Thank you to those of you who attended my workshop, “RTI: A Complete Apple Workflow” at the CUE conference this weekend. I spoke about using Apple Software to address your Response to Intervention program. This post contains the links, resources, and ideas that I shared. Rather than simply posting the keynote file (which is much easier) I prefer to recap and flush out some of the ideas so that it’s beneficial even to those who weren’t there.
What is RTI?
As I define it, rather than simply teaching everyone the same thing and assuming that if someone doesn’t “get it” that there’s something wrong with them, RTI assumes that there will be students who do not master a concept after whole group instruction and will need additional time and intensity (interventions) to master concepts. This, of course, is very similar to the idea of Independent Work Time.
Alice Mercer, in her CUE presentation, also addressed RTI and went into additional detail in defining it.
Part One: Dealing with Data
It’s very important to collect and analyze data in order to target interventions to specific student need. “Fluency” is to vague to be an intervention. Focusing on short vowels, long vowels, or digraphs is a better intervention because it targets a specific student need. Using Apple’s iWork (Pages and Numbers) or even Microsoft Word’s (Office and Excel) can help you to organize data by creating a spreadsheet, graphing data, and using the word processor’s mail merge functions to create parent reports about student data. I much prefer iWork to Office because of its ease of use and the ability to create better looking documents.
Part Two: Prescriptions for Success ways of using Apple technology to address student needs
- Use Garageband to record students doing Reader’s Theater and then add photos via iMovie or Final Cut Pro
- Find free Reader’s Theater scripts here
- See two of my projects done this way…The City Mouse and the Country Mouse and Tales from the Yard
- Use iPods with Voice Recorders to have students record their voices or have students record their voices directly into Garageband.
- Find a voice recorder
- Find out more about these techniques through Escondido Unified’s iRead Project
- iMovie projects which focus on unit themes and non-linguistic representations (as per Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works)
- See our example for the Look Again Camouflage Unit
- Read about how vocabulary is scaffolded for such projects
While behavior tracking software is popular among schools with large behavior problems. I saw office referrals eliminated in my classroom simply through working on these movie projects. I gave the example of Joseph, a student who I knew would not be quiet if I was to call “Quiet on the Set.” Instead of playing through that scenario and getting annoyed at Joseph ruining other students’ projects, I decided to make Joseph the engineer. He called out “Quiet on the Set!” and he pushed the red Garageband button. The rest of the class was dead quiet and Joseph experienced being a successful and productive member of our class rather than being the one who wrecked everything. This is a behavioral intervention…intervening to improve student behavior rather than punishing students for bad behavior.
Here are two slides that show some evidence that these techniques are producing gains although I am the first to admit that we need to continue collecting data on the subject.
In my classroom, I saw an 18% increase in the number of students reading at benchmark 12 weeks after working on the Reader’s Theater script, The City Mouse and the Country Mouse:
In Escondido Unified, they saw average gains of about 40 words per minute after six weeks of reading with iPods whereas normal gains are about 10 words per minute:
Here are some incidental things I mentioned in my presentation.
HandBrake for ripping movies from commercial DVDs you own for storing on iPod.