Survey Results

ALL of third grade completed the survey! Thanks so much, 3rd Grade!  THere were 21 teachers that completed the survey. Thank you so very much! 

  1. 89% responded that they are figuring out or feel confident implementing math Tier 1 interventions

  2. 85% said they are figuring out or feel confident implementing reading Tier 1 interventions

  3. 75% selected "I've got it!"  or "I'm almost there." for graphing

  4. 55% are "almost there"  or "got it" for moving students to Tier 2

  5. 94% feel confident filling out PMP paperwork

Do you have any suggestions for making this process easier/simpler/less confusing?

  • offer more training (small group setting) during pre-planning and thru out the school year on teacher work days.  This is something I will look into. Although it's already offered, perhaps if there were points attached people would come?

  • The website helps a ton, however the 1 on 1 sessions seemed to help a lot as well. For some reason I had a hard time downloading the correct graph... I am sure it is a user error! LOL! However, I will just have to keep plugging along until I get this right. I think being flexible on both ends really helps. Could be user error, but there are also a lot of problems with the graphs. :(

  • Maybe a question and answer blog of some sort where we can post. Any post on here can be commented on, and voila! - a discussion!

  • I think uploading the pmps and graphs has made it easier. I like that.  Interesting. I thought maybe it was too much for people. It certainly helps me though, shuffling through 250 files is easier electronically.

  • We need a full-time RTI/ESE teacher/instructor. I couldn't agree more!!!  However, what would you want that person to do? You are all much more capable than you think you are!!!

  • I think that after we go through the process this year, it will naturally be easier in years to come...it's just a learning curve. :) Absolutely true!

  • Your website is very helpful...I over anaylize and over stress myself at times for no reason. Great to know; I try to make it easy to follow, but it's a lot of information.

  • I feel that meeting with parents only the 2nd week of school was too soon. I didn't feel I really new my students yet. I felt more comfortable last year when we were able to wait until the Fall SAT-10 results and after the first progress reports. I understand completely. This is why we need to identify the students ourselves prior to the end of the year. Less than 5% of the students that are currently in Tier 2 (those students that were 'ours' last year) were identified last year. That means they entered this school year with nothing following them. Aimee can not possibly pull every student on a PMP, how do we know who needs what from year to year if no one does the paperwork?  And remember how we talked at the beginning of the year about how on SAT10 only 60% of students made a year or more of growth?  It's great that our average is 1.07, but we need ALL students to show a year's worth of growth, don't you agree?

If you could have small group or one on one help from me, what would do you want help with?

  • Which Math skills are continuously recordable...Number Sense. With the exception of many spatial skills in math, number sense affects everything. Harping on a new math topic with a child that has no internal number sense is penny-wise, pound-foolish.  Just as in reading we continuously focus on fluency, word-attack and vocabulary regardless of the comprehension skill or reading material, so must we focus daily instruction on basic number sense to include adding, subtracting, etc. but also patterns, algebraic thinking, etc.

  • I would love to see how else I can use interventions in the classroom during math. What strategies I can use that go with the curriculum?  The first step is to make sure that during your math block you are pulling groups. You can do this by assigning practice or setting up math centers, but it is vital that you work with small groups. Problem solving is highly individual and simple calculation errors can become embedded if not corrected.

  • charting again Come to one of the RtI help sessions and I'll show you again!

  • choosing appropriate interventions  Have you explored the websites to the right?

  • Differentiating instruction for the students who need it.  A great idea for a training/PD. This is an age-old question that never has a truly satisfying answer. I can give it a shot if you come to the RtI Help sessions.

  • How to pinpoint what interventions to use.  You guessed it, come to the RtI Help sessions.

  • Comprehension skills. Putting reciprocal teaching into effect.  RtI help sessions...

  • I am still working on how to best implement help during center time.  RtI help!

  • Graphing. Finding an easier way to do it.  Believe it or not, this is the easiest way I've seen. When we first started we had to do it by hand. If you mean WHAT to graph, let's discuss.

  • how to implement tier two interventions.  Can you be more specific?

  • The interventions to be put in place in Tier 2/making sure they are correct. Can you be more specific?

