Sunday, February 03, 2019

Rethinking Response to Intervention (RTI)

Years ago we instituted RTI. There have been some positives related to this approach and there remains room for betterment too.

What has worked:
  • greater ownership for all students by the teaching team
  • increased conversation and collaboration about what works best with regard to teaching students well
  • greater targeted services related to students' needs and interests
What can we do to make it better?
  • better target and personalize our instruction
  • build greater student capacity and ownership
  • use the assessment reports better to teach students the specific skills and knowledge they don't know
  • demonstrate to students specifically where their needs and potential are, and then work explicitly to develop that skill.
For example I noticed that a child has a visual issue with seeing models on a page. I can easily remedy that by giving that child more experience with building the models, drawing the models, and then learning to read the models on a page. I didn't notice this until I looked deeply at her assessment data. Another child is having difficulty reading operation information and then using that information carefully to correctly solve problems. That child learns quickly. I can offer her some great one-to-one support to easily remedy this confusion.

How do we find time to provide this much personalization? I believe that the best way to do that is to create an online practice menu that well matches the core program goals. Students can work on their own and with friends to practice while teachers work with individual students to remedy misunderstandings and specific needs. 

I believe this will make our response to intervention better. I look forward to trying this approach in the weeks to come with colleagues, and working with them to determine what works well and what we can do to continue to improve this approach.