Meaningful Interventions

Welcome to part 4 of our RTI web series! I’m Judy Teevan, Director of Curriculum here at Classworks. What have we discussed so far? In part one we interviewed a true practitioner of RTI. In Part Two we discussed screening and using the data for tier placement, as well as determining tiers and performance levels for each student. In Part Three we focused on assigning Progress Monitoring. Today we are going to talk about putting meaningful interventions in place based on assessment results. 

Assessment results drive intervention assignments. Through assessment, Classworks identifies skill-specific learning deficits and creates individualized assignments for students.  This independent instruction allows students to work on targeted skills.  Intervention must be at a student’s performance level. This means that there could be a variety of levels a student is working on by skill. While students work independently on their learning paths, working in small groups on group specific deficits is very powerful!

Extra instructional time for intervention is an important factor toward achieving learning goals. Student performance toward mastery of skills is tracked through real time data.

The process of creating intervention should look like this:

  • Initial screening identifies skills requiring additional support.

  • Identified skill deficits determine intervention. 

  • This intervention is a learning path created for each student. This ensures the targeted learning is both a quality curriculum and specific to the student’s needs. 

  • Formative assessments are embedded throughout a student’s learning path assignment to monitor mastery of those skills. 

In Classworks, these assignments are made up of units of K-8 instruction. The units of instruction are the heart of Classworks. Each student’s Individualized Learning Path consists of multiple units of Classworks instruction. 

A Classworks instructional unit includes:

  • direct instruction

  • activities to apply learning

  • a short formative check focused on strengthening a specific skill

Let’s look at each part. 

  • The direct instruction introduces the subject matter with two-to-three minute segments that teachers can also use in classrooms. It is in a learn/apply/review format allowing students to interact with the concept. 

  • Activities provide extended learning and practice on the unit skills. They are in the form of interactive games and activities. They differentiate by allowing students to apply the skill in a new way with each activity. 

  • Each unit ends with a formative assessment confirming skill mastery with ten questions. 

This structure ensures that when students master a Classworks unit, they master the concept. This translates into increased student achievement not only on state high-stakes tests but in cross-curricular experiences and real-life application.

Students stay motivated and engaged because of the variety of activities encountered throughout the lesson - which is so important for intervention students!

Students are presented with different instructional approaches, types of interactivity, and varying degrees of games vs. concrete instruction as they learn each skill. 

Now that appropriate intervention is in place for each student, it is important that it be monitored for mastery. Be sure to re-assign activities with low mastery scores. For the greatest impact, conference with students to discuss the scores, do a quick review of content,  tell the student you will reassign the activity or unit and check back with them. Have the student track results in a data notebook! This builds student ownership of their learning, ensures fidelity of the intervention and ultimately impacts student outcomes! 

Classworks works! For example, we looked at the recent data of an urban district. When students used Classworks more, they experienced more growth! Students with higher mastery also saw more growth. That means that teachers were reassigning instruction and raising expectations for students. Higher mastery is a direct predictor of growth!

When do students work on Classworks? We see Classworks in action daily! I’ve seen it being used in small groups in classrooms, in lab settings, during intervention pull outs and during scheduled extra learning time (or ELT). Having a schedule in place is so important! When students work in Classworks for the recommended time, you will see results! If students need more time in Classworks, don’t forget that Classworks can be accessed anywhere a student has a device and internet! 

Logistically, we recommend 45 minutes per subject per week for Tier 1, 60 minutes for tier 2 and for Tier 3 -90. Working through logistics such as lab schedules, specific time for Classworks in classrooms and additional time for intervention will ensure fidelity of your implementation. Classworks should not be “one more thing” you have to do, but should make data and individualizing much more meaningful and part of your instructional practices. 

Classworks individualized learning gives you real time mastery data. Skill mastery is an important part of the RTI process and promotes student growth! While that’s important, we can’t confuse that with Progress Monitoring. Progress Monitoring looks for general outcomes for students - looking for growth within the intervention level and working to detect how a student is responding overall to the intervention, not just one skill. 

So tracking skill mastery within the intervention, paired with Progress Monitoring at the intervention level, frames a process for teachers to determine tier movement and make adjustments to student instruction.

Join me next time when we take a deeper look at Progress Monitoring data. What does the data tell us? Is the student responding to the intervention? What actions should we take based on the data? Such suspense, I know! See you then!

Additional Links

How are Classworks Units Structured?

How do I monitor/customize ILP instruction?

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