • Vocabulary: The ability to understand (receptive) and use (expressive) words to acquire and convey meaning. • Comprehension: The complex cognitive process involving the intentional interaction between reader and text to convey meaning.” Source: Big ideas in beginning reading. University of Oregon. Retrieved September 23, 2007, from http://reading.uoregon.edu/index.php
Interventions for…Increasing Reading Fluency • Assisted Reading Practice • Listening Passage Preview (‘ListeningWhile Reading’) • Paired Reading • Repeated Reading
The student reads aloud in tandem with an accomplished reader. At a student signal, the helping reader stops reading, while the student continues on. When the student commits a reading error, the helping reader resumes reading in tandem. Paired Reading
Students periodically check their understanding of sentences, paragraphs, and pages of text as they read. When students encounter problems with vocabulary or comprehension, they use a checklist to apply simple strategies to solve those reading difficulties. ‘Click or Clunk’ Self-Check
HELPS Program: Reading Fluencywww.helpsprogram.org • HELPS (Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies) is a free tutoring program that targets student reading fluency skills. Developed by Dr. John Begeny of North Carolina State University, the program is an evidence-based intervention package that includes: • adult modeling of fluent reading, • repeated reading of passages by the student, • phrase-drill error correction, • verbal cueing and retell check to encourage student reading comprehension, • reward procedures to engage and encourage the student reader.
Sample Classroom Management Strategy: Good Behavior Game(Barrish, Saunders, & Wold, 1969) The Good Behavior Game is a whole-class intervention to improve student attending and academic engagement. It is best used during structured class time: for example, whole-group instruction or periods of independent seatworkDescription: The class is divided into two or more student teams. The teacher defines a small set of 2 to 3 negative behaviors. When a student shows a problem behavior, the teacher assigns a negative behavior ‘point’ to that student’s team. At the end of the Game time period, any team whose number of points falls below a ‘cut-off’ set by the teacher earns a daily reward or privilege. Guidelines for using this intervention: The Game is ideal to use with the entire class during academic study or lecture periods to keep students academically engaged The Game is not suitable for less-structured activities such as cooperative learning groups, where students are expected to interact with each other as part of the work assignment.
Good Behavior Game: Steps • The instructor decides when to schedule the Game. (NOTE: Generally, the Good Behavior Game should be used for no more than 45 to 60 minutes per day to maintain its effectiveness.) • The instructor defines the 2-3 negative behaviors that will be scored during the Game. Most teachers use these 3 categories: • Talking Out: The student talks, calls out, or otherwise verbalizes without teacher permission. • Out of Seat: The student’s posterior is not on the seat. • Disruptive Behavior: The student engages in any other behavior that the instructor finds distracting or problematic.
Good Behavior Game: Steps • The instructor selects a daily reward to be awarded to each member of successful student teams. (HINT: Try to select rewards that are inexpensive or free. For example, student winners might be given a coupon permitting them to skip one homework item that night.) • The instructor divides the class into 2 or more teams. • The instructor selects a daily cut-off level that represents the maximum number of points that a team is allowed (e.g., 5 points).
Good Behavior Game: Steps • When the Game is being played, the instructor teaches in the usual manner. Whenever the instructor observes student misbehavior during the lesson, the instructor silently assigns a point to that student’s team (e.g., as a tally mark on the board) and continues to teach. • When the Game period is over, the teacher tallies each team’s points. Here are the rules for deciding the winner(s) of the Game: • Any team whose point total is at or below the pre-determined cut-off earns the daily reward. (NOTE: This means that more than one team can win!) • If one team’s point total is above the cut-off level, that team does not earn a reward. • If ALL teams have point totals that EXCEED the cut-off level for that day, only the team with the LOWEST number of points wins.