  • filling out behavior pmp -- what strategies do I list? Meaning what intervention? Have you checked out the links to the right? I highly recommend InterventionCentral.com as a first stop.

  • Understanding how RTI works and the order/process it is to be done.  RtI Help Session!

  • The moving to Tier 2 was effective. More things like that when needed.  Do you mean because it was small group?

  • intervention strategies. See above and to the right. ;)


Behavior Bit - Bucket Filling

As the adult in the room, you set the tone. Are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper? Consider the simple power of words.

Here are some great links to encorporate bucket-filling with your students. The last one is specifically meant for upper elementary/middle school.

Be Great

Don't be afraid of greatness.
Be Great
For your students
for yourself
for your colleagues
for our stakeholders
our community
our county

Be Great
for The Future.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybt8wXIahQU&w=420&h=315]

What's Next?

At this point, students fall into several categories.  Read on to see where your students stand!


Tier 1a - All students receive quality instruction.


Tier 1b - Students below 25%tile or otherwise identified placed on PMP  with basic interventions and graphed.


Tier 1c - Students identified as not making growth on PMP, move to Tier 2

By Monday, October 31st 

Electronic Upload:

1. Tier 1 TPST Form*

2. Academic Plan for Tier 2

Hard copies of:

3. graphs

4. updated, signed PMP

5. SAT10 spring and fall

6. current grades

7. attendance report

8. FAIR reports

(*In the meeting summary of the Tier 2 TPST form, this is where the notes from your discussion about lack of progress from the PMP interventions go.)


Tier 2 - Students receive additional interventions/more time/less students in group

The teacher needs to print the Tier 2 fidelity form and keep track of the interventions.  Perhaps you could talk as a grade level about how each person is implementing both Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions.

Due January 5th:

1. printed, updated graphs

2. fidelity forms

3. current grades

4. FAIR reports


Behavior Bits - Inattention in Class

If the student is unfocused and inattentive in class:

Teach using Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic methods.

Design engaging lessons.

Keep whole group lessons to less than 20 minutes.

Seat the student near you in your teaching 'action zone', the section of the room that you tend to face most often when addressing the class.

When giving individual instructions to--or making a request of--the student, first make eye contact, call the student's name, and be sure that he or she is clearly attending to you.

Post a daily agenda on the board describing the main activities planned for the class. Include the approximate amount of time that each activity will require.

Preview this agenda with the class before beginning instruction. Keep the agenda on the board through the entire class period.

Break longer assignments down into smaller 'chunks' or sections. Allow the student the option of taking a short break after successfully completing each section.

Before the student begins an independent assignment, have the student describe his or her work plan out loud for you. Tell the student that you plan to check in with him or her at the end of class to see what progress the student has made toward accomplishing his or her work goals.

Teach at a brisk pace that is more likely to hold students' attention.

Provide a quiet, less-distracting corner study space  in a less-frequented section of the classroom where the student can go when he or she needs to concentrate on independent work.

Seat the student next to an accepting classmate with good work habits. Teach the student how quietly to ask the classmate for help whenever the student becomes confused or unsure about a class activity.


Behavior Bit - Deescalating

As adults in a school, we demand respect. At times, our demands are met with resistance from students. Like hostage negotiators and first response crisis managers, we should know how to deescalate situations.  Engaging in a power struggle with children is pointless and teaches nothing.

Stage 1: Anxiety - The student demonstrates an observable increase in anxiety.

Teacher: Do not deliver ultimatums. Listen and offer the student simple choices to help the child gain emotional control.

Stage 2: Questioning/Ignoring - Students may quickly jump to this stage and seek to control the conversation.

Teacher:  State simple, clear expecations with logical consequnces.  Try to get the message across that you care and understand the student's position.

Stage 3: Refusal Phase - teachers frequently engage in power struggles during this phase.

Teacher: Although difficult, the teacher must remain calm during this phase.  Provide a solution that protects the student's dignity.

Stage 4: Emotional Release - loss of control. Often, the teacher will enter into a fight or flight physiological response. The student may engage in verbal or physical itimidation or actual assaults.

