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Behavior Matters The "I" in RTI Research-Based Factors for Intensifying Instruction Jdson E. Harlacher j Nancy J. Nelson Walker Amanda K. Sanford

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The 'I' in RTI Research-Based Factors for Intensifying ...

Behavior Matters The "I" in RTI Research-Based Factors for Intensifying Instruction Jdson E. Harlacher j Nancy J. Nelson Walker Amanda K. Sanford

Portland State University Education


Education Faculty Publications and Presentations


The "I" in RTI Research-Based Factors for Intensifying Instruction

Amanda K. Sanford

Portland State University, [email protected]

Jason E. Harlacher
Nancy J. Nelson Walker

University of Oregon

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Harlacher, J., Nelson, N., & Sanford, A. (2010). The "I" in RTI: Research-based factors for intensifying instruction. Teaching
Exceptional Children 42, 30-38.

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Behavior Matters

The "I" in RTI

Research-Based Factors
for Intensifying Instruction

Jdson E. Harlacher j Nancy J. Nelson Walker Amanda K. Sanford

Changes in the 2004 Individuals With
Disabilities Education Improvement Act
(IDEA, 2004) opened the door for wide
use of response to intervention (RTI)
as a model for identifying students
with learning disabilities (see box,
"What Is Response to Intervention
(RTI)?"). These legislative changes
coincide with recent trends of school-
wide reform, in which scliools imple-
ment research based instruction and
evaluate the responses of students to
that support. This considerable reform
calls for new skills for educators and a
conceptual shift in the ways students'
difficulties are viewed (Tilly, 2008).
One new skill for some educators is
examining instruction and modifying
instructional factors associated with
improving student outcomes (A!
Otaiba. 2005). Therefore, a question
to answer is: What research-based
instructional factors can educators
modify to intensify students' instruc-
tional supports?

RTI: Background and

The law frames RTI as a model for spe-
cial education identification; conceptu-
ally, RTI is a multitiered approach to
providing services to students that
matches the students' level of academ-
ic need to a corresponding level of
instruction (Barnes & Harlacher, 2008).


