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RtI: Changing the Way We Think About Kids. Presenter Information. Cindy Arkebauer 3-6 Teacher Facilitator / Trainer cindy.arkebauer@risd41.org 309-787-2298. Our School’s Background. 250 students No Title I Funding Middle Class Neighborhood Working Families

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RtI: Changing the Way We Think About Kids

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Presenter Information

Cindy Arkebauer

3-6 Teacher

Facilitator / Trainer



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Our School’s Background

  • 250 students

  • No Title I Funding

  • Middle Class Neighborhood

  • Working Families

  • Little Discipline Issues

  • A Lot of Academic Issues

  • NEW Principal

  • Mainly Single Section Grades

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Looking at RtI

  • What is it?

  • Why do we have it?

    Reestablishment of IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act

  • What works, what doesn’t?

  • Changing the way we think about students - Sara

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RtI - Why do we NEED it?

NCLB being reevaluated:

  • Flexing how you make AYP

  • Evidence of effective instruction

  • Growth rates will be added - RtI

  • Must be data driven

  • Current special ed laws will go away, be an “item” under revised NCLB

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By 2010 - 2011 school year…

Need documentation to show what support and interventions are given before referring someone for special education services.

  • Amount of time of intervention

  • Program / strategy / intervention

  • Focus - Ex: Fluency

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But by…January of 2009

You must have a plan filed with the State of Illinois

  • Has a three tiered model of school


  • Utilizes a problem-solving method for


  • Uses an integrated data system that informs instruction

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What we must all believe:

  • NCLB

  • Spread out services

  • Time on task

  • Quality of instruction / interventions

  • Data, data, data

  • Response to intervention is critical

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Core Components of a School or District’s RtI Plan

  • Academic Instruction

  • Learning Supports

  • Leadership

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Using RTI

  • Define the Problem

  • Analyze the causes

  • Research / develop and implement interventions

  • Study the results

  • Repeat process

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Steps in the Process

Problem Identification -

What needs to be fixed?

What is the current level of achievement?

What are the benchmarks?

How are peers performing?

Are their gaps with race or ses?

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Process Continued…

Problem Analysis -

Brainstorm solutions after looking at data

Look at or use indicators

Develop appropriate assessments

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Process Continued…

Intervention Development

Using data, develop an intervention to

meet the needs of students weaknesses

Support is available

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Process continued…

Response to Intervention

Frequently collect data

Data teams

Progress Monitoring

What is the response?

Good, not so good, ugly

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Good, Not So Good, Ugly

  • Good - achievement gap is closing quickly, interventions are working, keep using them

  • Not so good - gap is closing but not fast enough, would other interventions work better?

  • Ugly - gap widens, change approach / intervention

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80% / 95%


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Important Thing to Remember

RtI is a Regular Ed Initiative !!

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Tier 1

  • Core curriculum must be effective

  • 80% / 95%

  • Race / SES

  • How do you determine effective?

    data, data, data

    “In God we trust, all others bring data!”

    G. Batsche

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  • Understand the need - data

  • Get EVERYONE involved

  • CONSISTENT implementation

  • Slope goes up

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Interventions Tier 2

  • 1st - TIME, TIME, TIME

  • 2nd - Curriculum

    What does the student NEED?

  • 3rd - Personnel

    Who or Where will it be provided?

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Finding Time, You Ask?

  • Differentiate instruction

  • Stagger instruction

  • Cross grade instruction

  • Skill-based instruction

  • Teaching critical material for success

  • After school

  • Home

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After School Programs

Only work if:

  • Instructionally focused - academically engaged time

  • Materials used need to be the same as the ones used in daily instruction

  • Ideal Setting - Teachers who teach the student during the day should teach the after school class

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  • Focus on essential skills

  • Usually can conquer with more exposure and more specific focus of current instructional materials

  • 70% of Tier 2 students need to become proficient at this level

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  • Everyone can and should be utilized

  • Who does what is important

  • Identified needs first so there is no waste of time and effort

  • Student performance is #1 priority

    ignore: labels, locations and staff needs

  • School can not effectively deliver intensive services to more than 7% of the population

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1st Year

of Implementation

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90% of our students

will meet or exceed

on the ISAT

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  • Teachers will use differentiated teaching methods

