RTI Classroom Teacher ToolkitTier 1: Building a Toolkit for ClassroomTeachers as Intervention ‘FirstResponders’Jim Wright, Presenter9 September 2016The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union FreeSchool DistrictJim Wright364 Long RoadTully, NY 13159Email: [email protected] Materials: ton schools

Jim Wright, Presenter2RTI Classroom Teacher ToolkitTier 1: Instruction & Interventionhttp://www.interventioncentral.org2

Jim Wright, Presenter‘How the Common Core Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wright3www.interventioncentral.orgHow To: Implement Strong Core InstructionWhen teachers must present challenging academic material to struggling learners, they can make thatmaterial more accessible and promote faster learning by building assistance directly into instruction.Researchers use several terms to refer to this increased level of student instructional support: explicitinstruction, direct instruction, supported instruction (Rosenshine, 2008).The checklist below summarizes the essential elements of a supported-instruction approach. Whenpreparing lesson plans, instructors can use this resource as a 'pre-flight' checklist to make sure that theirlessons reach the widest range of diverse learners.1. Increase Access to InstructionInstructional Element Instructional Match. Lesson content is appropriately matched tostudents' abilities (Burns, VanDerHeyden, & Boice, 2008). Content Review at Lesson Start. The lesson opens with a brief reviewof concepts or material that have previously been presented. (Burns,VanDerHeyden, & Boice, 2008, Rosenshine, 2008). Preview of Lesson Goal(s). At the start of instruction, the goals of thecurrent day's lesson are shared (Rosenshine, 2008). Chunking of New Material. The teacher breaks new material intosmall, manageable increments, 'chunks', or steps (Rosenshine, 2008).2. Provided 'Scaffolding' SupportInstructional Element Detailed Explanations & Instructions. Throughout the lesson, theteacher provides adequate explanations and detailed instructions for allconcepts and materials being taught (Burns, VanDerHeyden, & Boice,2008). Think-Alouds/Talk-Alouds. When presenting cognitive strategies thatcannot be observed directly, the teacher describes those strategies forstudents. Verbal explanations include ‘talk-alouds’ (e.g., the teacherdescribes and explains each step of a cognitive strategy) and ‘thinkalouds’ (e.g., the teacher applies a cognitive strategy to a particularproblem or task and verbalizes the steps in applying the strategy)(Burns, VanDerHeyden, & Boice, 2008, Rosenshine, 2008). Work Models. The teacher makes exemplars of academic work (e.g.,essays, completed math word problems) available to students for useas models (Rosenshine, 2008). Active Engagement. The teacher ensures that the lesson engagesthe student in ‘active accurate responding’ (Skinner, Pappas & Davis,2005) often enough to capture student attention and to optimizelearning. Collaborative Assignments. Students have frequent opportunities towork collaboratively--in pairs or groups. (Baker, Gersten, & Lee, 2002;Gettinger & Seibert, 2002). Checks for Understanding. The instructor regularly checks for studentunderstanding by posing frequent questions to the group rgNotesNotes3