In this sense, RTI is a general educa- Students who demonstrate a sub- what Is Response to
tion initiative defined as a new method stantial and sustained need for addi- Intervention (RTI)?
of service delivery. Within the RTI tional support to achieve critical goals
model, schools create a range of receive Tier 3 support, the most inten- Response to intervention (RTI) is
increasingly intensive levels of instruc- sive level of support (Joseph, 2008; a model of service delivery that
tional supports, and educators place NASDSE, 2005; Tilly, 2008). Students requires both implementing a
students into (hese levels on the basis receive Tier 3 support in a small research-based continuum of
of screening and progress-monitoring instructional group of four or fewer instructional supports and continu-
data (Cummings, Atkins, Allison, & students. The instruction is more ously monitoring students' progress
Cole. 2008; Gersten et ai., 2008; explicit and intense, and attempts to toward goals. Instruction changes
NASDSE, 2005). Educators monitor individually meet the needs of each while educators monitor students'
the growth of each student's academic student (Harn. Kame'enui, & Simmons, growth to ensure that students meet
skills over time to ensure that each stu- 2007). Educators with extensive back-
dent receives appropriate instruction ground and training in working with Ithose goals. When a student does
that is based on his or her need. By students with severe learning difficul-
establishing varying levels of support ties (e.g., special education teachers, not make sufficient progress. RTI
and using frequent assessment to reading specialists) often lead Tier 3 requires a change in instruction to
check students" progress, schools instruction, which is implemented for a increase the student's growth rate.
ensure an appropriate match among a longer time period than Tier 2 (e.g., 20
student's skills, the level of instruction, weeks vs. 10 weeks; Vaughn. Linan- Hie Effect of RTI on Special
and the curriculum (Barnes & Har- Thompson. & Hickman, 2003). Education
lacher, 2008).
A necessary tenet of RTI is that all Making sound instructional decisions
The continuum of support offered students receive research-based for students who are receiving addi-
by RTi has multiple tiers; the most instruction that matches their need for tional support is particularly relevant to
common conceptualization uses a support (Cummings et al., 2008). Stu- special education personnel. Intensi-
three-tiered model (NASDSE, 2005; dents who perform below expected lev- fying the instruction delivered to stu-
Tilly. 2008). Within a three-tiered els of performance receive additional dents within an RTI model is an impor-
model, all students receive Tier 1 instructional support. Educators moni- tant step in ensuring that students
instruction that consists of differentiat- tor their progress by using formative have received research-based instruc-
ed instruction with a scientifically assessments (i.e., assessments that tion before educators evaluate whether
based core curriculum. Designed to educators administer during or after a they demonstrate a learning disability
prevent the development of learning lesson to give teachers information [Lichtenstein, 2008). Further, increas-
difficulties, this core curriculum— about the effectiveness of instruction ing the effectiveness of tiered instruc-
which is implemented daily—teaches and the skills that students are acquir- tion benefits a large number of stu-
all the essential skills, or big ideas, ing before the teachers expect the stu- dents so that many students tieed less
within an academic area and typically dents to have mastered instructional intensive intervention. In turn, this
lasts between 90 and 120 minutes objectives) as opposed to summative model increases the availability of
(Haager, Klinger, & Vaughn, 2007). assessments (i.e.. assessments that pro- resources to allocate to students who
Students who have mild skill deficits vide information after the teachers need the most substantive stipport.
receive Tier 2 support that uses 20 to expect the students to have mastered Special education teachers must there-
45 minutes more instructional time instructional objectives; Gersten et al., fore be able to offer support to general
each day than Tier 1 and includes 2008). Educators intensify instruction education teams regarding intensifying
approximately six to eight students in a for students who fail to make adequate instructional factors within all tiers of
group (Haager et ai.. 2007; Joseph, progress toward goals, leading to a instruction, but particularly in Tiers 2
2008). Within Tier 2, educators can continuous cycle of evaluating instruc- and 3. The RTI model is moving
use a standard treatment protocol in tion and student progress. The end schools away from working within
which each student who needs Tier 2 result is a seamless system in which "silos" to one in which collaboration
services receives the same instructional educators measure students' growth between general and special education
plan that targets the same skills, or the continuously and modify instruction staff is critical throughout the RTI
students may receive a problem-solving accordingly. When students demon- process (Cummings et al.. 2008).
protocol that considers the individual strate substantial and sustained diffi-
needs of each student and instructional culty despite research-based instruc- The Challenge of
plans Ihat are coordinated to meet tion, educators may refer them to spe- Implementing RTI
Ihose individual needs (Barnes & cial education (Barnes & Harlacher,
Harlacher, 2008). 2008). Because information gathered through-
out the tiers can guide special educa-
tion decisions, the quality of imple-
mentation and the decisions made
about instructional changes are impor-
tant factors in distinguishing students


