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Monday, January 14, 2013

RT What?

RTI...RT what?

Well it's... Response to Intervention, Response to Instruction.... or for those of us in the great state of Kansas MTSS (Multi Tiered Systems of Support)... slight variations but all mean the same. No matter which acronym you are used to, they all boil down to the same thing: closing the gaps and helping all children succeed. 

My school district is in the midst of setting up our MTSS system and I figured that while we are trying to learn, grow, and get the hang of things that I ought to share some of the ups and downs with you as well. This will be a bit of a sporadic series of posts as new things are tried, but I hope you can find something of use to you as the year goes on. 

As a district, we've administered the Aimsweb tests. Through this testing, we've begun to sort kids into groups based on needs. We have 5 phonics groups, these are our Tier 3 students and will receive 60 minutes of additional reading support in very intense and structured ways. We have two fluency groups, who make up our Tier 2 groups, these groups receive 30 minutes of additional support. Lastly we have two groups of high fliers that are doing enrichment activities for 30 minutes a day.

Up until today, we've been like Linus without his blanket. There were piles of resources, there was data showing kids and their needs, but we didn't have a chance to teach the material, see what worked, and well... there was just been a lot of anxiety. That ends today. In T-10 minutes our first groups arrive. Backwards testing begins and starting tomorrow we move forward.

I'll be posting ideas, how things go, and lesson ideas here soon! Wish us luck!


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing what your school is starting! When do you squeeze in these extra tiers of instruction? That is the hardest part for me. Everyone thinks something is too important to be eliminated to make time for interventions, but there are only so many hours in a school day. I'm just not sure when to squeeze it all in.

    We are ALL Special!

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    Replies
    1. Well, this whole process was suppose to start at the beginning of the year, but things are a lot more time consuming/intensive than originally thought. The administrator was fore-thinking, in that he created two "MTSS" blocks. Both for 30 minutes towards the end of the day. The first block of time, all three tiers are getting "reading skills", only tier 3 students are gone during both blocks of time.

      For the first half of the year, teachers used one time slot for independent reading and the other spelling. Now, spelling is essentially "gone". My groups (short/long vowels) still do spelling but it is very basic, they don't necessarily get a grade for it, I use it more for formative assessment.

      Getting rid of spelling on the grade card was debated (as there is parent support for it, since it's easier to help with) but, we are hoping there is good movement by the end of the year and that it would just become too much of a headache to change where the grades would come from in the grade book.

      I hope this answered your question! :)

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