  • Students will improve comprehension, short answer and extended response answers, academic achievement, and test scores

  • Parents will encourage students to read more at home as well as attend In educational nights at school to become more informed

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  • Teach to the Power Standards

  • Teachers will build specific strategies

  • Use best practices

  • Be patient with slow learners

  • Use frequent assessments to drive instruction

  • Use research-based best practices

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Keys to Success

  • Data Teams

  • Flexible Grouping

  • Identify “at-risk”, now “at-promise” students

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RtI - Sustaining the Effort

  • Consensus Issues

    beliefs, policies, procedures

  • Infrastructure

    problem solving process, data,

    decision rules, interventions that are tried and true, support

  • Implementation Issues - System “Fit”

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Matrix of Reading Interventions

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2nd year of Implementation

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Where do we stand?

  • Looked at ISAT, I.T.B.S. DIBELS, AIMS Math - analyze trends

  • Brainstormed what we needed

  • New AIM Target - Successful RtI Implementation

  • Priority Matrix

  • Force Field

  • Progress Monitoring

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Curriculum-Based Measurements

  • Can be used for reading, math, spelling and writing

  • Brief timed assessments

  • Can be taken from current curriculum

  • Can be given / corrected quickly

  • Do they really give good feedback?

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CBM Sites

  • www.interventioncentral.org

  • www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/interventions/cbmwarehouse.php

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Things to keep in mind when creating / updating your RtI Plan

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For RtI to be Successful

All personnel must have an understanding of:

  • National, state, district policies regarding RtI

  • Link between NCLB, IDEA, AYP and RtI

  • Beliefs, knowledge and skills that support implementation of RtI

  • The importance of progress monitoring / data teams / collection

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Tier 1 - Initial Core Class Instruction

    MUST be effective

  • Tier 2 - Small Group Interventions

  • Tier 3 - Intensive Interventions

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Title I as a Tier 2 intervention needs to work directly with core instruction teacher with what they are working on in the classroom.

  • Same strategies, same terminology, same programs

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Limit implementation to the resources you have-

  • Do small plan well v.s. large plan poorly

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Assessment needs to be part of ongoing instruction - CARS / 6MS

  • Assessment needs to be short, meaningful, focused - Running Records / Comp Check

  • Assessment needs to drive purposeful instruction - Data Teams

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Researched-based intervention really means you have data to back up the improvement

  • As long as the slope goes up, you can count what your doing as an intervention

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Staff members put up mental roadblock if they have the attitude that the smart kids get neglected.

  • Rich get richer, poor get poorer…

  • Reality: Everyone must finish the race at the same time, one drives a Porsche, one drives a tractor but they both need to cross the line at the same time…

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For RtI to be Successful

The number of minutes a student is actively engaged with quality curriculum DIRECTLY correlates to their achievement.

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Effective instruction being “slammed” into students who have “low active” brains will wake the brain up.

  • Slamming = time, time, time

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For RtI to be Successful

  • If everyone uses / gets the same “program or lesson” you can NOT count it as an intervention.

  • You can use a different component from the same “program or lesson” if done in a small group and count it as an intervention.

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For RtI to be Successful

  • It takes 4-6 years to effectively transition to a working RtI model - start now!!!

  • Biggest Tier 2 Intervention for K - 1 is phonemic awareness and phonics

  • Biggest Tier 2 intervention for 2nd grade is fluency

  • Small group intervention works much better than 1:1 - effectiveness / efficiency

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Elementary students who struggle can get by without formal instruction in science and social studies.

  • If students can’t understand what they read, why does it matter what subject it is from?

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For RtI to be Successful

  • Students who are behind need to “run” faster than their “average” peers to catch up to achievement levels.

  • To see if interventions are working: Moderate risk - reevaluate every month

    High risk - reevaluate every 1 to 2 weeks

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Minimizing RtI???

Start with Kindergarten

  • Assess every K student in the first 12 days of school

  • Those at risk, same type of assessment 1 month, 2 months, 3 months after school

  • Still at-risk after “blooming” period is over then slam those students with interventions - Wilson’s Foundations

  • Add 30 minutes of instruction in Nov. to at risk students, 30-40 more in Jan if they are still at risk

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Minimizing RtI…

  • If struggling K students are moved on to 1st grade, then the 1st grade teacher should know exactly where the reading instruction should begin, how much time should be devoted, etc.

