There is no question that an RTI reading program is a highly effective method of educating at-risk and high-risk readers at the elementary school level and there are excellent online RTI programs readily available. The challenge that many teachers face, however, is how to successfully implement a reading intervention program into an already full classroom schedule.
Teacher Directed, Small Group Guided Reading
Students are grouped as Above Grade, On Grade, and Below Grade readers. The first 30 minutes of a 2 two hour reading block are devoted to whole-group lessons. Over the remaining three -30 minute guided reading periods, each of the three reading groups rotate through direct explicit instruction delivered by the classroom teacher. Groups participate in skills reinforcement follow-up and a variety of independent assignments ranging from silent reading to workstations and online research-based reading intervention programs.
Struggling readers in the below grade level group receive Tier II teacher-directed intervention lessons focused on the skill needs identified by the teacher, and or by onlinereading intervention programs for elementary students. Those needing more intensive reading support receive a third reading lesson individualized to their specific needs and delivered by a Tier III intervention teacher or trained volunteer. Each day the amount of direct teacher instruction in reading increases from 30 minutes to 60 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the needs of each student. At this level, Essential Skills early reading intervention programscan be used to provide individualized instruction and exercises specifically developed for at-risk and high-risk students.
A traveling or “strolling” intervention team provides the same increased instructional time with a multi-tier early reading interventionprogram during a traditional two-hour English block. The school day is scheduled into six 1-hour blocks, each aligned with a grade level. During the first hour, the class operates on the traditional Reading Workshop Model. During the second hour, students are visited by an intervention team that moves through a grade level each hour, joining classroom teachers in delivering research-based reading intervention. Students who do not need additional support continue to follow their workshop routine. The membership of the team may change as various staff members (e.g., the principal, the media specialist, and Special Ed teachers) dedicate one to two hours during the school day to support the program. The Reading Workshop model can be supplemented and enhanced by incorporating high-quality online early reading intervention programs, such as those offered by Essential Skills.