49 Chapters
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Chapter 9Accelerating Learning With an Aligned Curriculum

Austin Buffum Solution Tree Press ePub

9

Accelerating Learning With an Aligned Curriculum

Paul Goldberg

The curriculum-aligned acceleration model presented in this chapter reinforces the idea that Tier 2 interventions should be closely aligned to Tier 1 core instruction. However, as the author points out, it is important that this is not interpreted to mean that students would be taught the same thing, the same way, twice. One of the ways that the John Muir Literacy Academy ensures this does not happen is by reducing student-teacher ratios for struggling students by flooding or pushing in additional staff during Tier 2 intervention time. Along with reduced student-teacher ratios, the school uses multiple data points to help diagnose causes and symptoms of students who need additional support.

Another important aspect of this chapter is the emphasis throughout on extending student learning. Scaffolded and supported learning groups represent the floor of expectations for all students to master, but they do not limit teachers in providing extension to groups who have already mastered the standard. The school guards against a tracking mechanism by fluidly and frequently regrouping students based on multiple data points.

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Chapter 1Choosing Prevention Before Intervention

Austin Buffum Solution Tree Press ePub

1

Choosing Prevention Before Intervention

Sharon V. Kramer

This chapter is presented first because it explicitly states one of the core ideas behind this book: prevention and intervention are not so much a set of strategies or activities, or even schedules; they should represent a way of thinking about teaching a learning process. As you progress through the chapters in this book, keep this in mind!

In addition to providing several illustrative and useful templates for teams to use, this chapter makes the important point that the only way to effectively differentiate learning for students is through a team process. The author reminds us that respectful differentiation builds on what students know and are able to do and does not mean “louder and slower.” Similarly, differentiation for students who have already learned it should not mean more work of the same nature. It is important to note that this chapter gives equal emphasis to both those who have not yet learned and those who have already learned.

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Chapter 10Ensuring All Really Means All

Austin Buffum Solution Tree Press ePub

10

Ensuring All Really Means All

Paula Rogers

Readers should not be thrown off by references in this chapter to resources many schools may not have—behavior assistants, social workers, and so on. Instead, readers should try to understand the thinking and reasoning behind the processes explained in the chapter and then ask themselves and their colleagues, “How can we approximate the ideas presented here despite the fact that we don’t have all of the same resources? How could we approximate this with what we do have?” While doing so, don’t overlook the staff members who teach Tier 1 behavioral expectations to students, model the expectations, and give students opportunities to practice with feedback. In Hallsville, this group of staff includes librarians and counselors. Who could help teachers do this in your school?

Taking this further, schools should take care not to focus so intently on Tier 3 behavioral interventions that they fail to provide a strong instructional component around Tiers 1 and 2. Without a strong prevention approach at Tiers 1 and 2, schools will soon be overwhelmed in dealing with too many students referred for Tier 3 interventions.

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Chapter 2 Co-Teaching the RTI and PLC Way

Mike Mattos Solution Tree Press ePub

Co-Teaching the RTI and PLC Way

Aaron Hansen

When a teacher presents new content in class, not every student is going to grasp it by the end of the lesson. If the learning targets are essential to a student’s future academic success, then the problem the teacher faces is this: “What do I do with the students who don’t need reteaching while I provide help to the students who do? There’s only one of me!” White Pine Middle School’s example demonstrates how a school addressed this dilemma by providing an extra teacher in almost every core class without hiring any extra staff. Class sizes were increased by about five students per class to achieve this goal, but with the additional teacher available, the teacher-to-student ratio in each class was actually lowered—an outcome that most teachers would welcome. Even if a school cannot revise its current faculty assignments to create a co-teacher position, the concept of having a pair or team of teachers regroup students for reteaching and “stretch” projects within a given class period can be replicated by virtually any school that has more than one staff member.

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Chapter 7 The FLEX Schedule

Mike Mattos Solution Tree Press ePub

The FLEX Schedule

Steve Pearce

Every secondary school already has multiple school schedules, such as a regular daily schedule, a minimum-day schedule, an assembly schedule, and a testing (finals) schedule. If you asked the school why it needs multiple schedules, the staff would say because there are different needs on certain days, and no one schedule can cover all the different scenarios. Providing intervention time is no different—no intervention schedule can meet all the needs of every teacher and student. This point is demonstrated perfectly by the story of Jane Addams Junior High School.

Jane Addams started by creating Flex 1.0, designed to provide two short, timely reteaching times during the school day to targeted subjects. This proved to be highly successful at meeting the desired outcomes, but it did not meet the learning needs of every student. As additional student needs were identified, schedules were created to meet these needs. Notice, too, that Jane Addams first determined student needs, then created a schedule to meet them. They did not first look for the perfect intervention schedule, then fit student needs into it.

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