Easy Cheesy RTI Grouping!

Everyone’s school and district seems to “do” RTI differently.  When I talk to teachers around Ohio and teachers in other states, there seems to be many different ways that schools develop their Response to Intervention programs.  

At my school, we have 40 minutes of “Encore” time.  This is what we call our “RTI time.”  Now, before I go on, I should mention that Response to Intervention happens ALL day long within our classrooms – not just in these 40 minutes.  But it is within these 40 minutes that my team mixes up classes and groups the first grade into different learning ability levels based on the intervention or content standard we are currently focusing on. It is a “double dose” of instruction that all students receive based on their needs.
This is what the process looks like:
Each classroom teacher gives a pre-test on a decided standard or concept we want to focus on for data collection.  We grade the pre-test and gather together in a weekly Teacher Based Team meeting.  At the meeting, we discuss the data and record students within the grade level who fell well below average, below average, average, and above average.  Each of us then claim a group.  We sort the students across the grade into groups based on the data we collected from the pre-test.  We discuss interventions we can use, activities that will help our students understand the concept better, and ways to enrich students who have already achieved mastery. 
For approximately 3 weeks, we work with these students and then each classroom teacher gives a post-test.  We meet again to discuss the data – which students are now on target? Which students need additional interventions to reach the goal? 
So how do we keep sane while we are switching an entire grade level of students around into different groups every 3-4 weeks?!
Enter: The Cookie Sheet. 

At the beginning of the year, I assigned each of the teachers in my grade level a color.  I typed each teacher’s class list onto paper with their color and stuck magnets on the back.  Wa-La! Every three weeks, we clear the cookie sheet.  Based on the current data, each teacher quickly assigns each of her students to an ability group. 
At first, someone would type up each teacher’s Encore Group after the cookie sheet was completed.  Then, we got a bit wiser. We tried to turn the cookie sheet upside and copy it on the copy machine. It worked! Now, we print a copy out for each teacher and have an instant Encore Class List in case a fire drill or an emergency would happen during our 40 minutes of Encore.
I hope this little tip can help you and your team! 🙂
Happy Learning,

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  1. We do ours on a Google doc spreadsheet. It is a shared document so all of us can edit it to put our students in and move them around. Each teacher has a different color assigned to color the box for their students.

  2. We do about 20 minutes daily of specific RtI groups for math in 2nd grade, and we restructure groups every 3 days, based on our current math curriculum unit. This is a lot of prep work. We just started doing it 2 weeks ago. So we'll see how it goes. We might have to tweak our groups or our content in the near future.

    Our 1st and 2nd grade, do grade level guided reading groups, so all the students in an individual grade level are pooled together and distributed based on level. We have a similar Velcro chart for 1st grade, since their levels are changing quickly.

    We are ALL Special!

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