About 5 years ago I heard mention of a new mandated program to soon sweep the nation. It was called Response to Intervention…RTI for short (of course)! Little did I know how this would turn my world upside down.
At the time I was a self-contained 5th grade teacher (ex-Title I teacher) and loving my new home with my class of 25. Life was good in teacher land! And then…it hit! I was moved back to the Title I position in our building for another go around at teaching the entire district remedial reading. OMG…why me? (Being the only one with a masters degree in reading will do that to ya!) 🙂 I was asked, by our new principle, to turn the program around and do what the RTI initiative was designed to do…meet every child’s reading needs. Easy peesy right? No…
After the tears subsided, I vowed to make the best of it and do the best I could in an almost impossible situation. Really? How was I supposed to teach and remediate 500 children grades K-5? Afterall…I did get my master in reading for a reason. I loved it!
After 3 years of digging in, spending countless hours locked in my tiny little room, I’m pale and a little under exercised, but I am here to tell you that I am making it happen and I am completely and utterly shocked and amazed that little me could do such a thing.
In the past 3 years, I took a failing RTI program with little results and little data to drive instruction to an RTI RESULT PRODUCING BEAST! In the last two years alone, our school’s special education referrals were decreased by 25% and I know with the implementation of next year’s co-teaching of guided reading groups, it may increase again.
How did we do it? A lot of looking into our screening materials, tons of research, hours of piloting, endless days of creating new assessments, and a partner from God himself. That’s how! I can’t wait to see how this year goes.
I began to reflect upon my countless hours of searching for a ready-made program. Well…one didn’t, so it led me to think there is a need for it.
My goal this summer, or maybe early this fall, is to publish a product that will show teachers/administrators step by step how to create such a program. I plan to list it on TpT so no one has to start from scratch like I did. We all work hard…why not share the love? Right?
Watch for it on my blog or in my TpT store soon. I’m going to be looking for some teachers who love reading instruction and assessment, or simply a teacher that loves to implement new things with a set of fresh eyes, to look at my products before I list. If you are willing to help me out…I will provide it to you for free. If interested in helping me proof, contact