Educators are painfully familiar with having their work and priorities shifted at the will of new legislation and policies. State board educations establish state standards, federal and state policies guide requirements, and local district leadership establishes procedures for what and how teachers are required to teach. It's up to principals and campus instructional leaders to be a bridge for the teachers in understanding the purpose and rationale behind these policies and how they align with or influence your school goals.
Early in the 19th century, a British teacher named Joseph Lancaster created a school model that would have students of all ages sitting in ability groups by mastery of a subject matter. He named these groups the Bluebird, Robin, and Buzzard groups. (Although this part of the story isn't true, it sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)
So, you have identified students needing a support plan, created goals, selected and implemented an appropriate intervention, and collected data using a progress monitoring tool or assessment. Fantastic! These are all necessary steps in the right direction to supporting students through your Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). But, NOW WHAT? How do you know if the intervention is actually “working”?
Author: Emily-Rose Barry, Director of Product at Branching Minds
What a year it has been! In many ways, we started 2022 still shaking off the worn coat of COVID restrictions, re-claiming our educational spaces, and making sense of the past few years' experiences. Many words have already been expended lamenting all the ways we may have “fallen behind,” but to me, this year was an opportunity to experiment with new ways of thinking about the intersections of learning, technology, and student engagement. Human beings are nothing if not resilient, and the greatest sparks of creativity are born of necessity and confinement.
When you ask an educator how to make sure Tier 1 curriculum and instruction are meeting the needs of all learners, their first response may be that they need new curriculum and/or professional development on instructional strategies. But will this really fix the problem?
Many educators are aware of the importance of promoting students’ social-emotional skills and how this can be done through well-coordinated and implemented social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices. But whether or not these approaches are being implemented effectively and the level of impact they are having on student outcomes can be a bit more difficult to determine.
One of my favorite memories as an artistic and creative child was when the “art lady” came on Fridays to my 4th-grade class. She would introduce a project, and we got to pull out those crayons and paints we stored in our desks. We learned to do “stained glass” with tissue paper, draw pumpkins, and learn what to do when we made mistakes.
Teachers, how many of you have a perfect Multi-Tiered System of Supports/RTI triangle in your classroom, wherein at least 80% of your students’ needs can be met by Tier 1, core instruction, 10-15% need Tier 2 interventions, and 5% will need additional Tier 3 support?
During the past couple of weeks, I have facilitated Branching Minds’ “Foundations of MTSS” for two elementary campuses. I asked one of the principals what I should write about in a blog dedicated to MTSS on an elementary campus. She pointed out that she wanted to hear more about the layers of support illustrated in the graphic below. “Okay”, I thought I could work on that.
Many districts and schools are now regularly collecting data assessing students’ social-emotional and behavioral skills. Data from assessments and screeners are typically used to identify students needing additional support. Other pieces of data, such as behavior monitoring or tracking, are commonly used to track the progress students are making toward their goals.