Strategies to help C students reach their potential while providing interventions for others who need tier two and tier three interventions
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Unfortunately, those situations where a group of students meets educators’ expectations, while others still require tier two and tier three interventions, can lead to complications for the educator, as one needs to work differently with students within the same class (Hannigan & Hauser, 2015).
For example, when focusing on positive behavior, those C students who require assistance just to reach their potential can be encouraged to develop a range of activities that can help others to reveal it. In the framework of literature classes, they can be asked to continue to write with personal composition. In this way, they would maintain varied activities that are targeted at mastering their skills and reach their potential, instead of being occupied with interventions for others.
Strategies to implement Tier One in the classroom
Effective classroom practices can be critical for the creation of an appropriate environment, one that is safe and relatively predictable. Implementing these, a teacher becomes able to ensure the engagement of all participants in the learning process. One should develop personal classroom expectations and rules and make sure that students know them.
Particular positive performance feedback for classroom activities should be considered so that students will be encouraged to work and exhibit expected behavior. In the same way, it is important to pay attention to inappropriate behavior. A teacher should prepare a response that will discourage it (MO SW-PBS Team, 2015). Circumspect teacher’s feedback is likely to be not only beneficial in the framework of Tier one intervention, but also for the organization of any class, as it can help the educator to overcome misunderstandings and cope with inappropriate student behavior.
Example of strategies for each Tier of RTI
Considering an English lesson, for example, one that focuses on common and proper nouns, I would use different strategies for each tier of RTI. In the framework of tier one, I would divide all students into groups and ask them to draw pictures that depict some common nouns (Special education guide, 2016). Then they would guess what is drawn, as well as provide a proper noun that relates to the picture (a book – the Bible; a girl – Sarah, etc.).
Thus, all students will be involved in the process, so that some would reach their potential, while others would have an opportunity to learn from such an example. An alternative assessment would be used and would be focused on the time students need to cope with the task, appropriateness of pictures, and several mistakes.
In tier two, students would be gathered in small groups, and their task would be limited only to one type of noun (common). They would be asked to select the appropriate noun from the list, draw it, and then give a partner a chance to guess the noun from the drawing. Proper nouns would be practiced in the same way, but separately. Thus, students would make fewer mistakes and would be more focused. The assessment would be based on informal observations of students’ progress.
In tier three, I would provide students with a list of nouns and ask them to select those that are in the common category, in thinking aloud. Then they would be encouraged to match them with the appropriate picture. The assessment would also be alternative and informal, so as not to interfere in the process and discourage students from working. They would be praised orally.
The key components that differentiate each tier of learning
Three tiers of learning are developed so that each of them becomes more explicit and involves more interventions and clarifications that are expected to assist students in reaching their potential. Tier one is mainly seen as the most general instruction, targeted at all students in a class. That is why it consists of high-quality instruction appropriate for diverse learners and involves frequent monitoring that allows identifying students who require further intervention.
Tier two, in its turn, consists of Tier one components and intensive targeted intervention for a group of no more than five individuals. Tier three would also utilize the components of previous tiers. In addition to that, it involves intensive individualized intervention, developed for the specific needs of a student (IRIS, 2016).
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Avoiding bias in assessments
Popham (2011) believes that bias is a thing that educators should try to avoid because it has an adverse influence on their assessment. In this way, its absence ensures a better quality of judgment. He claims that assessment bias cannot be totally avoided, and professionals can only try to reduce it. They can deliberately check tests for the presence of biases or call on review panels. The teachers should use neutral terms and standard language without slang and colloquialisms. They need to pay attention to tone and avoid a condescending one. Such characteristics as age, race, religion, etc. should not be used.
Reasons for using bias as a crutch
I believe that bias is a thing that cannot be avoided in the educational framework. Teachers are also human beings, and it is normal for them to experience various emotions when working with different students. For example, students who work hard tend to appeal more to educators, which influences their grades and the amount of work that should be done.
Biases can also occur in giving instructions when the teacher starts speaking their mind. In this way, bias tends to appear as an uncontrolled element (Rouse, 2005). It allows educators to save time and effort, as they judge everything using this crutch. It is difficult to avoid bias while one is working to control behavior and plan instructions. Still, fair judgment is critical, and professionals should not be lazy, as their task is to ensure a decent environment.
Feedback to parents about their children’s monthly performance on the benchmark assessments
The feedback about monthly performance that parents will receive should look like a personal conversation with them, during which children’s problems and their achievements will be highlighted. Raw data just number, but parents should also know if children are making progress, regardless of poor grades and mistakes.
Assessments should show where improvement is needed, but not serve as proof of poor results. They are intended to adapt future lessons and to measure progress, but not to show weaknesses and discourage students. They also should not be connected with any biases, and should not influence future judgments (Buros Center for Testing, 2016).
Pros and cons in working with RTI
I believe that RTI has more pros than cons because it allows the definition of children’s weaknesses and strengths. Knowing this information, teachers will have an opportunity to align the educational process so that each child can reach higher results than through an ordinary class. It is appropriate for all ages and all types of students.
When referring to RTI, the teacher can enhance the learners’ confidence. One can apply it when working with various subjects. The number of cons is not that great, and they are not likely to have an enormously adverse impact on the learners. Cons mainly include only the necessity to group students according to their skills, and the possibility of missing normal classes (Williams, 2010).
Ways for states to help in funding data teams
For RTI to be effectively used and provide a positive influence on the educational environment, professionals and the government should consider the possibility of funding. In this way, states can leverage funds for data teams, using funding obtained through taxes, volunteered, etc.
The money can be provided by the business and educational volunteer organizations that are interested in attracting attention through this kind of assistance. Special programs aimed at obtaining more funds can be established. Professional development efforts may also be implemented. District leaders and active members of the community can be involved in the search for funds (Washington, 2015).
Buros Center for Testing. (2016). Competency standards in student assessment for educational administrators.
Hannigan, J., & Hauser, L. (2015). The PBIS Tier one handbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
IRIS. (2016). A quick overview of RTI.
MO SW-PBS Team. (2015). Chapter 8: Effective classroom practices.
Popham, W.J. (2011). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
Rouse, M. (2005). Bias.
Special education guide. (2016).
Washington, W. (2015). A case study of RTI data teams.
Williams, P. (2010). RTI: Response to intervention.