What Are the Five Critical nities to respond" (OTRs) refers to the Finally, educators should create an
Elements of Reading? number of times that a student can effective learning environment by
respond to an academically oriented adopting an instructional approach to
O Fluency with text. • question. Although this discussion behavior management (Darcb. Miller, &
© Vocabulary. focuses on Tier 2 instruction, educa- Sbippen, 1998). Such an approach calls
© Comprehension. tors can easily examine the number of for proactively and explicitly teaching
O Phonemic awareness. OTRs that a student has during positively stated expectations to stu-
@ Alphabetic principle. instruction in Tier 1 or Tier 3. dents and then providing frequent rein-
forcement (e.g., "caught being good"
with true disabilities from students Prerec|uisite Factors for tickets) for demonstrating those expec-
who have not received appropriate EffecKve Instruction tations. The goal is to decrease prob-
instruction [Lichtenstein, 2008). School lem behaviors, thereby increasing
personne! must therefore understand From the literature review, three fac- instructional time that educators previ-
how to make effective and powerful tors—the curriculum used, fidelity of ously spent responding to misbehavior.
decisions about instruction. Identifying implementation, and behavior manage- Together, curriculum, fidelity, and
research-based interventions may be a ment—were identified as critical to the behavior management support an envi-
new skill for many educators (Ai success of a multitiered model of ronment conducive to learning and
Otaiba, 2005), but one of the chal- instruction (e.g., Barnes & Hariacher, help ensure improved instructional
lenges with RTI is determining which 2008; Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007; Glover & decision making (see box, "Case Study;
instructional factors to modify within DiPerna, 2007). These prerequisite fac- Early January").
an intervention. Further, school person- tors form a base tbat can increase the
nel may lack important knowledge success of instruction and any adjust- Factors to Intensify Inslruction
about evidence-based practices. The ments made to instruction. These fac-
National Council on Teacher Quality tors should be in place within all tiers Educators can use the following nine
(200Û). for example, found that most within RTI, because their absence can factors to intensify instruction;
general education teacher preparation make altering instruction significantly
programs surveyed across the United less effective (Elliott, Witt, Kratochwill, • Time allotted for instruction.
States failed to provide training in & Callaban-Stoiber, 2002; Haager et al.,
research-based reading instruction in 2007; Horner, Sugai. Todd, & Lewis- • Instructional grouping.
the five critical elements of reading Palmer, 2005).
(see box, "What Are the Five Critical • Repetitions for success.
Elements of Reading?"). First, educators sbould ensure tbat
research supports the curriculum. By • Amount of judicious review.
To identify instructional factors using an evidence-based curriculum,
linked to improved academic perform- educators give students the best possi- • Interventionist facilitating the group.
ance for students in kindergarten to ble chance to be successful because
12th grade, we conducted a literature the methods have been effective with • Pacing.
review. We used keywords related to other students in controlled research
academic instruction (e.g., differentiat- studies. Educators should also struc- • Praise-to-corrective-feedback ratio.
ed instruction, instructional variables, ture the curriculum to teach the big
reading instruction, intervention) to ideas of the academic skill for wbich it • Precorrection.
search for articles about psychology is designed (Kame'enui, Camine,
and education search engines (e.g., Dixon, Simmons, & Coyne, 2002; • Error correction
PsycINFO, ERIC). Although the factors Watkins & Slccum, 2004).
identified are not exhaustive, the con- These factors fit into two categories:
cise summary of alterable variables Next, educators should monitor that instructional planning and instructional
shows factors that educators can modi- program to determine whether they are delivery. Some of the factors might fit
fy to intensify an effective instructional implementing it with fidelity or imple- into botb of these arbitrary categories.
foundation. The compiled list can menting it as intended. By checking Instructional planning refers to factors
serve as a menu for teams and teach- fidelity, educators can avoid attributing established before the delivery of
ers to use when intensifying instruc- low student growth to the student's instruction, such as the time allotted
tion within Tier 2; however, educators skills or the level of support when poor for instruction. Instructional delivery
can consider these factors within any implementation is actually the culprit. refers to such dynamic factors that
tier. For example, the factor "opportu- Many curricula come with descriptions occur during instruction as pacing and
indicating how to use them, so educa- error correction.
tors can use tbat information to create
a brief fidelity checklist or they can Instructional Planning
conduct direct observations of the com-
ponents of the curriculum being used. In the category of instructional plan-
ning, the authors identified five factors
that educators can modify to change
the intensity of the instruction that a
student receives; time allotted for
instruction, instructional grouping, rep-
etitions for success, amount of judi-


