RtI: The Forgotten Tier – A Practical Guide for Building a Data-Driven Tier 1 Instructional Process
The great promise of RtI is the potential to reach and teach all students. That promise becomes a reality when the heart of an RtI system is a well-designed, Tier 1 program taught by well-prepared teachers who recognize the power of data to inform instruction. When all students receive good first instruction in such a system, the number of referrals for intervention goes down, proficient students maximize their learning, and gifted students grow intellectually.
Drawing on their experience with thousands of educators, the authors offer a step-by-step process for constructing a strong Tier 1 curriculum, identifying the essentials of data-driven instruction, and analyzing instructional strategies that lead to good first instruction for all students.
Designed for teachers and administrators grappling with the development and implementation of Response to Instruction and Intervention, more commonly referred to as RtI.
In our effort to translate the intent of RtI into practice, our observations and experiences with hundreds of educators have led us to focus on Tier 1. Even though what to use, when to use it, and how to access intervention in Tiers 2 and 3 are essential questions in an RtI model, we focus on the Tier 1 classroom as the foundation of a successful RtI implementation.
Our purpose is to provide a blueprint for the kind of instructional planning and decision-making that maximizes learning for all students—those who are proficient and advanced, as well as those who require intervention services. Making an investment in effective instruction for Tier 1 classrooms reduces expenditures by minimizing referrals for more intensive and expensive instructional support. A strong Tier 1 is cost effective for everyone—administrators, teachers, and students.
Each chapter in the book guides you through a process designed to zero in on critical aspects of Tier 1 instruction—those aspects that when addressed contribute to teacher success and student achievement.
- Section 1 focuses on several critical instructional variables—what to teach, how to teach, and how to determine what students have learned.
- Section 2 takes the next step and demonstrates how these variables play out in effective Tier 1 instruction. Using data to guide instructional decisions and assess student progress are at the heart of building a strong foundational program.
- Section 3 examines decisions that exist beyond the Tier 1 classroom. These decisions pertain to infrastructure, policies, and overarching instructional goals that typically lie within the purview of school or district-wide leadership. This section also summarizes the process, presented as a checklist, designed to help you determine the state of Tier 1 in your classroom, school, or district. We invite you to take a look at the checklist in Chapter 9 as a pre-organizer for where you are in this process.
We hope these chapters will foster conversation about the importance and effectiveness of first instruction. No matter where you are in the process of developing your RtI system, we are certain that this common sense approach will provide valuable insights and practical steps. When educators actively address these issues, the critical role of Tier 1 will not be forgotten; it will rise to the forefront.
RtI + CCSS
Response to Intervention (RtI), also known as Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), is an integral part of current and future educational policy. Too often states, districts, and schools are left to fend for themselves in the interpretation of the research, the development of clear and cohesive plans and the provision of best instructional practices.
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.
RtI: The Forgotten Tier is THE resource—focusing on Tier 1 as the foundation of a successful RtI model—to effectively implement both of these critical initiatives.
What are educators saying about RtI: The Forgotten Tier…
“With the focus continuing to grow in the tiers other than the most important—Tier 1, it is great to see the authors’ experience shine through in this book.”
“RtI or no RtI, this is an excellent guide to good teaching for teachers and administrators.”
“The authors provide clear graphics to illustrate their approach, as well as sample structures and activities that teachers may use and adapt …”
“Their (the authors) stepwise approach makes this book a must read for those who are serious about fully implementing RtI …”
“This book provides schools with a ‘how to’ handbook that can support planning throughout the school year.”
About the Authors
Joanne Klepeis Allain is a national RtI consultant with 3t Literacy Group, works with states, districts, and schools across the country to develop, implement, and coach practical, customized RtI plans and instruction. Her career experience at both the classroom and district level provides the unique perspective of a practitioner in real schools with real children. As part of the planning process, Joanne focuses on the multiple roles educators play in increasing student achievement and providing the collaborative expertise needed for a comprehensive program. She works closely with RtI teams, teachers, and administrators at primary, intermediate, middle, and high school levels. Joanne is the author of Logistics of Literacy Intervention: A Planning Guide for Middle and High School and Logistics of Literacy Intervention: An RtI Planning Guide for Elementary Schools.