  • K-1 students are very responsive to interventions because they haven’t learned bad habits yet.

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Interesting Statistics

  • 92% of students who are 2 or more grade levels behind will NEVER catch up to their peers

  • 4th and 5th graders decide subconsciously how far they will go with their education

  • #1 deficit of H.S. algebra students is the lack of basic math facts

  • #1 deficit of 8th graders is phonemic awareness

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RtI - Wrapping it Up…

  • EVERYONE must be involved some how

  • Biggest intervention is free -


  • Put as many of your resources as possible into your K-1. It will pay off for everyone in the long run

  • Make sure everyone spends quality time on task

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Data Teams and Progress Monitoring

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Data Teams - How they work…

  • Analyze pre-assessment information

    (strengths and weaknesses of students)

  • Share research-based strategies

  • Implement top choice with students

  • Work the cycle for approximately 3 weeks

  • Meet again and repeat process with post data and look at what worked and what didn’t

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Data Teams-What they show you…

  • Gives real time data

  • Researched based best practices are the way to earn positive results

  • Which children continue to be “at-risk”

  • Importance of collaboration

  • What practices already work and should be continued

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Data Teams - The next step…

  • Teachers take the information learned from the data team to their classroom and implement strategies with their students.

  • Track progress with students

  • Change focus of data collection as goals are met

  • Introduce other subject areas to the data team process as comfort level and need grow

  • Students continuing not to meet expectations are identified for SSS / RTI

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How to Help Students Find Success through Continuous Improvement

Developing Mission Statements, Goals, Student Data Folders and Student – Led Conferences

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Establish Ground Rules

  • Ground rules should be established before any group effort.

  • All of the rules should be established together as a unit and no idea is a stupid one. This allows for ownership of the process.

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Using Ground Rules

Try establishing ground rules before:

field trips

working in cooperative groups

walking in the halls

eating in the lunch room

attending an assembly

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Discuss Expectations

What do students expect of:

the school?

the class?

of themselves?

of the teacher?

It is important for students to know what to expect so they know what they should / could be improving on.

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Developing Mission Statements

  • Discuss what the term “mission” means.

  • Students then brainstorm ideas on Post It Notes about what would make a great class.

    (Focus: A class that would help students learn and improve.)

  • Assemble students thoughts on chart paper and then categorize into an Affinity Diagram

  • Students then eliminate through the consensus process ideas which would not be the most effective in a classroom mission statement.

  • Finally, students and the teacher compile all of the ideas into a Classroom Mission Statement.

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Developing Student Mission Statements

  • Students should be able to see a copy of the teacher’s, the school’s and the district’s mission statement. Discuss why these were developed.

  • As a class, brainstorm what tools are needed to have a successful future: i.e.: be able to make decisions, have a knowledge base, have a positive attitude, etc.

  • After reviewing these tools, students will individually write a mission statement including the ideas which will help them become successful students.

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The Goal Setting Process

  • Students should choose one challenge area they would like to work on.

    (Ideally, this should be done during the first quarter.)

  • Students and the teacher develop an Action Plan.

    Teachers and students will decide how the

    data will be collected.

    (tally, bar graph, run chart)

  • There should be weekly evaluation of the data being gathered.

  • Goals and Action Plans should be revised based on the data collected.

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Student–Led Conferences

  • What are they?

    The student, instead of the teacher, conducts the conference with their parents sharing their mission statements, goals and students data folders.

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Center Based SLC

Students take parents around to centers demonstrating what they have been learning in different curricular areas.

Teacher roams around the room to monitor students and parent interaction.

Usually used with primary grades.

Portfolio Based SLC

Students show their parents what they have been accomplishing throughout the grading period using their portfolios.

Teacher monitors discussions while circulating throughout the room.

Usually used with intermediate grades

2 Different Kinds of Student-Led Conferences

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Benefits for Students:

  • Students become aware of their own learning styles, strengths and weaknesses.

  • Students share their “best work” but also work that needs improvement.

  • Students reflect on their work helping them become self-motivated learners.

  • Students get the benefit of one-on-one (two) interaction while sharing their information.

