Saturday, October 18, 2014

Response to Intervention (RTI) Math Efforts

I believe this is our third year using RTI for math. Like any approach, the more we do it, the more we are able to navigate this relatively new approach with strength.

We met Friday to look at students' assessment results and needs. Also district leadership created a protocol for RTI--the protocol divided the year into six-week periods and assigns a topic to each period. Our first topic is multiplication, addition, and subtraction computation.  We plan to teach this with word problems.

Students with greater needs in this area are in small groups of two, three, and four with skilled teachers. I will manage the larger group of approximately 35 students using my classroom and the outside tech lab spaces. A teaching assistant will assist me.

We'll start the first six week period with an initial assessment of multiplication, addition, and subtraction. Then we'll offer students a learning path of activities to learn, practice and enrich their knowledge of these content areas and skills.

As the teacher of the core/enrichment group, I plan to use lots of online computer menus to meet the needs of so many. I'll design an online menu that includes choice of independent and collaborative problem solving and computation games, videos, and exercises.  I'll add a bit of healthy competition with some kind of points system too so that students can assess their learning knowledge. I'll tie all of this to the fifth grade standards. I also plan to take small skill groups to helps students firm up their weaker areas related to this this protocol.

Our RTI at fifth grade lasts for two half hours at prime teaching time (the morning) each week. Special educators, classroom teachers, and teaching assistants support the program.  I'm excited about applying "learning to learn" activities with this approach so that students recognize and practice the many dispositions and actions that let them lead their learning with success.

Are your RTI efforts similar to ours?  What successes have you experienced with RTI? RTI is a strategy that helps us to use our resources with focus and success. I'm excited about starting this effort in the week ahead.