Case Study: Eariy January Figure 1 . Progress MenitoHng Graph for Case Vignette

Sammy is a second-grade student at 120 1 ¡nteruentian Intervention Goal of 90 WCPM by Jme I
DeMarco Elementary, and he is cur- 80 change: change:
rently receiving Tier 2 intervention Increase OTR Decrease group
in reading. In January of second and practice size and use
grade, he read 59 words correcUy
per minute (WCPM) with 80% wiih phonics error correction
accuracy on an oral reading-fluency and fluency wilh dcl.iveii les
measure, which is below the bench-
mark criterion of 68 WCPM for win- Section A Section B Section C
ter of second grade (DIBFXS, n.d.).
Sammy receives 90 minutes of dif- 1/1 1/15 1/29 2/12 2/26 3/12 3/26 4/9 4/23 3/7 5/21
ferentiated instruction in the five
critical areas of reading from the Date
evidence-based core program—that
is, 30 minutes of whole-group Note. OTR = opportunities to respond. WCPM = words read correctly per minute.
instruction focused on fluency,
vocabulary, and comprehension; as Increasing scheduled time is straight- eight students, and a Tier 3 group has
well as 60 minutes of small-group forward hut is often difficult to imple- five or fewer students. Reducing group
instruction focused on phonemic ment because of the school's schedule size is a straightforward method of
awareness, phonics, and fluency. As and because of limited resources. ALT intensifying an intervention, because a
a Tier 2 intervention, he receives 30 refers to the amount of time that stu- smaller group ensures that students
minutes of additional instruction dents are actively engaged in instruc- have more practice and opportunities
daily with a group of eight students. tion and are successful (Caldwell, to respond (Harn et al., 2007).
Sammy's Tier 2 group receives 15 Huitt, & Graeber, 1982). It implies
minutes of phonics and phonemic being on task and correctly responding Repetitions for success. To intensify
awareness, 5 minutes of fluency, to the task. To improve ALT, schools instruction, educators can also manipu-
and 10 minutes of instruction in can decrease the transition time, teach late the number of repetitions needed
comprehension and vocabulat^. behavioral expectations to increase on- for success. In this sense, repetition
task time (Darch et al., 1998). or refers to the number of times that a
Mr. Reid, Sammy's genera! edu- adjust the difficulty of the task to student needs to practice a skill before
cation teacher, teaches this group match student ability (Kame'enui & he or she can independently use it.
within Sammy's classroom. Sammy Simmons, 1990). Although educators Reitsma (1983) analyzed how much
has received Tier 2 instruction for 6 can increase ALT with fewer resources, repetition students needed in learning
weeks, and Mr. Reid has been moni- increasing it often requires profes- a new word. An average student
toring Sammy's progress toward his sional development and coaching to required between three and eight repe-
end-of-year goal of reading 90 increase teachers' skills in maintaining titions, with advanced students need-
WCPM. During a meeting in late high levels of engagement and success. ing fewer repetitions and lower-per-
January, the RTI team at DeMarco We encourage educators to examine forming students needing more.
Elementary noted that Sammy had ALT before adding more time, because
three consecutive progress-monitor- adding time may not be helpful if stu- When teachers analyze the instruc-
ing probes below his aimline and dents are not engaged and successful. tion of a student, they can adjust the
that the educators needed to modify amount of repetition that the student
his instruction to help Sammy reach Instructional groaping. RTI uses dif- receives before introducing a new skill.
his end-of-year goal (see Figure 1, ferentiated homogeneous grouping, For example, teachers may require a
Section A). which involves placing students with group of students learning to read
similar academic skills in the same words with the r-controlled vowel
cious review, and interventionist facili- group. Educators can then alter group- sound "ar" to read words with "ar"
tating the group (see Table 1). ings of students in one of two ways to without errors for 5 consecutive days
increase the intensity of instruction. instead of 3 before they consider the
Time allotted for instruction. Because students' skills change over students to have mastered the skill and
Schools can add more instructional time, educators can reshuffle the group before they introduce new letter-sound
time to enhance the intensity of to ensure that it is homogenous with combinations. Teachers can also give
instruction by increasing the amount of respect to students' skills and needs. students increased opportunities to
time scheduled and by increasing aca- Another option is to reduce the num- practice targeted skills, and they can
demic learning time (ALT) within the ber of students within the group. A modify the method of response. For
scheduled time of the intervention. typical Tier 2 group has approximately example, a teacher who gives a group
of students 2 minutes to practice math


Table 1 . Examples off Inftrucflonal Planning and Delivery Factors to Increase Student Learning

Planning Factor Reading Example Math Example

Time allotted for The schedule includes 30 extra minutes for The academic learning time (ALT) of a math interven-
tion increases by moving the intervention into the
instruction instruction in addition to the 90 minutes of core classroom to decrease transition time.


