RTI with Differentiated Instruction, Grades 6–8: A Classroom Teacher's Guide

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Jodi O'Meara

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    Acknowledgments

    Thank you is not even close to enough to say to the best editor and associate editor who ever lived! Hudson and Allison, you have been so great to me. I have enjoyed getting to know you. As soon as we met, I felt I had known you for years as dear friends. You are treasures and I am so grateful that you came into my life. You have given me such a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn and take on new challenges. Through it all you have provided me guidance and encouragement along with friendship. You are both so special to me and I am indebted to you both and honored to call you my friends.

    Once again, thank you, mom. You have been the wind beneath my wings along with the wings themselves. You have helped me with the practical aspects of the book and have been my biggest cheerleader. It's so cool to see you beam with pride! Thank you for your strength, wisdom, guidance, and unconditional love and support as a mom and best friend.

    I need and want to also thank my other “mom,” Janie Bartels, who has been my Florida mom for more than 10 years. You have also been there for me with unconditional support and friendship. You have encouraged me and cheered me on as well. I could not make it through a week without you!

    Thank you, Patrick Ewin, for your personal tutoring to help me with the accuracy of this book. I appreciate your expertise as a statistician and, even more, your friendship.

    Thank you, my brother Jon, for your insight and contributions (laughter) in the editing process.

    Thank you to my dear friend Dr. Shelby Roberson. Your friendship and knowledge have been invaluable to me. Thank you for lending me a shoulder to stress on, an ear to bend, and a critical eye to improve. Thank you for your expertise and help, most of all for your friendship and smiles.

    Thank you to Ronda Gregg, Director of Special Education in Litchfield, New Hampshire, and Martha Kessler of Orange County for your feedback and perspectives. You were both certainly an encouragement!

    Thank you to Dr. Mary Little, who has provided me with so many opportunities to grow and learn. You have been a role model to me as a lifelong and enthusiastic learner.

    Another huge thank you to my special friend and partner from the Florida Inclusion Network, Mike Muldoon. You have been a great friend and professional development partner for some time now. I am so fortunate to work and grow with you. Thanks for your support on this project and all my endeavors.

    On a personal note, thank you, grandpa and grandma, Fred and Ruth Choate. You are amazing and I am so pleased to make you proud of me. Thank you to Jeff, Michelle, Emily, and Jennifer. Thanks Jon, Susanne, Aidan, and Elijah. Family is always my happy place and the source of my strength and motivation.

    A big, words-can't-express-my-appreciation to Russell. Again, with another project, you have been patient with this through all the nights and weekends that you waited. Thank you for your love, support, and encouragement. It is great to see how proud you are of me.

    Finally, I can't go without saying thank you to so many educators in Manatee County who have left me speechless and moved by the amount of support and friendship you have shown with Beyond Differentiated Instruction and this latest endeavor. I have been so touched by the support of and shared happiness for my accomplishments. It has been so much more special to share it with so many friends.

    Publisher's Acknowledgments

    Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:

    • Angela Becton
    • Gifted Program Specialist
    • Johnston County Schools
    • Smithfield, NC
    • Shelly Dostal
    • K–6 Principal and Curriculum Director
    • Raymond Central Public Schools
    • Valparaiso, NE
    • Ronda Gregg, EdD
    • Director of Special Services
    • Litchfield School District
    • Litchfield, NH
    • Shelby Robertson
    • Associate Director of Mathematics
    • RTI Teaching Learning Connections
    • University of Central Florida
    • Orlando, Fl
    • David Tudor
    • Instructional and Assessment Specialist and Educational Consultant
    • Washougal School District
    • Washougal, WA

    About the Author

    Jodi O'Meara is an independent educational consultant, of Jodi O'Meara, Inc. She also serves in Manatee County, Florida, as a curriculum specialist for students with special needs. Jodi provides professional development for educators and administrators at local, state, national, and international conferences and workshops. With over 15 years as a teacher and administrator of general education, special education, and gifted education, she recognizes the diverse needs of students and teachers. Her own experiences with differentiated instruction were first evident in the multiple stories of her teaching in Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul (2002). More recently, Jodi shared her expertise as an author with Corwin in Beyond Differentiated Instruction (2010).

    Jodi specializes in the areas of differentiated instruction for both students with special needs and students identified as gifted. She is a former president of the Florida Association for the Gifted and is on the board of directors for the Family Network on Disabilities in her local area. She has been involved with writing state curriculum for students in general education, gifted students, and those identified as having significant disabilities.