Jim Wright, Presenter‘How the Common Core Works’ Series 2013 Jim Group Responding. The teacher ensures full class participation andboosts levels of student attention by having all students respond invarious ways (e.g., choral responding, response cards, white boards) toinstructor questions (Rosenshine, 2008). High Rate of Student Success. The teacher verifies that students areexperiencing at least 80% success in the lesson content to shape theirlearning in the desired direction and to maintain student motivation andengagement (Gettinger & Seibert, 2002). Brisk Rate of Instruction. The lesson moves at a brisk rate--sufficientto hold student attention (Carnine,1976; Gettinger & Seibert, 2002). Fix-Up Strategies. Students are taught fix-up strategies (Rosenshine,2008) for use during independent work (e.g., for defining unknownwords in reading assignments, for solving challenging math wordproblems).3. Give Timely Performance FeedbackInstructional Element Regular Feedback. The teacher provides timely and regularperformance feedback and corrections throughout the lesson asneeded to guide student learning (Burns, VanDerHeyden, & Boice). Step-by-Step Checklists. For multi-step cognitive strategies, theteacher creates checklists for students to use to self-monitorperformance (Rosenshine, 2008).4. Provide Opportunities for Review & PracticeInstructional Element Spacing of Practice Throughout Lesson. The lesson includespractice activities spaced throughout the lesson. (e.g., through teacherdemonstration; then group practice with teacher supervision andfeedback; then independent, individual student practice) (Burns,VanDerHeyden, & Boice). Guided Practice. When teaching challenging material, the teacherprovides immediate corrective feedback to each student response.When the instructor anticipates the possibility of an incorrect response,that teacher forestalls student error through use of cues, prompts, orhints. The teacher also tracks student responding and ensuressufficient success during supervised lessons before having studentspractice the new skills or knowledge independently (Burns,VanDerHeyden, & Boice, 2008). Support for Independent Practice. The teacher ensures that studentshave adequate support (e.g., clear and explicit instructions; teachermonitoring) to be successful during independent seatwork practiceactivities (Rosenshine, 2008). Distributed Practice. The teacher reviews previously taught contentone or more times over a period of several weeks or months (Pashler etal., 2007; Rosenshine & Stevens, 4

Jim Wright, Presenter‘How the Common Core Works’ Series 2013 Jim Wright5www.interventioncentral.orgReferencesBaker, S., Gersten, R., & Lee, D. (2002).A synthesis of empirical research on teaching mathematics to low-achievingstudents. The Elementary School Journal, 103(1), 51-73.Burns, M. K., VanDerHeyden, A. M., & Boice, C. H. (2008). Best practices in intensive academic interventions. In A.Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp.1151-1162). Bethesda, MD: NationalAssociation of School Psychologists.Carnine, D.W. (1976). Effects of two teacher presentation rates on off-task behavior, answering correctly, andparticipation. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 9, 199-206.Gettinger, M., & Seibert, J.K. (2002). Best practices in increasing academic learning time. In A. Thomas (Ed.), Bestpractices in school psychology IV: Volume I (4th ed., pp. 773-787). Bethesda, MD: National Association of SchoolPsychologists.Pashler, H., Bain, P., Bottge, B., Graesser, A., Koedinger, K., McDaniel, M., and Metcalfe, J. (2007) OrganizingInstruction and Study to Improve Student Learning (NCER 2007-2004). Washington, DC: National Center for EducationResearch, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from, B. (2008). Five meanings of direct instruction. Center on Innovation & Improvement. Retrieved fromhttp://www.centerii.orgRosenshine, B., & Stevens, R. (1995). Functions for teaching well-structured tasks. Journal of Educational Research,88, 262–268.Skinner, C. H., Pappas, D. N., & Davis, K. A. (2005). Enhancing academic engagement: Providing opportunities forresponding and influencing students to choose to respond. Psychology in the Schools, 42, 389-403.http://www.interventioncentral.org5