Instructional Some students in the group are ready to move A math group decreases from seven students to four
grouping ahead in the curriculum, although others make students.
many errors. Teachers move students to other
groups so all students in each group are reading
at about the same level.

Repetitions for A teacher decides to introduce new words after Teachers ask students to answer math facts in unison
success students have successfully read and defined to ensure that every student has a chance to practice.
words for 5 consecutive days without error
instead of 3 days without error.

Amount of A teacher replaces the last 10 minutes of his inter- Students begin the group by practicing math facts on
judicious review
vention block with review of previously taught a "goodbye list" of the math facts that they missed
vocabulary words. the previous day. When they answer correctly, they

wave "goodbye" to the math fact.

Interventionist A general education teacher with extensive read- A special education teacher works with students
facilitating the ing experience takes over a reading intervention on their math homework when they do not make
group group that a first-year teacher previously taught. adequate progress by working with an instructional

Delivery Factor

Pacing A teacher increases the number of OTRs within a Students receive increased OTRs during a math group
• Opportunities reading/writing group by having students state by using unison oral responding for questions to the
what they are writing before they write. group.
to respond

Pacing A teacher examines students' accuracy on end of- Students spend 2 to 3 minutes at the end of each
• Success rate unit tests. A student whose accuracy is less than math intervention working on Iwo or three problems
90% spends more time on the concepts missed that they learned that day or on previous days.
of student during the next week of instruction.

Praise-to- A teacher provides stickers on individual cards Students earn behavior reinforcement tickets for each
correct i ve- during instruction when students demonstrate on- problem that they answer correctly.
feedback ratio task behavior.

Precorrection To prevent further mistakes, a teacher underlines A teacher has students scan word problems together
word segments on which students have made fre- as a group to identify relevant versus nonrelevant
quent errors. The teacher also points out the seg- information before the students work independently.
ments before reading the sentence or passage.

Error correction A teacher adjusts her error-correction format A teacher has a peer observe her or his group to
make sure that she or he uses error correction each
within a reading group to make it simpler and time that a student responds incorrectly.

more concise. Instead of saying "Look at the

word. Think about it . . . what is it?" she says

"That word is . What word?"