    Jodi is a strong advocate for both teachers and students. She believes that teachers hold the keys to our future and that the students of today have amazing and unlimited potential. She believes that with changes to the educational system allowing for educators to honor different strengths and needs, it is possible to foster every student in reaching his or her highest potential. Jodi is committed to supporting teachers in making that difference. She can be reached at jodi@jodiomeara.com.

  • Resources

    Principles of Response to Intervention/Instruction
    • All students are included in the RTI framework.
    • All students are every person's responsibility.
    • Collaboration is essential for success.
    • Student needs are met as soon as they are recognized, not only after receiving a label from a special program.
    • Progress monitoring guides decisions about curriculum and instruction for a student and for groups of students.
    • The rate of progress is as important as the amount of progress made.
    • Some students will need supports and services beyond the core curriculum.
    • Behavior and academic performances are interrelated.
    • Expectations must be clear for students to be successful.
    • Student performance is measured in relation to the clearly stated expectations.
    • A teacher must recognize and acknowledge when something is not working.
    • Data drives decision making.
    • Multiple sources of data provide the most detailed picture of a student.
    • Tiers of RTI indicate levels of supports, not types of students.
    • Tiers are aligned so that a more intensive service supports success at a less intensive level.
    • Remediation and intervention are aligned to the core curriculum.
    • Quality core instruction in Tier 1 is the foundation for RTI.
    • When a group of students all struggle to experience success, instruction must be examined.
    • Flexible grouping is one way to provide reteaching and remediation in the classroom.
    • Supports exist outside the school setting, and collaboration with the families and agencies providing these supports is essential.
    The Process of Differentiated Instruction

    Step 1: Examine standards and objectives to be taught. Determine the type of knowledge demanded of the standard and/or objective.

    Step 2: Establish the conceptual understanding related to the facts and skills required.

    Step 3: For any fact or skill, determine the level of fluency needed for mastery.

    Step 4: Design independent student activities that incorporate the facts and skills to be addressed along with accommodations for students who need support in achieving mastery of the facts and skills.

    Step 5: Reflect on personal knowledge and attitudes related to resources, the content, and the students.

    Step 6: Pre-assess students in the areas of knowledge of facts, skills, conceptual understandings, experiences, attitudes, motivations, and ideas.

    Step 7: Determine strategies for instruction at different levels of cognitive processing to include concrete, representational, and abstract processes.

    Step 8: Determine the flow of classroom activities to include individual, small-group, and whole-group instruction.

    Step 9: Determine benchmarks of student performance, and develop tools for ongoing measurement of progress.

    Step 10: Develop selections and criteria for the summative product or performance that accurately reflects the intended outcomes of the unit.

    Critical Data Processing Questions for Tier 1 Problem Solving for Groups

    Standard, topic, skill, or concept being examined:

    What is the expectation or goal for this standard, topic, skill, or concept?

    Define the scope of the problem:

    • How many or what percentage of the students across the classroom are considered to be performing below expectations or standards?
    • How many or what percentage of the students across the grade level are considered to be performing below expectations or standards?
    • How many or what percentage of the students across the school are considered to be performing below expectations or standards?
    • How many or what percentage of the students across the district are considered to be performing below expectations or standards?

    At what level is there a problem?

    Class Grade School District

    Analyze the problem:

    What is currently being done consistently at the level in which there is a problem?

    Create a hypothesis:

    Why is the problem occurring? Which areas above may be problematic?

    What would help the situation?

    Develop the instruction/intervention design:

    Create a follow-up plan:

    Copyright © 2011 by Corwin. All rights reserved. Reprinted from RTI With Differentiated Instruction, Grades 6–8: A Classroom Teacher's Guide, by Jodi O'Meara. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, http://www.corwin.com. Reproduction authorized only for the local school site or nonprofit organization that has purchased this book.

    Critical Data Processing Questions for Tier 1 Problem Solving for an Individual

    Standard, topic, skill, or concept being examined:

    What is the expectation or goal for this standard, topic, skill, or concept?

    Define the scope of the problem:

    • How is the student performing in relation to the expectation or goal?
    • How is the student performing in relation to peers in the district?
    • How is the student performing in relation to peers in the school?
    • How is the student performing in relation to peers in grade level?
    • How is the student performing in relation to peers in the class?
    • Are the data consistent across different measures?

    Analyze the problem:

    Consider each of the following in relation to the concern.

    Create a hypothesis:

    Why is the problem occurring? Which areas above may be problematic?

    What would help this student?