Jim Wright, Presenter6How To: Define Academic Problems: The First Step in EffectiveIntervention PlanningStudents who struggle with academic deficits do not do so in isolation. Their difficulties are played out in the largercontext of the school environment and curriculum—and represent a ‘mismatch’ between the characteristics of thestudent and the instructional demands of the classroom (Foorman & Torgesen, 2001). It may surprise educators tolearn that the problem-identification step is the most critical for matching the student to an effective intervention(Bergan, 1995). Problem identification statements should be defined in clear and specific terms sufficient to pass ‘thestranger test’ (Howell, Hosp, & Kurns, 2008). That is, the student problem can be judged as adequately defined if aperson with no background knowledge of the case and equipped only with the problem-identification statement canobserve the student in the academic setting and know with confidence when the problem behavior is displayed andwhen it is not.Here are recommendations for increasing teacher capacity to frame student skills in relation to curriculumrequirements, describe student academic problems in specific terms, and generate a hypothesis about why theproblem is occurring.1. Know the Common Core. Academic abilities can best be described in terms of the specific curriculum skills orknowledge that students are required to demonstrate. The Common Core State Standards for English LanguageArts and Mathematics are an excellent starting point. Teachers should have a firm grasp of the Common Corestandards for ELA and Math at their instructional grade level. They should also know those standards extendingto at least two grades below the current grade to allow them to better match students who are off-levelacademically to appropriate intervention strategies.2. Describe the academic problem in specific, skill-based terms with a meaningful instructional context(Batsche et al., 2008; Upah, 2008). Write a clear, brief description of the academic skill or performance deficitthat focuses on a specific skill or performance area. Include information about the conditions under which theacademic problem is observed and typical or expected level of performance. Conditions. Describe the environmental conditions or task demands in place when the academic problem isobserved.Problem Description. Describe the actual observable academic behavior with which the student hasdifficulty. If available, include specifics about student performance, such as rate of work, accuracy, or otherrelevant quantitative information.Typical or Expected Level of Performance. Calculate a typical or expected performance criterion for this skillor behavior. Typical or expected academic performance can be calculated using a variety of sources, suchas benchmark norms, local (classroom) norms, or expert opinion.Academic Problems: Sample DefinitionsProblem DescriptionEnvironmentalConditions or TaskDemands Ann is unable to translate thatWhen completing aword problem into an equation withbeginning-level algebravariables word problem During social studieslarge-group instruction Franklin attends to instruction anaverage of 45% of the time http://www.interventioncentral.orgTypical or Expected Level ofPerformance while most peers in her classhave mastered this skill. while peers in the same roomattend to instruction an average of85% of the time.6

Jim Wright, PresenterFor science homework Tye turns in assignments anaverage of 50% of the time On weekly 30-minute inclass writingassignments Angela produces compositionsthat average 145 words 7 while the classroom medianrate of homework turned in is90%. while a sampling of peercompositions shows that thetypical student writes an averageof 254 words.3. Develop a hypothesis statement to explain the academic skill or performance problem. The hypothesisstates the assumed reason(s) or cause(s) for the student’s academic problems. Once it has been developed, thehypothesis statement acts as a compass needle, pointing toward interventions that most logically address thestudent academic problems. Listed below are common reasons for academic problems. Note that more than onehypothesis may apply to a particular student (e.g., a student may have both a skill deficit and a motivationdeficit). Academic Problems: Possible Hypotheses & ct,explicitinstruction to acquire the skill.Skill Deficit. The stu dent has not yetReinforce the student for effort and accuracy.acquired the skill.Fluency Deficit. The student has acquired Provide opportunities for the student to practice theskill and give timely performance feedback.the basic skill but is not yet proficient.Reinforce the student for fluency as well asaccuracy.Give the student frequent opportunities for practiceRetention Deficit. The student canacquire the skill but has difficulty retaining to entrench a skill and help the student to retain itover time. Begin by scheduling more numerousit over an extended period.practice episodes within a short time ('massedreview') to promote initial fluency and thenstrengthen longer-term skill retention by schedulingadditional periodic review ('distributed review')across longer spans of several weeks or more.Consider these ideas to boost endurance:Endurance. The student can do the skill In structuring lessons or independent work,but engages in it only for brief periods.gradually lengthen the period of time that thestudent spends in skills practice or use. Have the student self-monitor activeengagement in skill-building activities--settingdaily, increasingly ambitious work goals andthen tracking whether he or she successfullyreaches those goals.Train the student to identify the relevantGeneralization Deficit. The studentpossesses the basic skill but fails to use it characteristics of situations or settings when the skillshould be used. Provide incentives for the student toacross appropriate situations or settings.use the skill in the appropriate settings.Use various strategies to engage the student in theMotivation (Performance) Deficit. Theskill (e.g., select high-interest learning activities;student is capable of performing the skilloffer incentives to the student for successful use ofand can identify when use of the skill isthe skill, etc.).appropriate—but nonetheless is notmotivated to use the skill.http://www.interventioncentral.org7

