Response to Intervention and the 3-Tiered Model

Response to Intervention is the practice of providing high quality instruction and intervention matched to student need and using learning rate over time and level of performance to make important educational decisions.

Schools who implement a RtI model use a tiered system of instruction and intervention.  The 3-Tier Model introduced by the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts in 2005 has been primarily the model that we have used to help us guide our RtI practices.   In a tiered system, students are provided with research-based core instruction and intervention.  Depending upon their response to that instruction, they progressively move though the tiers.   In a tiered system, research would indicate that 80% of the students in the classroom should reach benchmark goals with high quality core reading instruction only.  15% of the students within the classroom will require additional targeted intervention in addition to core instruction and 5% of students will require a significant amount of intervention to reach benchmark goals.


Click the following link to download the above graphic Response to Intervention- 3 Tiered Model

Tier 1

Tier one instruction is the core reading instruction provided by the general education teacher within the general education classroom.  Using the Reading First guidelines, the reading block must consist of at least 90 minutes of uninterrupted instruction in the five key components of reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension).  Most schools implementing a RtI model chose a scientifically-based reading curriculum.   Within the reading block, multiple grouping formats are used which include whole group and small-group instruction.   Students are typically group heterogeneously during core small group instruction.

Tier 2

Students who are not progressing with Tier 1 instruction alone will require addition support to reach benchmark goals.  These students are still receiving the core instruction during their 90 minute literacy block (whole group and small group), but need time and practice above that to progress.   Students who require Tier 2 instruction receive small group intervention with other students with the same specific skill deficit.  In other words, students are grouped homogenously during Tier 2.   Students received an additional 30 minutes a day of skill-based intervention in addition to their core reading instruction.  This intervention needs to be teacher-directed as explicit instruction and guided feedback cannot be provided by a computer program or a peer.  Tier 2 intervention can be provided by the classroom teacher or another highly trained teacher (Reading Specialist).  In terms of assessment, students receiving Tier 2 intervention are progress monitored at least twice a month to ensure that they are progressing. “Digging deeper” assessments are also administered to identify specific skill deficits.

Tier 3

Tier 3 is reserved for students who are not progressing as expected with Tier 2 intervention and core reading instruction.  Students in Tier 3 intervention receive high quality research-based intervention as students in Tier 2, but with greater intensity and with a lower teacher-student ratio (e.g  1:3 or 1:1).  The smaller the group size, the more opportunity the student has for practice and response.  Because these students are significantly behind, instruction needs to more systematic and explicit with many opportunities for practice.  The Vaughn Center recommends that Tier III instruction should be 60 minutes of intervention in addition to core reading instruction.  Because of the intensity required with students receiving Tier III, typically the majority of the intervention is provided by a Reading Specialist.  Frequent progress monitoring (once a week) is required as well as “digging deeper” assessments to identify skill deficits.

The above tiers can be used as guidelines for instruction/intervention.  Professional judgment must be used when matching the type and intensity of intervention.  For example, if a student moves into your school and is significantly below grade level, he/she may be immediately placed in Tier III.  If your school is beginning to implement RtI, you might want to check out my two favorite reference books.  Just click on the pic of the book.


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DIY Magic e Wands

Look what I found at the Dollar Tree!  The Dollar Tree is literally a gold mine of fun stuff for creating engaging classroom activities.  I found this pack of three foam wands in the arts and crafts section and thought how easy it would be to write an “e” on the star and make them into a “magic e” activity.

I created these magic e templates which can be placed on the table or floor.  You could also tape them on your white board for a super easy literacy center activity.  Students simply read the CVC word and then places their magic e at the end to change that vowel sound.  When you download the pdf you’ll received 24 CVC/CVCe cards.  Just in case you can’t find the foam wands, I’ve included 3 stars which can be glued to a large craft stick.


Click the following link to download the FREE Magic e words Magic e freebie

Looking for more Magic e activities for either your small group instruction or for literacy center activities?  Be sure to check out the Magic e Activity Pack.  10 activities for teaching and practicing this phonics rule are included.

Click HERE to download the activity pack from my TpT store.


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Eyeball Bingo

Yesterday I decided that I really needed to be done with making Halloween activities and move onto Thanksgiving, but then I received the Dollar General flyer with our newspaper.  These eyes were literally staring back at me!  Oh my gosh! They look exactly like the 4-In-A-Row eyeball template that Kyle created– I thought Bingo!  Literally, I thought Bingo!  They’d make such a cute Halloween themed bingo game.


These ping pong eyeballs are $1 for a package of 8.  To make this activity, you’ll need 5 packages for a total of 40 balls.  If you cannot find these balls, regular ping pong balls will do and you can draw the eyeballs on with red, blue and black Sharpie markers.   I purchased a plastic pot at the dollar store to store the balls for this activity.

When you download this file you’ll receive six Eyeball Bingo boards.  I’ve also included the CVC word list so that you can write the words on the eyeballs.

Click the following link to download your free eyeball bingo game Eyeball Bingo


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Halloween Themed Game Boards

I am so lovin’ Kyle’s Halloween clip art, I can be making Halloween activities well into next year!  We are working like crazy trying to get them all done in the next two weeks before transitioning to Thanksgiving and then Christmas quickly following.  I can’t believe how the school year is flying by!  Kyle made 4 adorable sight word game board designs.  I have to say the spider is my favorite.   Here’s a little freebie for you to use in either your small group instruction or as an activity in your literacy centers.

Click the following link to download the FREE game board for list 4 of the Dolch sight words  Halloween Sight Word Game Board List 4

The following Halloween themed game boards are available in my TpT store:

Halloween Themed Game Boards For the Dolch Sight Words Lists 1-9  When you download this product you’ll receive 9 game boards with words from lists 1-9 and 4 blank game boards for you to add your own words!

Halloween Themed Game Boards For Consonant-Vowel-Consonants  When you download this product you’ll receive 4 game boards with CVC words.

Halloween Themed Game Boards For Consonant Blends and Digraphs  7 game boards with common consonant blends and digraphs are included in this download.


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Halloween Themed 4-In-A-Row Game Boards for MATH!

Kyle (fabulous artist) created these adorable 4-In-A-Row game board templates for the Halloween Themed 4-In-A-Row Sight Word Game and I just thought they would make for a cute math center too!  When you download this freebie you’ll receive 4 different math games for practicing basic addition and subtraction facts.

Click HERE to download 4 FREE 4-In-A-Row game boards for practicing addition and subtraction facts.


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