    Develop the instruction/intervention design:

    Considerations for the Development of an Intervention

    • The intervention must be research or evidence based.
    • The researched population must match the population of the students being considered for the intervention.
    • The intervention must be delivered with integrity and fidelity.
    • The person delivering the intervention must have the necessary knowledge and professional development to implement the intervention as stated in the research.
    • There must be support provided for the intervention plan by all stakeholders, including student and parent.
    • There must be consideration regarding the length of time the intervention will be provided.
    • The frequency with which the intervention will occur must be reasonable and match the intervention research recommendations.
    • There must be a method for monitoring and reporting progress established before beginning the implementation of the intervention.

    Copyright © 2011 by Corwin. All rights reserved. Reprinted from RTI With Differentiated Instruction, Grades 6–8: A Classroom Teacher's Guide, by Jodi O'Meara. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, http://www.corwin.com. Reproduction authorized only for the local school site or nonprofit organization that has purchased this book.

    Guiding Questions for Tier 2 Problem-Solving

    Analyze the problem:

    Consider each of the following in relation to the concern.

    Create a hypothesis:

    Why is the problem occurring? What do the data show as a specific targeted need or area of support?

    Develop the instruction/intervention design:

    Copyright © 2011 by Corwin. All rights reserved. Reprinted from RTI With Differentiated Instruction, Grades 6–8: A Classroom Teacher's Guide, by Jodi O'Meara. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, http://www.corwin.com. Reproduction authorized only for the local school site or nonprofit organization that has purchased this book.

    Considerations for Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 Supports and Services
    • Has the student had the opportunity to learn in the core instruction?
    • Is the Tier 2 instructional program or material research or evidence based, and has it been implemented with fidelity?
    • What evidence reflects that?
    • What accommodations or supports have been provided during the intervention session?
    • How often have data been collected?
    • Has there been any evidence of a positive response (high performance) by the student at any time? The key here is the individual responses, not necessarily successfully meeting the desired level of achievement.
    • Has there been an indicator of a positive response by peers receiving the same intervention?
    • Is the trend reliable for predictability (small area between upper and lower control limits)?
    • What differences exist between the student and peers receiving the same intervention?

    • Do the data seem to reflect an issue with programming or student learning? Programming issues are often reflected by a flat line on graphed data. Student learning issues are often reflected by inconsistent performance data. For behavioral issues, look at student learning considerations.

    Progress monitoring will be collected through the use of:

    Data and information will be reviewed on:

    Copyright © 2011 by Corwin. All rights reserved. Reprinted from RTI With Differentiated Instruction, Grades 6–8: A Classroom Teacher's Guide, by Jodi O'Meara. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, http://www.corwin.com. Reproduction authorized only for the local school site or nonprofit organization that has purchased this book.

    Steps of Problem Solving
    • Identify the specific targeted problem area.
    • Ensure that the quality core curriculum is being administered with fidelity and differentiated strategies that include accommodations.
    • Identify the gap between learner and desired outcome.
    • Identify the gap between learner and peers.
    • Identify a research- or evidence-based intervention that matches both the targeted problem area and the student.
    • Determine the desired level of performance that should result from the intervention.
    • Collect data to monitor progress.
    • Collaborate to interpret data and determine the intervention's effectiveness or the changes needed.
    • Gather any additional information to assist in further decisions if necessary.
    • Adjust intervention to provide the approach most likely to promote success if necessary.
    Additional Corwin Resources on RTI

    Using RTI to Teach Literacy to Diverse Learners, K-8, by Sheila Alber-Morgan, 2010.

    RTI for Diverse Learners, by Catherine Collier, 2010.

    Response to Intervention in Math, by Paul Riccomini, 2010.

    55 Tactics for Implementing RTI in Inclusive Settings, by Pam Campbell, 2009.

    Tier 3 of the RTI Model, by Sawyer Hunley, 2009.

    How RTI Works in Secondary Schools, by Evelyn Johnson, 2009.

    A Comprehensive RTI Model, by Cara Shores, 2009.

    RTI Assessment Essentials for Struggling Learners, by John Hoover, 2009.

    The One-Stop Guide for Implementing RTI, by Maryln Appelbaum, 2008.

    Using RTI for School Improvement, by Cara Shores, 2008.

    Additional Corwin Resources on Differentiated Instruction

    Beyond Differentiated Instruction, by Jodi O'Meara, 2010.

    Differentiation for Real Classrooms, by Kathleen Kryza, 2009.

    Differentiated Instructional Strategies for Reading in the Content Areas, 2nd Edition, by Carolyn Chapman, 2009.