Jim Wright, Presenter8ReferencesBatsche, G. M., Castillo, J. M., Dixon, D. N., & Forde, S. (2008). Best practices in designing, implementing, andevaluating quality interventions. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp. 177193). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.Bergan, J. R. (1995). Evolution of a problem-solving model of consultation. Journal of Educational and PsychologicalConsultation, 6(2), 111-123.Christ, T. (2008). Best practices in problem analysis. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in schoolpsychology V (pp. 159-176). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.Fennell, F., Faulkner, L. R., Ma, L., Schmid, W., Stotsky, S., Wu, H., & Flawn, T. (2008). Foundations for success:The final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel: Chapter 3: Report of the task group on conceptualknowledge and skills. U.S., Department of Education: Washington, D.C. Retrieved /reports.htmlFoorman, B. R., & Torgesen, J. (2001). Critical elements of classroom and small-group instruction promote readingsuccess in all children. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16, 203-212.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 SchoolPsychologists.Upah, K. R. F. (2008). Best practices in designing, implementing, and evaluating quality interventions. In A. Thomas& J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp. 209-223). Bethesda, MD: National Association ofSchool Psychologists.http://www.interventioncentral.org8

Jim Wright, Presenter9How To: Create a Written Record of Classroom InterventionsWhen general-education students begin to struggle with academic or behavioral issues, the classroom teacher willtypically select and implement one or more evidence-based intervention strategies to assist those students. But astrong intervention plan needs more than just well-chosen interventions. It also requires 4 additional components(Witt, VanDerHeyden, & Gilbertson, 2004): (1) student concerns should be clearly and specifically defined; (2) one ormore methods of formative assessment should be used to track the effectiveness of the intervention; (3) baselinestudent data should be collected prior to the intervention; and (4) a goal for student improvement should becalculated before the start of the intervention to judge whether that intervention is ultimately successful. If a singleone of these essential 4 components is missing, the intervention is to be judged as fatally flawed (Witt,VanDerHeyden, & Gilbertson, 2004) and as not meeting minimum Response to Intervention standards.Teachers need a standard format to use in documenting their classroom intervention plans. The ClassroomIntervention Planning Sheet that appears later in this article is designed to include all of the essential documentationelements of an effective intervention plan. The form includes space to document: Case information. In this first section of the form, the teacher notes general information, such as the name of thetarget student, the adult(s) responsible for carrying out the intervention, the date the intervention plan is beingcreated, the expected start and end dates for the intervention plan, and the total number of instructional weeksthat the intervention will be in place. Most importantly, this section includes a description of the student problem;research shows that the most significant step in selecting an effective classroom intervention is to correctlyidentify the target student concern(s) in clear, specific, measureable terms (Bergan, 1995).Intervention. The teacher describes the evidence-based intervention(s) that will be used to address the identifiedstudent concern(s). As a shortcut, the instructor can simply write the intervention name in this section and attacha more detailed intervention script/description to the intervention plan.Materials. The teacher lists any materials (e.g., flashcards, wordlists, worksheets) or other resources (e.g.,Internet-connected computer) necessary for the intervention.Training. If adults and/or the target student require any training prior to the intervention, the teacher recordsthose training needs in this section of the form.Progress-Monitoring. The teacher selects a method to monitor student progress during the intervention. For themethod selected, the instructor records what type of data is to be used, collects and enters student baseline(starting-point) information, calculates an intervention outcome goal, and notes how frequently he or she plans tomonitor the intervention.A completed example of the Classroom Intervention Planning Sheet that includes a math computation interventioncan be found later in this article.While a simple intervention documentation form is a helpful planning tool, schools should remember that teachers willneed other resources and types of assistance as well to be successful in selecting and using classroominterventions. For example, teachers should have access to an ‘intervention menu’ that contains evidence-basedstrategies to address the most common academic and behavioral concerns and should be able to get coachingsupport as they learn how to implement new classroom intervention ideas.ReferencesBergan, J. R. (1995). Evolution of a problem-solving model of consultation. Journal of Educational and PsychologicalConsultation, 6(2), 111-123.Witt, J. C., VanDerHeyden, A. M., & Gilbertson, D. (2004). Troubleshooting behavioral interventions. A systematicprocess for finding and eliminating problems. School Psychology