Response to intervention
I recently attended a mini-workshop on RTI (response to intervention) in Anniston, Alabama. It was a good one. I began the workshop thinking that RTI was just another name for BBSST (don’t even ask me to break that one down for you-I always forget!). To my understanding BBSST mainly dealt with accommodations/modifications to ensure a child’s success in GRADING-not really progress-which seems to be the way of the world with special education right now! BBSST made sure that if a child was in danger of failing that maybe:
1. decrease the amount of work 2. move them to a better spot in the classroom 3. give them some type of help/aid during an assessment
Things like this. Some accommodations/modifications are GREAT! But, others stink! I totally agree that if a child is having trouble staying focused/seeing the board/hearing who’s talking (whether they have been put into BBSST or NOT)-yes, they need to be moved to a more ideal spot in the room. BUT-the changes that we are usually asked to do require just getting the student to PASS, not really LEARN-and this, my friends, is what I have a problem with! 🙂
OK-now that I have rambled and lost my own train of thought (not to mention yours) let me get back to the point of this post. What I gained from this workshop is that RTI is not just a new name for BBSST-it is a new way of doing things. It’s really what we should have been doing all along (why does it take us so long to figure these things out???). RTI is essentially noticing a child that is near failing (or having problems/issues), identifying that child with other members of the RTI team, coming up with a plan to HELP (TEACH) that child, setting some goals and laying out a plan, trying to meet those goals by following that plan, meeting back after a specified amount of time to see what kind of progress has been made.
That’s it! Isn’t that what we should be doing anyway-even with our kids that aren’t close to failing but need our help?? It was really an eye-opening workshop! I’m glad I went. Here is a link to an RTI website that will help: http://www.rti4success.org/. The image below is a model of what RTI should look like at your school (I grabbed this off of the above website).
The presenter also did a fun thing that I have done (once) in my classroom and plan to do more. She had us work with a group and fill out an ABC Brainstorming sheet-get yours here:
We generated words that we already had linked in our minds concerning RTI. Then as the workshop continued we wrote down more words that we heard the presenter discuss or that came to mind. This is a handy tool to use with students (all students) as a “before” , “during”, and “after” reading activity. It drums up their prior knowledge, keeps them focused on the reading/lesson, and culminates or summarizes what they read! 🙂 AWESOME!
SO-when you hear RTI-Response to Intervention-just think: How can I respond to this child and this child and this child to ensure that they succeed? That’s what it’s all about!