Part 4: Meaningful Interventions

Part 4: Meaningful Interventions

If you have been following along with us, you know we have been chatting about best practices within Multi-Tiered Systems and Supports. 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. 

This episode talks 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 typically work independently on their learning paths, focusing on a skill in small groups on group-specific deficit 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:
  1. Initial screening identifies skills requiring additional support.
  2. Identified skill deficits determine intervention. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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:
  1. direct instruction
  2. activities to apply learning
  3. 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.

When progress monitoring exposes a skill deficit it then automatically assigns skills as intervention. These skills are in a teachable order, allowing students to scaffold learning and build understanding. 

Viewing live mastery data lets you look at each activity to see where students may be rushing, inattentive, confused or overwhelmed by the level of content. Then adjust the students' intervention or progress monitoring level to ensure that the exact right intervention is assigned to all students. 

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. For the greatest impact, have students set goals using the Classworks goal tracker! The SMART goal framework helps build student ownership of their learning, ensures fidelity of the intervention, and ultimately impacts student outcomes! 

Because the bottom line is - Classworks works! Studies show that when students spend more time in Classworks, they experience more growth! 

Not only does time on task impact growth, students with higher mastery also see more growth. Achieve 80% mastery by reassigning instruction and raising expectations for students. Higher mastery predicts more 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! 

We suggest you set aside 45 minutes each day to work in Classworks. This allows time for screening, progress monitoring, goal tracking, and intervention work throughout the week. Students' actual time on task will most likely be closer to about 30 minutes but setting aside 45 minutes provides a buffer for students to get logged in and set up to ensure they get a full session in.

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 true 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 itself. 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.

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