Good Behavior Game: Troubleshooting Here are some tips for using the Good Behavior Game: • Avoid the temptation to overuse the Game. Limit its use to no more than 45 minutes to an hour per day. • If a student engages in repeated bad behavior to sabotage a team and cause it to lose, you can create an additional ‘team of one’ that has only one member--the misbehaving student. This student can still participate in the Game but is no longer able to spoil the Game for peers! • If the Game appears to be losing effectiveness, check to be sure it is being implemented with care and that you are: • Assigning points consistently when you observe misbehavior. • Not allowing yourself to be pulled into arguments with students when you assign points for misbehavior. • Reliably giving rewards to Game winners. • Not overusing the Game.
Good Behavior Game Cut-Off=2 Team 1 Team 2 [Out of Seat] [Call Out] [Disruptive] Game Over Answer: Both teams won the Game, as both teams’ point totals fell BELOW the cut-off of 5 points. Question: Which team won this Game?
‘Defensive Behavior Management’: The Power of Teacher PreparationJim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org
Defensive Management: A Method to Avoid Power Struggles ‘Defensive management’ (Fields, 2004) is a teacher-friendly six-step approach to avert student-teacher power struggles that emphasizes providing proactive instructional support to the student, elimination of behavioral triggers in the classroom setting, relationship-building, strategic application of defusing techniques when needed, and use of a ‘reconnection’ conference after behavioral incidents to promote student reflection and positive behavior change. Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Defensive Management: Six Steps • Understanding the Problem and Using Proactive Strategies. The teacher collects information--through direct observation and perhaps other means--about specific instances of student problem behavior and the instructional components and other factors surrounding them. The teacher analyzes this information to discover specific ‘trigger’ events that seem to set off the problem behavior(s) (e.g., lack of skills; failure to understand directions).The instructor then adjusts instruction to provide appropriate student support (e.g., providing the student with additional instruction in a skill; repeating directions and writing them on the board). Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Defensive Management: Six Steps • Promoting Positive Teacher-Student Interactions. Early in each class session, the teacher has at least one positive verbal interaction with the student. Throughout the class period, the teacher continues to interact in positive ways with the student (e.g., brief conversation, smile, thumbs up, praise comment after a student remark in large-group discussion, etc.). In each interaction, the teacher adopts a genuinely accepting, polite, respectful tone. Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Defensive Management: Six Steps • Scanning for Warning Indicators. During the class session, the teacher monitors the target student’s behavior for any behavioral indicators suggesting that the student is becoming frustrated or angry. Examples of behaviors that precede non-compliance or open defiance may include stopping work; muttering or complaining; becoming argumentative; interrupting others; leaving his or her seat; throwing objects, etc.). Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Defensive Management: Six Steps • Exercising Emotional Restraint. Whenever the student begins to display problematic behaviors, the teacher makes an active effort to remain calm. To actively monitor his or her emotional state, the teacher tracks physiological cues such as increased muscle tension and heart rate, as well as fear, annoyance, anger, or other negative emotions. The teacher also adopts calming or relaxation strategies that work for him or her in the face of provocative student behavior, such as taking a deep breath or counting to 10 before responding. Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Defensive Management: Six Steps • Using Defusing Tactics. If the student begins to escalate to non-compliant, defiant, or confrontational behavior (e.g., arguing, threatening, other intentional verbal interruptions), the teacher draws from a range of possible descalating strategies to defuse the situation. Such strategies can include private conversation with the student while maintaining a calm voice, open-ended questions, paraphrasing the student’s concerns, acknowledging the student’s emotions, etc. Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Defensive Management: Six Steps • Reconnecting with The Student. Soon after any in-class incident of student non-compliance, defiance, or confrontation, the teacher makes a point to meet with the student to discuss the behavioral incident, identify the triggers in the classroom environment that led to the problem, and brainstorm with the student to create a written plan to prevent the reoccurrence of such an incident. Throughout this conference, the teacher maintains a supportive, positive, polite, and respectful tone. Source: Fields, B. (2004). Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: Defensive management. Educational Psychology in Practice, 20, 103-115.
