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    Tier 1 - Core Instruction

    At Tier 1, all students receive scientific, research-based core instruction implemented with integrity and emphasizing grade-level standards and school-wide behavioral expectations. Instruction at Tier 1 should be explicit, differentiated and include flexible grouping and active student engagement. To ensure 80% of students’ needs are met at Tier 1, high quality instruction is essential. Features of high quality, research-based instruction include (Chard et al., 2008): 

    • Standards-Based Curriculum: a curriculum based upon the state/district standards. 

    • Systematic Explicit Instruction: Skills are taught from less to more complex using direct, clear and concise instructional language. 

    • Differentiated Instruction: Students have different levels of background knowledge and school readiness; differentiated instruction engages each student in active learning according to his/her needs. The content of instruction, delivery of instruction, and targeted level of instruction can be differentiated. 

    • Flexible Grouping: A combination of whole group, small group, and individual instruction allows teachers to create fluid groups that meet the needs of all students. 

    • Active Student Engagement: Ensuring all students are actively involved during instruction and are not passive recipients; this can be accomplished with high rates of opportunities to respond, ample time to practice skills, and prompt corrective feedback. 

    • Classroom Behavior Strategies: Proactively and explicitly teaching the expected behaviors and routines, frequent use of reinforcement and praise (4:1 positive to negative feedback loop), quick and efficient transition times, and consistent instructional response to misbehavior. 


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