Students and How They Respond

by Darin Exstrom

You may be familiar with Response to Intervention (RTI) or you may not be, but it is a tiered program where teachers try and put students into an appropriate category to determine which type of teaching approaches would be more successful for them.  The 3rd tier needs more intensive supplementary instruction while tier 1 seems to only need mild supplementary instruction.  RTI is something that I have been thinking about this last year as it is an aspect that I would like to focus on more and more for students.  I have seen students sectioned off into these tears on a color-coded Excel document and I didn’t fully understand what I was seeing at the time.  I believe this would be a great idea to apply for any group of students and especially those groups that are very different in their range of abilities.

This RTI strategy would be further complemented by tiered lesson plans that have specific “specialized instruction” for tier 3 students and “more intensive supplemental instruction” in tier 2 (Bouke & Gargiulo, 2018, p. 59).  As humans, students are innately different in many ways and similar in so many others.  They have similar genetic makeup, yet they may have dramatically different personality tendencies or academic skills.  And academic skills encompasses a lot more than simply knowing and not knowing something; it also involves memory, attention, reading and writing fluency, social skills, and persistence.  The RTI program tries to bridge that gap with differences in academics.  For example, some students might see a math problem that makes sense to them where another student might see an ancient foreign language and will need more review and explanation to help solidify that math concept more for them.  

Work Cited

 Bouke, Emily C. & Gargiulo, Richard M. (2018). Instructional Strategies for Students With Mild, Moderate, and Severe Intellectual Disabilitiy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

 Saunders, Alicia F., Bethune, Keri S., Spooner, Fred, & Browder, Diane. (2013) Solving the Common Core Equation. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45:3, 24-33.