RTI stands for Response to Intervention and is used to reach the needs of all children by providing early instructional interventions. In Discovery Learning, when children need extra support the teaching team (lead teacher, ECSE teacher, MRC Representative and Classroom Assistant) in the classroom works together with the child in more explicit and purposeful teaching. One way we administer our interventions is to begin with individual assessments. By assessing children quarterly and when needed, we’re able to keep track of children’s progress and see areas of need and growth. One example is in our literacy assessments. Children are tested or bench marked on letter names, letter sounds, alliteration, rhyming, and picture naming in the fall, winter, and spring. With the help of the Minnesota Reading Corps, children are progress monitored throughout the school year. After the very first assessment in the fall, children who need some extra help will begin working with the classroom teacher or MRC representative to provide extra literacy support in small groups or one-on-one. After each literacy goal is achieved, a new goal is implemented until the child is at benchmark in each area of literacy.
Another form of RTI in the Discovery Learning classrooms is the Response to Intervention and the Pyramid Model. “The Pyramid Model provides a tiered intervention framework of evidence-based interventions for promoting the social, emotional, and behavioral development of young children” (Fox et al., 2003; Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006). The model describes three tiers of intervention practice:
- Tier 1: universal promotion for all children
- Tier 2: secondary preventions to address the intervention needs for children at risk of social emotional delays
- Tier 3: tertiary interventions needed for children with persistent challenges
One of the great advantages of working with RTI in our ECFE/SR program is the resources that are available to us. With the Pyramid Model (formally TACSEI) and High Five (ISD 728) a team is available to guide the staff and families in RTI interventions from behavior specialists, parent educators, coaches, and a school psychologist.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in a description of RTI in our Discovery Classrooms. There is so much being done daily in our environments for the achievement of every child’s academic and social-emotional success. With the implementation of RTI: early identification of children’s challenges is recognized, student’s are provided with instructional support, and children’s progress is monitored and assessed regularly. I hope it is reassuring to know that our program will do what is needed to ensure that every child will be successful and prepared for kindergarten.
For more information on RTI go to the Center for RTI in Early Childhood website at: www.crtiec.org To find information on Tier 2 and Tier 3 social emotional/behavior interventions, go to the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/ and for information on the Minnesota Reading Corps go to: www.minnesotareadingcorps.org
What are your thoughts on RTI interventions in preschool?