Educational Decisions and Corresponding Types of Assessment • SCREENING/BENCHMARKING DECISIONS: Tier 1: Brief screenings to quickly indicate whether students in the general-education population are academically proficient or at risk. • PROGRESS-MONITORING DECISIONS: At Tiers 1, 2, and 3, ongoing ‘formative’ assessments to judge whether students on intervention are making adequate progress. • INSTRUCTIONAL/DIAGNOSTIC DECISIONS: At any Tier, detailed assessment to map out specific academic deficits , discover the root cause(s) of a student’s academic problem. • OUTCOME DECISIONS: Summative assessment (e.g., state tests) to evaluate the effectiveness of a program. Source: Hosp, M. K., Hosp, J. L., & Howell, K. W. (2007). The ABCs of CBM: A practical guide to curriculum-based measurement. New York: Guilford Press.
Clearinghouse for RTI Screening and Progress-Monitoring Tools • The National Center on RTI (www.rti4success.org) maintains pages rating the technical adequacy of RTI screening and progress-monitoring tools.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist (600 BC-531 BC) “ ”
Engaging the Reluctant Teacher: 7 Reasons Why Instructors May Resist Implementing Classroom RTI Interventions
RTI & ‘Teacher Reluctance’ The willingness of teachers to implement interventions is essential in any school to the success of the RTI model. Yet general-education teachers may not always see themselves as ‘interventionists’ and indeed may even resist the expectation that they will provide individualized interventions as a routine part of their classroom practice (Walker, 2004). It should be remembered, however, that teachers’ reluctance to accept elements of RTI may be based on very good reasons. Here are some common reasons that teachers might be reluctant to accept their role as RTI intervention ‘first responders’…
Engaging the Reluctant Teacher: 7 Reasons Why Instructors May Resist Implementing Classroom RTI Interventions • Lack of Skills. Teachers lack the skills necessary to successfully implement academic or behavioral interventions in their content-area classrooms (Fisher, 2007; Kamil et al., 2008). • Not My Job. Teachers define their job as providing content-area instruction. They do not believe that providing classwide or individual academic and behavioral interventions falls within their job description (Kamil et al., 2008).
Engaging the Reluctant Teacher: 7 Reasons Why Instructors May Resist Implementing Classroom RTI Interventions(Cont.) • No Time. Teachers do not believe that they have sufficient time available in classroom instruction to implement academic or behavioral interventions (Kamil et al., 2008; Walker, 2004). • No Payoff. Teachers lack confidence that there will be an adequate instructional pay-off if they put classwide or individual academic or behavioral interventions into place in their content-area classroom (Kamil et al., 2008).
Engaging the Reluctant Teacher: 7 Reasons Why Instructors May Resist Implementing Classroom RTI Interventions (Cont.) • Loss of Classroom Control. Teachers worry that if they depart from their standard instructional practices to adopt new classwide or individual academic or behavior intervention strategies, they may lose behavioral control of the classroom (Kamil et al., 2008). • ‘Undeserving Students’. Teachers are unwilling to invest the required effort to provide academic or behavioral interventions for unmotivated students (Walker, 2004) because they would rather put that time into providing additional attention to well-behaved, motivated students who are ‘more deserving’.
Engaging the Reluctant Teacher: 7 Reasons Why Instructors May Resist Implementing Classroom RTI Interventions (Cont.) • The Magic of Special Education. Content-area teachers regard special education services as ‘magic’ (Martens, 1993). According to this view, interventions provided to struggling students in the general-education classroom alone will be inadequate, and only special education services have the power to truly benefit those students.
The Key Role of Classroom Teachers in RTI: 6 Steps • The teacher defines the student academic or behavioral problem clearly. • The teacher decides on the best explanation for why the problem is occurring. • The teacher selects ‘evidence-based’ interventions. • The teacher documents the student’s Tier 1 intervention plan. • The teacher monitors the student’s response (progress) to the intervention plan. • The teacher knows what the next steps are when a student fails to make adequate progress with Tier 1 interventions alone.