computation facts can increase the Pacing (opportunities to respond). teacher calculates the student success
time to 5 minutes. Students can also Pacing refers to two complementary rate by dividing the number of
practice skills through an increase in components: (a) OTRs to instructional student responses by the number of
any combination of oral, written, demands, and (b) the success rate that correct student responses. When stu-
choral, or partnered responding. students have with the instiuctional dents are successful at least 9 times
material (Kame'enui & Simmons. out of 10 opportunities (90%) they
Amount of judicious review. Judi- 1990). In measuring the students' reach mastery more efficiently (Rrophy
cious review involves systematically opportunities to respond to instruction- & Good. 1986; Watkins & Slocum,
incorporating opportunities for stu- al demands, educators may measure 2004) and reduce challenging behavior
dents to review material that the pacing by counting the number of stu- (Preciado, Horner. & B.iker, 2009). Staff
teacher has already taught (Hall. 2002; dent responses during an activity. can gauge the student success rate
Kame'enui & Simmons. 1990). Judi- Although pacing recommendations through direct observation, examining
cious review should have sufficient vary across activities, strong pacing permanent products, conducting 1-
duration; should represent the range of requires an average of 8 to 12 OTRs to minute timed oral reading fluency
examples necessary for students to individual or group academic prompts probes and recording errors, or using
master the content; and should be each minute (Brophy & Good, 1986). self-tallying (e.g., the teacher records
cumulative, so that students continue Staff can record the OTRs during the specific errors that students make
to review previous topics while the instructional time (e.g., through self- on separate pieces of paper during
insiruction introduces new content monitoring, examining permanent instruction).
(H.ill, 2002). T\vo examples of ways to products, having other staff conduct
increase review time are providing observations) and then increase the If students are more than 95% accu-
additional examples and opportunities number of OTRs if it is low. Educators rate with the material, they can inde-
to practice within the intervention can increase OTRs by using unison pendently manage their knowledge and
block (e.g., allocating 10 minutes each oral responding (Carnine, Silbert, their comprehension of material
day to review previously taught skills) Kame'enui, & Tarver. 2006; Watkins & improves (TVemptow, Burns, & McGo-
or adding time outside the intervention Slocum, 2004) when answers are short mas, 2007). Teachers can then incorpo-
block (e.g., spending 10 minutes before and the same or through partner rate harder, higher level content into
school to review previously taught responses when answers are longer lessons. If students are achieving less
skills). or more varied. Using unison oral than 90% accuracy, educators have
responding instead of calling on one several options to increase the student
Interventionist facilitating the group. student at a time can increase a stu- success rate. The teacher can provide
Another option for increasing the dent's opportunity to practice by six students with wait time of 3 to 5 sec-
intensity of instruction is changing the times in a group of six students, there- onds, depending on task complexity
educator who is working with the stu- by increasing engagement and success- (Brophy & Good, 1986). Educators can
dents. For example, although the ful practice. Direct observation by also furnish precorrection, prime back-
school may assign a general education another staff member, who counts the ground knowledge (Kame'enui et al.,
instructional assistant to work with a number of times that a given student 2002), or they can modify the difficulty
Tier 2 group, the school can intensify responds during instruction, can help of the task to better match the stu-
the instruction by assigning a special educators determine whether they are dents' skill level; for example, a group
education teacher or reading specialist attaining a level of OTRs that main- that is struggling to learn mullidigit
who has more knowledge about teach- tains high levels of academic engage- addition with regrouping can focus on
ing struggling readers, in general, more ment and learning. miiitidigit addition without regrouping
severe academic deficits in the instruc- until the success rate is higher than
tional group require that an educator
with more background and experience Effective instructional planning lays the groundwork for
works with the group (Ham et al., a successful lesson, whereas instructional delivery ensures
that the lesson is engaging and that students learn.
Instructional DelÜvery
Ridng (success rate of responses). 95% (see box, "Case Study. Late
Kftt'ctive instructional planning lays the The second component of pacing January").
groundwork for a successful lesson. refers to the speed with which teachers
whereas instructional delivery ensures conduct instructional activities on Praise-to-corrective-feedback ratio.
that the lesson is engaging and that the basis of student success rates Praise refers to specific and contingent
students learn. The four factors in the (Kame'enui & Simmons, 1990). The statements used to acknowledge and
category of instructional delivery are reinforce correct academic responses
pacing (opportunities to respond and
success rate), praise-to-corrective-feed-
back ratio, precorrection, and error cor-
rection (see Table 1).


