3. 3 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Persisting to Support Students – As part of the course, Educating Exceptional Students, I researched and wrote a peer review paper on different ways of utilizing and implementing the Response-To-Intervention (RTI) model to support all students in their learning goals. While RTI has traditionally been used as a way to evaluate students with learning disabilities, different districts and schools across the nation have also used it as a similar framework guide for providing extension and challenge to gifted and talented students. In the particular district I student teach in, the RTI model has also become integrated in the the Professional Learning Communities in which teachers collaborate on student benchmark learning across classrooms.
Within my internship, the school I currently teach at has used the RTI model when evaluating students for special education services or additional support services in reading and math which we call Safety Net. These are normally pull-out programs targeted towards students that required tier 2 or tier 3 interventions in their learning. In an article by Johnson, Parker & Farah (2015) other school districts and States have developed several frameworks to apply RTI to gifted learners through a multi-tiered system which allows for differentiation, compacted curriculum and real-world projects and applications. Using the same principles from RTI, they examined gifted education frameworks such as the schoolwide enrichment model (SEM) and the levels-of-services approach (LOS).
Another way I have recently experienced the RTI model used outside of identifying learning disabilities is through collaborative PLC work. During the spring, same grade-level classrooms and teachers worked together to identify a learning area for their students, teach a unit, evaluate all students at that grade level, and then collaborate to set aside classroom time to perform interventions as a grade. While I was used to differentiating for students in my own classroom, the move towards more collective and collaborative work around student assessment and learning provided new perspectives and ideas on how to provide tier 2 interventions for struggling students. The article by Harlacher, Potter, & Weber (2015) provided a systematic approach on how to facilitate and discuss student achievement within a common grade level and to plan interventions accordingly. The insight and guidance from both these articles will greatly help me to contribute to future discussions on student learning progress in my future position.
Harlacher, J.E., Potter, J. B., & Weber, J. M. (2015). A team-based approach to improving core instructional reading practices within response to intervention. Intervention in School and Clinic, 50(4), 210-220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1053451214546405
Johnsen, S. K., Parker, S. L., & Farah, Y. N. (2015). Providing services for students with fits and talents within a response-to-intervention framework. Teaching Exceptional Children, 47(4), 226-233. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0040059915569358