Teacher: gently removing the student (verbally) from the stiuation is necessary at this point.

Stage 5: Tension Reduction Phase - the student may become sullen, withdrawn, apologetic or fearful.

Teacher: Give the student time to further release and gain their self control. The student needs time to prepare mentally to deal with the consequences of their behavior.






Behavior Bit - Emotional Neglect

I didn't choose this topic because we need to suddenly report emotional neglect/abuse to the hotline, but it is something to keep in mind when dealing children with less-than-stellar social skills/behaviors. If we work hard to fill the bucket of defiant, bossy, bullying, aggressive, withdrawn students, that alone can make a huge impact in not only their frustrating and distracting  behavior, but can also impact them positively in academics and ultimately change the course of their life as it improves feelings of self esteem and worth.  

Symptoms of emotional abuse/neglect:

* difficulty in forming relationships

* inability to relate and bond to other children

* lack of self confidence and emotion

* extreme shyness

* being victimized and exploited by other children

* fatigue and listlessness

* helplessness and hopelessness

* feelings of inadequacy

* pessimism and preoccupation

* difficulty concentrating on school activities

* self denial

* inability to engage and enjoy pleasurable activities

* self injury--hair pulling and twisting, nail biting, accident proneness

* self-deprecating remarks, such as "stupid," "no good," etc.

The following is a list of behavioral indicators of a child who responds to the emotional abuse in aggressive ways:

* bullying and hostile to others

* intimidating and threatening

* bullying and defiant

* ridiculing to others

* cruelty to other children and animals

* destruction of property and fire setting

* repeated truancy or tardiness

* reluctance to go home

* constant attention seeking and hyperactive behavior

In all instances, whether the child responds to the emotional abuse, passively or aggressively, the child's grades and achievement are far below the child's academic ability.


Current Tier 2/3/IEP Students

Students already in Tier 2, 3 or on an IEP have different required forms.

  1. October 10 - a hard copy of fidelity forms and graphs must be turned in to me.  Upload the graphs to Google Docs

  2. October 24th and 25th we will have Tier 2/3 meetings and write new academic imrovement plans.

  3. IEP students are simply monitored. Please turn the graph in at the same time, however, no additional paperwork is required.


  1. September 30 - Upload graphs to Google Docs (I will let you know within a few days if you should continue to step 2 with any students)

  2. October 10 - All paperwork due to me for students moving forward in the process: updated graphs, second PMP (uploaded and hard copy signed), SAT10, FCAT, grades, attendance, FAIR (if it's ready!)

  3. We will meet as a grade level the week before conferences. During this time, any Tier 1 student moving forward in the process will be determined. You can then review this information with the parents during your regular quarter 1 conference.

  4. By the end of quarter 1, please have all NEW PMPs and graphs uploaded.




How is Behavior RtI different from Academic RtI?

The Behavior RtI forms are not online. They are filled out by hand on hard copies.  You may be completing Academic AND Behavior RtI on one student.

When do we place a student on a PMP?

Mandatory: If the student scores below 25% on SAT10 AND scores Level 1 or 2 on FCAT (for grades 4-8)

Teacher discretion: If you have concerns about a student's performance based on classroom observations or beginning of the year assessments

Teacher discretion: If a student is performing poorly on classroom and/or standardized assessments throughout the year

What about students already in Tier 2 or 3?

Download and print the Fidelity form from Google Docs from that individual student's file which will tell you the interventions and give you a place to keep track.

What about students on an IEP?

Students on Speech ONLY IEPs must be placed on a PMP under the same conditions as other students. Students on any other type of IEP are not placed on a PMP usually.

Why can't I find the right form?

Each student has an electronic Excel file, with all the forms in one file. Look at the tabs on the bottom for the correct form. The PMP is the form farthest on the left.

Who do I graph?

Students on PMPs, until after the September 30th data review. All students in Tier 2, 3 or on an IEP.

What do I graph?

Students on PMPs should be graphed based on the three areas identified by the grade level.

Students in Tier 2, 3 and on IEPs should be graphed based on the grade level areas AND their individual academic plans.

