If you do a quick Google search for Response to Intervention (RTI) information, you probably won’t have to go far to find a bunch of helpful resources, best practices, and tips.
However, I noticed that a lot of the search results involve implementing RTI in respect to optimizing instructional resources for students in need of additional English Language Arts (ELA) reinforcement and recovery. In fact, mathematics RTI information often pales in comparison and scope to the amount of available ELA resources.
A new focus on RTI in mathematics instruction
Fortunately, as the RTI Action Network reports, educational researchers also realized this disparity and have turned their attention to enhancing the constructs of RTI math models. Numerous independent research reports and studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, between the years of 1997 and 2008, identified several key points highlighting the need for RTI models in math instruction.
These findings, as collected by the RTI Action Network, include:
- Children who lack opportunity for math instruction tend to be at higher risk for failure in math.
- By the end of formal schooling, the majority of students do not meet even minimal math proficiency standards.
- Children afflicted with specific learning disabilities are at a distinct disadvantage in math comprehension compared to their typically learning peers.
- Many instructional materials fail to follow essential math instructional principles.
- Because math follows specific processes and builds upon previous knowledge, students who experience early math learning deficits face serious future learning barriers.
- Successful RTI models in math instruction can repair and prevent learning deficits in math.
Examples of RTI models for math instruction
Okay, so the need for effective RTI mathematics models is very apparent. But, that is not to say they do not alread exist. There are quite a few quality options actually.
Essentially, each model must contain three primary components: (1) assessment, (2) curriculum, and (3) instructional delivery, but how your school determines the five 'W’s' and an 'H' (who, what, where, when, why, and most importanty, how) of your RTI model depends on which model you decide to implement.
To help you get started on the right track, we’ve put together quick profiles of three proven and successful RTI math-based models we feel best serve today’s math classroom.
The SPMM model focuses specifically on math outcomes, and fits into a more traditional RTI setting. Educators who use this model rely on the process of universally screening achievement levels of outcomes, rather than on monitoring the progress of achievement. Within the Standard Protocol Mathematics Model are three tiers; these include (1) universal class-wide screening; (2) class-wide intervention; and (3) individual intervention followed by the special education referral process.
PBIS is quite a bit different than SPMM in the fact that it focuses on the behaviors of students, both academic and otherwise. The key to the PBIS problem-solving model success lies in reinforcing positive, appropriate behaviors to replace or prevent in appropriate behaviors. The range of interventions with the PBIS model focus on each child's specific needs relative to his or her environment.
The STEEP model seeks to provide students what is “right”. At first, that statement sounds pretty subjective, but let’s replace right with the word “correct”. That means the educators must provide the correct amount of math assistance to the correct student at the correct time. The STEEP model accomplishes this through evidence-based practices and tools, beginning with early detection and prevention of demonstrated mathematics learning weaknesses.
Share your RTI math tips!
Are you seeking to implement or improve your RTI math model? If so, what tips can you share from your search? What have you seen success with? What have you not?