Does it actually help to monitor students’ progress and adjust instruction on the basis of how they are doing? Deborah Simmons and her colleagues provided compelling evidence that, within a tier-2 implementation of the Early Reading Intervention (ERI) program at the Kindergarten level, it surely does.
Although it was published online earlier, in the May 2015 issue of Journal of Learning Disabilities, Professor Simmons and her team described a study in which they compared the reading performace of children for whom teachers had made adjustments in the pacing of instruction, either providing additional practice on lessons or skipping lessons, to the reading performance of children who had not received the adjustments. The adjustments were based on frequent assessments of students’ progress through the ERI program.
Among the children who received the adjustment, they identified four different groups. The graphic at the right, taken from Simmons et al. (2015) Figure 2, depicts the four groups, as described in the following list.
How does one know whether one’s teaching is working? That’s a dang important question. Over on myIGDIs, Scott McConnell provides a quick and clear introduction to the answer. In How Do I Know if My Classroom Practices Are Working?, Professor McConnell explains that one needs (a) goals or standards, (b) points of comparison against which to assess change or difference, and (c) trustworthy ways of measuring students’ performance, if one is to assess the effects of one’s teaching.
Although Professor McConnell’s analysis is aimed primarily at early childhood education, it’s base is general enough to be applicable across age groups. He’s talking about Individual Growth and Development Indicators, or IGDIs. Those are important tools in an effective educator’s apron. I’m thinking myIGDIs, which provides research-based, preschool language and literacy measures, looks like a valuable site. These link nicely to RtI, CBM, and other models that align with monitoring progress systematically.
Robert Slavin and colleagues reported that reading programs that provide extensive professional development on instructional strategies which promote student participation, strengthen phonics competence, and explicitly teach comprehension strategies are the best bets for improving reading achievement. The clearest examples of the programs that led to the highest achievement were Direct Instruction and Success for All.
Writing in the December 2009 issue of the Review of Educational Research, Professor Slavin and colleagues reported the results of their examination of 142 studies. They wanted to determine whether curricula, technology, instructional processes, or combinations of curricula and processes produce greater reading achievement. The curriculum group included core reading programs, such as Reading Street and Open Court Reading. The technology group included programs that employ computers or similar methods such as computer-assisted instruction, multimedia (e.g., Reading Reels, or Writing to Read). The instructional process group included approaches that provide teachers effective strategies for teaching reading, such as Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) and Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC). The combined curriculum-and-instructional-process group included programs that function as core curricula and also provide detailed professional development about using instructional strategies, such as Direct Instruction and Success for All. The researchers separated the studies into two groups: those with outcomes at the (a) beginning reading level vs. upper elementary level. Continue reading ‘Go for DI and SFA’
The IRIS Center will contribute expertise about curriculum-based assessment to a pending webinar about response-to-instruction.
WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp website will feature another free webinar, “Response to Intervention: Online Professional Development Modules and Resources for Classroom Assessment,” on Wednesday, February 18, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time (1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time).
This interactive webinar will highlight free online professional development modules and resources provided by the IRIS (IDEA ’04 and Research for Inclusive Settings) Center for Training Enhancements to support the validated practice of monitoring students’ progress and curriculum-based assessment, a cornerstone of Response to Intervention (RtI). The presenters – Silvia DeRuvo, Senior Program Associate at the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd; Kimberly Skow, Project Coordinator of The IRIS Center; and Debbie DeBerry, practicing School Psychologist in Hardeman County, Tennessee – will discuss how these online professional development resources have been used to assist teachers in the essential practice of progress monitoring. This webinar is cosponsored by SchoolsMovingUp, the IRIS Center, and the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd.
Over at Ed Week, Christina Samuels has a story about response to intervention. Under the headline “High Schools Try Out RTI,” she points out that using RtI with students in secondary schools requires adaptations: “Using the framework with older students poses challenges, but shows promise.”
“Response to intervention” as a model for boosting student achievement has taken off like wildfire.
When it comes to research on how best to implement the process for students in middle and high school, though, the flame abruptly fizzles out. There’s little RTI research that is specific to secondary schools, although it has been well studied at the elementary level.
Link to Ms. Samuels’ article (subscription required, but one can read a few articles every so often by adding one’s address to a mailing list). Also, for those who’ve not discovered it yet, Teach Effectively has a set of slides by Charles Hughes and Don Deshler that addresses how RtI may be applied in secondary schools.
In the chat section of Education Week there is a transcript of a discussion of the implications of response to intervention (or instruction; RtI) for classrooms. Although the questions they answer cover much broader scope than classroom instruction (e.g., roles of administrators, counselors, and psychologists), Judy Elliot and Doug Fuchs provide responses to many instructional matters in the transcript. Continue reading ‘RtI implications’
Everyone’s talking about it, but not everyone’s convinced that response to intervention will prove as helpful as we hope. In “‘Response to Intervention’ Sparks Interest, Questions: Critics say approach depends on too many complex factors,” Christina A. Samuels of Ed Week presents some of these concerns. In a news piece that is unusual in its balance (Ed Week does better with balance in education issues than its popular siblings, in my view), Ms. Samuels starts with the usual anecdote—the Tigard-Tualatin (OR, US) local education agency has a program that has attracted many visitors—and quickly goes to the controversy.
As educators in Tigard-Tualatin and elsewhere are learning, a lot of people want to see what they are doing. Response to intervention—an educational framework that promises to raise achievement through modification of lesson plans based on frequent “progress monitoring”—is one of the most-discussed education topics today.
Teach Effectively provides news and commentary about evidence-based instructional practices. We focus on educational methods that have proven track records; that focus allows us to spend time lampooning some pop-ed fads, whims, and bologna-based innovations.