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Benefits for Parents:

  • Many parents come to appreciate their child in a new way.

  • The conferences provide a way for parents to see their child, the teacher and the school in a whole new light.

  • Parents have a better insight into what students are learning and how they are learning it.

  • Parents have the opportunity to reflect upon what they have seen and are able to share their comments with their child.

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Benefits for Teachers:

  • It allows for teachers to see their students have interaction with their parents.

  • It can allow for stronger ties to be formed between home and school.

  • It allows for the teacher to see their students in a different light. Are students developing their self confidence?

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In Conclusion

  • Don’t be overwhelmed. Start slow and be comfortable with what you are trying.

  • Whether you want to start with Mission Statements, Goal Setting, Data Folders or Student-Led Conferences any one of these tools will help students on the road to Continuous Improvement.

  • Once you feel comfortable using one of these tools try adding another one to enhance students’ learning experiences.

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Priority Matrix

  • Make a list of what you think you need to do in order to implement an effective RtI plan

  • Follow directions

  • Realize your top priorities and tackle

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What’s It Look Like…

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Fast Feedback Tools

Using Real Time Data to Drive Purposeful Instruction

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  • Get student buy-in

  • Drive meaningful instruction

  • Quick data return

  • Increase student achievement

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Feeling Cards

  • What kind of tool is it? Establish how students or characters feel.

  • When should it be used? Feeling cards can be used after any activity but especially when the teacher anticipates the lesson may be confusing or overwhelming for their students.

  • How is it used? After the teacher explains that he or she would like to know how students feel about a topic, students put their name under the appropriate category which represents their feeling.

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  • Students could address how they feel about a subject or unit.

  • Students could indicate how characters may be feeling in a story

  • Content area: how an issue may be affecting people.

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Exit Cards

  • What kind of tool is it? Exit Cards are used to get fast feedback from stakeholders to be used to help determine what was gained from a presentation or lesson. The teacher analyzes the information for future use.

  • When should it be used? Exit Cards should be used when you want to find out what students have learned, what they want to know more about and what they would like to try or change after leaving the lesson or discussion.

  • What are three things you learned?

  • What are two things you want to know more about?

  • What is one thing you will try out or change?

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  • Three things they have learned

  • Two questions they have

  • One prediction they have

  • Three strategies they tried

  • Two “big” questions

  • One “thin” question

  • Three ways this issue could affect ____.

  • Two ideas to help out.

  • One way they will actually try.

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  • What kind of tool is it? The consensogram is a great tool for finding out what students know about a topic before you start teaching it. It is also great to find out what the general feelings are of a group.

  • When should it be used? The consensogram is generally used before a lesson or discussion starts so the teacher or leader of the group knows what the needs are of their class.

  • How is it used? Participants put a dot or an x where their level of knowledge or expertise falls.

  • The teacher or leader of the group will review the results of the consensogram before the actual lesson starts so everyone knows what the direction the discussion or lesson will take.

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What’s It Look Like…


Math during the 3rd quarter…

4 - a lot

3 - it’s o.k.

2 - not a lot

1 - I hate it


How much I have learned?







How well have I liked learning it?

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  • Judging the characters in a story

  • Using it to predict what a character should do next?

  • What are the greatest causes of pollution?

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Baby Consensogram

  • What kind of tool is it? The baby consensogram is an additional tool to use along with the consensogram for finding out more detailed experiences and level of knowledge from students.

  • When should it be used? The baby consensogram is typically used after the completion of the consensogram.

  • How is it used? Participants put a dot or an x where their level of knowledge or expertise falls.

  • The teacher or leader of the group will review the results of the consensogram before the actual lesson starts so everyone knows what the direction the discussion or lesson will take.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Have students answer the BC after the beginning, middle and end of the book.

  • Analyzing what reading strategies students used in the book.

  • Analyzing the elements of writing in a story book or a student piece.

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Radar Chart

  • What is it? It provides a visual display of level current understanding of any topic you want addressed.

  • When is it used? Usually before and after a story or unit of study.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Rating your knowledge of reading strategies

  • Grammar skills

  • Genres of books

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Priority Matrix

  • What kind of tool is it? It helps differentiate things that are of importance to discuss or address.

  • When should it be used? When trying to determine the instructional needs of students.