Case Study: Late January (Brophy & Good, 1986), as well as mal disruption, by giving a "me point"
appropriate student behavior (Wolery, for the teacher). Teachers can also
Before the RTI team meeting in late Bailey, & Sugai, 1988). In contrast, increase the specificity and effective-
January, Mr. Reid asiied the special corrective feedback statements refer ness of their praise statements by using
education teacher, Mrs. Speck, to to identifying an error that a student specific behavior praise statements.
observe his group. Mrs. Speck makes when responding to academic Specific behavior praise statements are
observed that Mr. Reid used effec- demands or identifying inappropriate specific to a targeted behavior, contin-
tive behavior management by teach- behavior. The recommended praise- gent on performance of that behavior,
ing and then rewarding students for to-feedback ratio is at least 5 to 1 to and focus on the effort and strategies
meeting expectations. reinforce desired academic and non- that the student uses (e.g. "I like that
academic behaviors (Flora, 2000), you kept working on that problem and
Mrs. Speck also confirmed that because increased specific praise is then asked me for help"). In contrast,
he used the evidence-based curricu- linked to higher task engagement, general feedback statements—such as
lum with fidelity and confirmed that higher correct responding, and "Good job!" and "Excellent!"—are
the prerequisite factors were in reduced inappropriate behavior vague statements that do not clearly
place. Mrs. Speck also noticed that (Sutherland, Alder, & Gunter, 2003). communicate what the student did
Mr. Reid called on students one at a As with pacing, staff can use direct well, although they may help create a
time to read words and answer sim- observations by other staff, self-moni- more friendly environment (Rathvon.
ple questions and that Sammy toring, or self-tallying during instruc- 2008).
received only five or six turns to tion to measure their praise-to-feed-
practice reading words during the back ratios. After examining the ratio Preconection. A powerful way to
first 5 minutes of instruction (about of praise to feedback, teachers can increase student success rates is
one turn per minute). modify this instructional factor by through precorrections. Precorrection
increasing the number of praise state- involves identifying areas in which
Mrs. Speck shared a strategy that ments made relative to the number of errors commonly occur and purpose-
she had used in her instructional feedback statements given and by fully designing instruction to ensure
groups. That strategy encouraged all increasing the specificity of their student success with the material
students to respond at the same praise. Educators have an array of {Carnine el ai., 2006). Examples
time by using signaling, so that options to increase the ratio of praise include reminding students of a rule
Sammy and the other students in to feedback. before reading a word (e.g.. "Remem-
the group could have more OTRs ber that the letter 'e' at the end of a
during group instruction. She Teachers can review behavioral word makes a vowel say its name"),
explained that she asked all the stu- expectations with students and then thereby drawing attention to features
dents to look at the word and think reinforce the expectations. One exam- of instruction (e.g., highlighting math
about it; and when she slid her fin- ple is a "me-you game" in which stu- symbols), or having visual cues to
ger under the word, every student dents earn points for engaging in ensure completion of a task (e.g..
read the word in unison. Mr. Reid appropriate behavior and answering using a checklist to locate spelling
liked the idea because he believed correctly and the teacher earns points and grammar errors when writing a
that Mrs. Speck's method would when students engage in inappropriate paragraph).
give the students more opportunities behavior. Whoever has the most points
to practice and improve student wins the game. This game allows Error correction. To prevent students
engagement, leading to increased teachers to roughly monitor their from committing errors to memory, the
student learning. The team decided praise-to-corrective-feed back ratios teacher should furnish error correction
to implement that strategy to as a response to student enors.
increase the academic learning time.
After examining the accuracy of Specific behavior praise statements are specific to a targeted
Sammy's oral reading fluency pas- behavior, contingent on performance of that behavior, and
sages, the team also noted that
Sammy was making several errors focns on the effort and strategies that the student uses.
in reading words, so they decided
that Sammy's group needed to through the point totals and allows Carefully included error correction
spend more time on phonics and teachers to flexibly give points to stu- allows a teacher to succinctly correct
phonemic-awareness skills. The con- dents without taking earned points students' mistakes and return the
tent focus of the group was changed away (i.e., in an overt and visual way instructional focus to correctly present-
to 20 minutes of phonics and struc- by giving "you points" along with a ed material. In general, an error correc-
tural analysis instruction and 10 praise statement, or silently, with mini- tion consists of immediately identifying
minutes of fluency practice incorpo-
rating teacher modeling and repeat-
ed readings of the text.