    Lesson Design for Differentiated Instruction, Grades 4–9, by Kathy Tuchman Glass, 2009.

    Differentiating With Graphic Organizers, by Patti Drapeau, 2008.

    Differentiation Through Learning Styles and Memory, 2nd Edition, by Marilee Sprenger, 2008.

    Differentiated Instructional Strategies in Practice, 2nd Edition, by Gayle Gregory, 2008.

    Differentiated Instructional Strategies for Science, Grades K–8, by Gayle Gregory and Elizabeth Hammerman, 2008.

    Additional Corwin Resources on Collaboration

    The Practice of Authentic PLCs, by Daniel Venables, 2011.

    Collaboration and Co-Teaching, by Andrea Honigsfeld, 2010.

    Effective Collaboration for Educating the Whole Child, by Carol Kochhar-Bryant, 2010.

    Collaborative Teaching in Secondary Schools, by Wendy Murawski, 2009.

    Purposeful Co-Teaching, by Greg Conderman, 2008.

    A Guide to Co-Teaching With Paraeducators, by Ann Nevin, 2008.

    References

    Brown-Chidsey, R., Bronaugh, L., & McGraw, K. (2009). RTI in the classroom: Guidelines and recipes for success. New York: Guilford Press.
    Burns, M. K., & Coolong-Chaffin, M. (2006). Response to intervention: The role of and effect on school psychology. School Psychology Forum: Research and Practice, 1(1), 3–15.
    Covey, S. B. (1990). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. New York: Fireside.
    Dawkins, B. U., Kottkamp, R. B., & Johnston, C. A. (2010). Intentional teaching: The let me learn classroom in action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2001). Responsive curriculum design in secondary schools: Meeting the diverse needs of students. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
    Gardner, H. (1993). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
    Gentry, M. L. (1999). Promoting student achievement and exemplary classroom practices through cluster grouping: A research-based alternative to heterogeneous elementary classrooms. Storrs: University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
    Gregory, G. H., & Kuzmich, L. (2004). Data driven differentiation in the standards-based classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Gresham, F. M. (2007). The evolution of the RTI concept: Empirical foundations and recent developments. In S. R.Jimerson, M. K.Burns, & A. M.VanDerHeyden (Eds.), Handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention (pp. 10–24). New York: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-49053-3_2
    Howard, M. (2009). RtI from all sides: What every teacher needs to know. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
    Jimerson, S. R., Burns, M. K., & VanDerHeyden, A. M. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention. New York: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-49053-3
    Lipson, M., & Wixson, K. (2010). Successful approaches to RTI collaborative practices for improving K–12 literacy. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
    Madaus, G. F., & Stufflebeam, D. C. (1989). Educational evaluation: Classic works of Ralph W. Tyler. New York: Springer.
    Maslow, A. H. (1998). Toward a psychology of being. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
    Miller, J., & Desberg, P. (2009). Understanding and engaging adolescents. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Murawski, W. W. (2005). Addressing diverse needs through co-teaching: Take “baby steps.”Kappa Delta Pi Record, 41(2), 77–82.
    National Association of State Directors of Special Education. (2006). Response to intervention: Policy considerations and implementation. Alexandria, VA: Author.
    National Center on Response to Intervention. (2009). Progress monitoring tools chart. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from http://www.rti4success.org/chart/progressMonitoring/progressmonitoringtoolschart.htm
    National Center on Response to Intervention. (n.d.). What is RTI? Retrieved November 29, 2010, from http://www.rti4success.org/
    National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2006). Curriculum focal points for pre-kindergarten through grade 8 mathematics: A quest for coherence. Reston, VA: Author.
    O'Meara, J. (2010). Beyond differentiated instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Riccomini, P. J., & Witzel, B. S. (2010). Response to intervention in math. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Rudebusch, J. (2008). The source for RtI. East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems.
    Safer, N., & Fleischman, S. (2005). How student progress monitoring improves instruction. Educational Leadership, 62(5), 81–83.
    Shalaway, L. (2005). Learning to teach … not just for beginners (
    3rd ed.
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    Tomlinson, C. A. (2003). Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
    Tomlinson, C., Kaplan, S. N., Renzulli, J. S., Purcell, J. H., Leppien, J. H., & Burns, D. E. (2002). The parallel curriculum: A design to develop high potential and challenge high-ability learners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    Tucker, M. S., & Codding, J. B. (1998). Standards for our schools: How to set them, measure them, and reach them. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (
    2nd ed.
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    Corwin: A SAGE Company

    The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK-12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”


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