  • How is it used? Follow along…

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Use to guide instruction based on needs of class and students

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Is / Is Not Chart

  • Kind of Tool - A quick chart to show the differences between things and being able to define the distinctions between them.

  • When should it be used? When you are at the end of a book or unit.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Identifying genres

  • Character traits and qualities

  • Identifying reading strategies

  • Vocabulary words / terms

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Gallery Walk

  • Students are given time to walk around and view materials and or projects.

  • Participants are encouraged to take notes and ask questions about what is on display.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • View work on graphic organizer

  • Looking at big books and make comparisons

  • Look at examples of good writing

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World Cafe

  • What kind of tool is it? The World Café is a brainstorming tool used for a variety of purposes.

  • When should it be used?The World Café is a tool that should be used to generate ideas and or comments about a particular topic or idea.

  • How is it used? When doing a World Café, participants are divided into equal groups. Next, each group takes a place where posters or other materials have been previously located around the room. The group will brainstorm their ideas on how to use that concept, idea or material on a piece of chart paper at each area to be visited by the groups. After a specified amount of time the groups will rotate leaving one person and the chart paper behind to explain what the previous group brainstormed for that particular identified area. When it is time for the next rotation, a different person will stay behind to report out the ideas of the previous group. Repeat this process until the groups have covered all ideas listed or posted or until allotted time runs out.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Add details to all of the examples from before

  • Add details to writing

  • Replace over used words

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Stop Light Voting

  • What kind of tool is it? Stop Light Voting is a tool to help establish whether there is consensus or understanding in a group.

  • How is it used? After participants have been introduced to a particular topic or action they are asked to put either a red, yellow or green dot in the appropriate section of the stoplight. A reddot represents that the participant is against any further action or discussion being done. A yellow dot would represent a participant having mixed feelings but would be willing to have further discussion about the identified topic. A green dot would indicate that the participant is willing to proceed with the given topic or action. The results of the stoplight will indicate what type of further action should or needs to be taken.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • If students understand a strategy

  • If they think the character is doing the right thing

  • If students understand a concept in a content area

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Plus / Delta

  • What is it? A tool that lets you see postive things as well as things that could be changed.

  • When is it used? After something has been discussed or an activity completed.

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What’s It Look Like…



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  • Peer feedback for writing

  • Novel work

  • Character traits

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Quality Quadrant

  • What kind of tool is it? The Quality Quadrant is a tool to help generate feedback after a particular event or educational activity. It could be used after any part of the PDSA cycle or in isolation following a particular activity.

  • When should it be used? The Quality Quadrant should be used when more feedback is desired over what it is generated from a plus / delta. When the Quality Quadrant is used by participants, feedback from the facilitator or teacher should be given as soon as possible after the quadrant has been completed.

  • How is it used? Participants put their comments on a post it note and then put their post it note in the appropriate box on the chart.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Content area of study

  • How students feel at the end of a mini - lesson

  • To drive class meetings

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Learning Enthusiasm Matrix

  • What is it? A tool to help identify how well students like any given topic and how well the students think they are learning it.

  • When should it be used? It should be used before and after the lesson or unit.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • Any subject and growth

  • Class behavior

  • Character traits

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Issue Bin

  • What is it? A tool to capture ideas from students in an anonymous way.

  • When is it used? Anytime, that is the beauty of it…

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  • Novel units

  • Students letting a teacher know that they may not understand something

  • Students can share they are not receiving something…respect, etc.

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Fist to Five

  • What kind of tool is it? Fist to Five is a quick way to get consensus of a group after asking a question or discussing a topic.

  • When should it be used? Fist to Five should be used when you would like to get a feel from the group of understanding or consensus in order to know whether or not to move on to the next topic or lesson.

  • How is it used? Teacher will ask students to hold up 5 fingers if they feel great about what is being discussed or proposed, 4 fingers up if they feel pretty good about the discussion, 3 fingers if they know some of what is being discussed, 2 fingers if they think they know what is going on but have some questions, 1 finger if they have a tiny grasp of the concept or discussion, and a fist if the student or participant is totally against or not at all with the discussion.

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What’s It Look Like…

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  • After mini lessons

  • After new concepts are addressed

  • Agreeing with character decisions

  • How well is the class prepared, showing respect, etc.

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