Case Study: Late February should immediately correct a student Case Study: Mardi and April
who misreads the word "canyon" by
Four weeks later, in late February, : saying, "That word is canyon. What When the team reviewed Sammy's
the RTI team met again to discuss word?" After the student responds, the progress in March, after four addi-
Sammy's performance. After look- teacher should say. "Good. Go back to tional weeks, the team noticed that
ing at the pi ogress-monitoring data the beginning of the sentence and read his progress had accelerated and
for all the students in the group, it again." This sequence ensures that that be was on track for meeting
Mr. Reid noticed that all the stu- students know that the response was his end-of-year fluency goal, but he
denls demonstrated improved per- incorrect, know the correct response, had not yet attained the goal of 90
formance with additional practice and practice using the correct response WCPM. The other students in the
on pbonics and structural analysis [both immediately after the instruction- group were also making strong
and the incorporation of unison al prompt and later during the lesson). progress, The team decided to con-
responding for practice, Mrs. Speck Staff can examine the specific language tinue the intervention and recon-
also reported that Sammy and the used when providing an error correc- vene after 4 more weeks to deter-
other students had many more tion—it should be simple, direct, and mine whether Sammy had met his
opportunities to practice, with succinct (Bropby & Good. 1986; Wat- goal or whether the intervention
about 60 opportunities to respond kins & Slocum. 2004)—and should should continue.
in the first 5 minutes of instruction determine whether students receive
[about 12 responses per minute). corrective feedback and have an oppor- In April, the group noted that
Although all (he students were tunity to demonstrate the correct Sammy had met his goal (see
doing better, Sammy's progress was response each time that they make an Figure 1, Section C). The team
still consistently below the aJmline, error (see box, "Case Study: Late decided to discontinue the extra
so tbe team continued to brain- February"). instructional support for Sammy so
storm other means for intensifying tbat other students wlio needed
instruction [see Figure 1, Section Final Ifioughts help could receive additional
B). The team thought that reducing instructional time.
the group size and using a more Educdlois can use several factors to
explicit error-correction procedure intensify instruction for students [see big ideas of tbe academic content, and
could be helpful. The team reduced Table 1). Although educators can con- implemented with fidelity. If core
the group size from eight to six, sider these factors in any tier of instruction does not meet these crite-
and Mr. Reid modified the error-cor- instruction within an RTI model, this ria, staff should examine the core
rection procedure used during guid- article has discussed these factors in instruction in conjunction with any
ed reading. Instead of having stu- the context of students receiving Tier 2 supplemental changes to instruction.
dents reread the word correctly and Î support. When students do not
then continue reading, he asked respond to Tier 1 instruction, educa- We also encourage staff to make
students to repeat the entire sen- tors must respond by providing the these changes on the basis of instruc-
itMice in whicb they made an error students with something more and tional data. Because a critical compo-
[e.g.. If the student misread the something different from what they nent of RTI is reliance on data to guide
word "apple," the teacher would received in Tier 1 instruction. The stu- instructional decisions [Barnes &
say, "Tbat word is 'apple.' What dents' need for additional support Hariacher. 2008). any changes to stu-
word?" After the student's requires staff to consider numerous dent programming should be based on
response, the teacher would say elements of instruction. The authors' reliable data that is valid for its pur-
"Good, now read the sentence purpose was to describe an array of pose. To illustrate the focus on data-
again.") The team decided to imple- powerful instructional factors that edu- based decision making, the case study
ment this intervention and monitor cators can manipulate to intensify centers on this topic. Although the
progress. instruction for a student or group of outlined instructional factors are a
students. Any changes to instruction good starting point when examining
the error, providing the correct require a solid foundational program; methods to modify instruction in an
response (model), practicing the cor- therefore, emphasizing the importance RTI model, this list is not an exhaus-
rect response (test), and then giving of effective core instruction is neces- tive one, and readers should review
the student another opportunity to sary. Educators should examine the additional research in the field. Last.
jiractice the response after a short three prerequisite factors for instruc- while most of the examples discussed
delay (delayed test; Carnine et al., tion—curriculum, fidelity, and behav- in this article are directly relevant to
2006; Kame'enui & Simmons, 1990). ior management—in both core (Tier 1) reading instruction, the instructional
For example, in reading, the teacher and supplemental [Tiers 2 and 3) factors also apply to other content
instruction. The list of instructional areas (see box, "Case Study; March
factors assumes that core instruction is and April").
effective, evidence based, rooted in the


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