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The Response to Intervention model is being used in schools across the U.S. According to many state guidelines, implementation of RTI should result in the early identification of students with academic and/or behavioral problems, put into place research-based “interventions” that help those youngsters succeed, and consistently monitor student progress to ensure that the interventions being used are working. In other words, RTI should serve as a safety net that “catches” students at risk of failure early, and provide immediate interventions that are carefully monitored. Undoubtedly, RTI has great potential to help many low-level and at-risk readers.
The RTI Process
1. A core reading program with minimal benchmarks is established.
Note: The core program is the basic instructional program that is generally used by 80% or more of all students.
2. All students in K-3 are screened with appropriate reading assessments to determine which students may be at risk of reading failure (typically, those reading below the established benchmarks for the core reading program).
3. Next, reading goals are established for students who may be at risk of reading failure and for those reading below level.
4. Research-based interventions are used with students individually or in small groups. Student progress is monitored often; interventions are continued, changed, or eliminated based on the progress of each student toward his or her reading goals.1
RTI: A Multi-Tiered Model
RTI’s multi-tiered model provides layers of increasingly intense interventions that respond to students’ specific academic and behavioral needs.
• Tier 1: Provides a high-quality core reading program.
• Tier 2: In addition to the core class instruction, this tier provides individual or small-group interventions (group size is about 1:5-10 students). The procedures used in Tier 2 should supplement and support the core reading activities. About 10%-15% of the student population require interventions at the Tier 2 level.
• Tier 3: Students who are not sufficiently helped at the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels move into Tier 3, where they receive more intensive, custom-designed interventions for individuals or small groups (group size is about 1:3 students). Approximately 5%-10% of students require interventions at the Tier 3 level.2
1. E. M. Mesmer & H. A. E. Mesmer, “Response to Intervention (RTI): What Teachers of Reading Need to Know,” The Reading Teacher, vol. 62(4), 2008, pp. 280-290.
2. Response to Intervention Guidance, Division of Curriculum, Texas Education Agency, 2009.
Suggestions for Using Reading Styles Interventions and Materials in RTI ProgramsTier 3