Tier one classroom instruction is always about learning grade level standards. But what about the kids that aren't quite there yet? How do we scaffold them up to achieve those standards? Here are a few ways to make accommodations that get kids where they need to be.
The Why Behind RTI
Even before RTI was a thing, I worked alongside teachers as they put a three tier model of reading instruction into practice through the Reading First Initiative (2002). Over the past twelve years, I’ve worked with schools in Texas, Missouri, Michigan, and New York to examine Response to Instruction (RTI) best practices and ensure these practices are embraced and in place in every classroom.
From pre-kindergarten to high school, students need frequent practice using their numeracy skills to solve problems. During five-to-ten minute number talks, students solve problems using mental math strategies and explain how they arrived at a solution.
Meeting the needs of every student can be rewarding yet exhausting at the same time! Here are some fresh instructional ideas for helping students to process their learning.
It is important for children to be creative as they engage in projects and new ways to solve problems in the classroom. This is intrinsically motivating. Modeling and discussing what it looks like to imagine, create and innovate is the best way to promote this habit of the mind. Here are some texts and a video to help spark the discussion in your school or classroom.
This short video is a great way to illustrate Creating, Imagining, and innovating. The video includes some historical features about how people have been innovative and changed the way we have done tasks. It also uses uses the habit of the mind specifically in improving writing!
This is a great text to show students how your imagination can take you on great journeys and help you problem solve. Walk along with Harold as he draws his story! Habits of the mind: Creating, Imagining, Innovating, Responding with Wonderment and Awe, Gathering Data Through all Senses.
Max's brothers have great collections that they do not let him touch or be apart of. Max decides to start his own collection of words! Max's collection just needs a little imagination to make a story! Habits of the mind: Creating, Imagining, Innovating, Thinking Flexibly.
With state assessments fast approaching, many educators are "teaching with their hair on fire!" We are all trying to get as much review and practice in as possible and make sure to revisit all the tested standards. Sound familiar?
Here are 3 strategies to consider when planning!
Small group guided math instruction is a powerful tool for helping students accelerate their problem solving skills. Just ten minutes of coaching and practice can potentially move students by leaps and bounds. Here are a few guidelines for guided math groups:
The Art of Seeing Alternatives
The skill of a great thinker in to be able to think flexibly. When we think flexibly we see other prospectives, generate alternatives, and consider other options. It's easy to say, "That's impossible" or "That will never work" but, being able to look at the situation and try to solve it or think flexibly is the sign of a growth mindset!
The Art of Listening
Sometimes the most important thing you can do for someone is to simply listen. As easy as this sounds, it's actually not! Listening is a skill that takes both self control and compassion for others. When you stop and listen, you are putting aside yourself and focusing on others. Listening with empathy and understanding is one essential skill that students need to see modeled, authentically practiced, and discussed often.
The first five-to-eight minutes of class sets the stage for the learning. Students need (and want) to be engaged and thinking from the moment they walk into our classrooms. Sometimes this can become a daunting task with all the morning routines we must complete before the first lesson of the day can begin. Being organized and intentionally incorporating student interests and natural curiosity will wake up the brain, get dendrites excited, and synapses firing!
We have compiled a list of some ways to wake up the brain and get students in a learning ready state of mind.
The purpose of school is to teach children strategies for becoming successful adults. Students need to learn academic skills and academic behaviors that will help them succeed in the classroom and in challenging life situations. Costa and Kallick have identified 16 habits of mind that help us respond intelligently when charting unfamiliar territories.
The beginning of the year sets the tone for you and your students' entire school year. Educators have the task of creating a positive learning environment and setting the attitude and perception of their classroom. What are you doing to help your students establish or continue to have a growth mindset?