How To Graph

Download the Graphing File from the Organization-Academic Forms (or Behavior if that's what you're doing)










Fill in the students' names, assessment name, date, class average,target (usually 70%), # of students taking test, # of students scoring above 70% and the students' individual scores.  If they are in Tier 1 (you just started them on a PMP), you put the scores in the green boxes. If they are in Tier 2, yellow. If they are in Tier 3 OR on an IEP (except for Speech only kiddos), you put the scores in red.
















Finally upload the graphs to Google Docs


Next Due Date

Graphs on all students on a PMP, or in Tier 2, 3 or on an IEP are due September 30 in electronic format on Google Docs. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take this deadline seriously, as I will have over 100 files to look at!


How to Upload on Google Docs

Go to Gmail.comSign in as rti.at.istc@gmail.com
The password has been sent to you in an email.

Click on "Documents" (The first time you might have to click on "More" first).

Click on "Upload"


How's it going?

Help me help you by taking the survey!

How to Start a PMP - Tier 1

PMPs for required students noted during preplanning AND any students you already have concerns about are due by Friday, September 2nd.  This means you need to meet with the parents THIS week if you have not already done so.

In 95% of cases you need the Academic PMP form and the RtI Parent Letter which is on the main page UNDER THE MENU "ORGANIZATION"  You may also want to print the Organizational forms to help you keep track of what is due when for whom! Fill out all the yellow sections, including the meeting summary and remember to sign it!





Selective Mutism

I consulted on a case once where the child had selective mutism.   Here's some information. It's very important to not push them to speak, because if you do you can cause the anxiety to increase drastically.  The child I consulted on spoke normally at home and spoke at a young age. But when she went to school or was in a restaurant, she was absolutely silent. She started therapy and eventually came out of her shell.  Think of it almost like a student with limited English and ask her to point to things, write things or show you things; try communicating with a child through a journal.

"Selective mutism is described in the 2000 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-IV-TR: pp.125-127).

Children with selective mutism may also show:

  • anxiety disorder (e.g., social phobia)

  • excessive shyness

  • fear of social embarrassment

  • social isolation and withdrawal

Many times a child with selective mutism has or is experiencing:

  • an anxiety disorder

  • inner self/self-esteem issues

  • a speech, language, or hearing problem

  • trauma

Associated behaviors may include no eye contact, no facial expression, immobility, or nervous fidgeting when confronted with general expectations in social situations.  These symptoms do not indicate willfulness, but rather an attempt to control rising anxiety."



Differentiating Instruction

The success of RtI depends in large part on the teacher's commitment to differentiating instruction in small groups.   We can often get caught up in teaching whole group, thinking it saves time.  However, consider that whole-group teaching is the LEAST effective method of instruction for ALL learners.  Think about yourself as a learner. When learning something new, such as a new computer program, a new language or the stock market, sitting one on one with someone who can adjust their teaching to your understanding and give immediate feedback is going to be much more effective.  Below are a few resources about differentiating instruction.  As I come across more information, I will add to this post. :)

Strategies That Differentiate Instruction


Strategies for Successfully Differentiating Instruction

Learning and Caring

Multiple Intelligences Checklist



Our students and their parents depend on us to motivate, inspire and teach. If our only job was to teach students who come to school eager to learn and confident in their ability, with extensive vocabularies and no limitations, it would be easy. However, this is not the real world, and it is certainly not the students most of us face each day.

Think back to why you became a teacher. Was it to make a difference? Imagine the difference you could make for a student struggling to learn. Studies show that only 10% of students will learn effortlessly. I hope this blog is helpful in your quest to help your students shoot for the moon, or at least land among the stars. Please feel free to email me if you have comments, questions or suggestions for content to this page.

I am the K-8 RtI Coordinator and Resource Teacher for an Imagine Charter school in Florida. My undergrad degree is in Special Education and I am currently pursuing my master's degree in Education Leadership.

I have taught PreK, 1st, 3rd, 4th and Middle School. I began this blog as a way to share information with the teachers and staff at my school, and I am happy to be branching out and networking with so many talented teachers who share my passion and enjoy blogging about it.