Response to Intervention:
Practical Information for the Classroom Teacher
Instructor Name: Dr. Karen Lea
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday
Address: Virtual Education Software
16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450
Spokane, WA 99216
Welcome to Response to Intervention: Practical Information for the Classroom Teacher, a course that introduces the Response to Intervention process for special education teachers, general classroom teachers, parents, and related professionals.
This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.
Course Materials (Online)
Title: Response to Intervention: Practical Information for the Classroom Teacher
Instructor: Dr. Karen Lea
Publisher: Virtual Education Software, inc. 2017, Revised 2018
Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.
Aiding Honesty in Others
The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.
Violation of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.
Expected Learning Outcomes
After taking this course, participants will demonstrate their ability to:
· Implement a systematic process, RTI, to ensure that every child learns
· Apply the essential elements of RTI
· Navigate through each tier of the RTI
· Apply the RTI process in the classroom
As educators, you have probably heard the term RTI, or Response to Intervention. RTI is a process that schools can and should use to help students who are struggling with academics or behavior. Even though RTI is primarily linked to special education and the early identification of learning problems, RTI is not just for students in special education. RTI is for all students and is based on the premise that a student might be struggling because of instruction or the curriculum in either a past or a current classroom. Every teacher will have students who are struggling, and RTI is a valuable tool for easing that struggle. So welcome to the class on Response to Intervention, where you will learn what RTI is and how to use it in your classroom.
Chapter 1: RTI Tiers
In this first section of the course, we will look at the history of RTI or Response to Intervention so that you’ll understand the significance of this process. We will also look at what RTI is, the three tiers of a typical RTI, the essential elements of RTI, two basic models, how to talk with families about RTI, and the benefits of RTI. Your goal, or objective, for this section is to be able to explain what a Response to Intervention is and why it is used.
Chapter 2: RTI Tier 1
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a valuable tool for all teachers, at all levels, to ensure that students are receiving the instruction they need to be successful in the classroom. In the RTI approach, struggling students’ skills and behavior are monitored to determine whether they show adequate growth—referred to as responsiveness—following the implementation of high-quality instruction. Students who do not respond adequately to research-validated instruction in the general education classroom are provided with increasingly intensive interventions. Students’ progress in skill areas of concern is monitored frequently (e.g., weekly), and the data collected inform subsequent decisions about whether a student is either appropriately responsive or needs still more intensive instruction. Although RTI is used primarily to enhance academics, which will be the primary focus of this course, RTI is also used for behavior. Response to Intervention starts with universal screening and is typically implemented in three tiers. Tier 1 is the focus of this section of the course. Tier 1 relies heavily on the classroom teacher, and the goal is to ensure that the needs of at least 80% of the students are met before implementing Tier 2.
Chapter 3: RTI Tier 2
Greulich et al. (2014) found that the need for flexibility when using RTI starts in Tier 1; they advocate for rapidly moving students who are persistently inadequate responders in Tier 1 to Tier 2, where they will receive more intensive interventions. Tier 2 is the focus of this section of the course, which also describes using the RTI process with Gifted and Talented students and in grade levels above elementary school. Understanding how the process works with Gifted and Talented and in the middle and high school levels is critical for a complete understanding of RTI.
Chapter 4: RTI Tier 3
As a student you will be expected to:
· Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.
· Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented. You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course. *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
· Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.
· Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
· Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your
knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score.
After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. Your final grade for the
course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams. This score will be printed on your final
certificate. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as
often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you
try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to
complete the entire exam in one sitting.
You may contact the instructor by emailing or by calling (509) 891-7219 Monday through Friday. Calls made during office hours will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.
If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at and also the Help section of your course.
If you need personal assistance then email or call (509) 891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.
Minimum Computer Requirements
Please refer to VESi’s website: or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.
Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.
Bibliography (Suggested reading)
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Davis, K. H. (2017). Teacher perceptions of Response to Intervention and its core components, and its implementation in reading in the primary grades. Theses and Dissertations. 256.
Ehren, J. E., Deshler, D. D., & Graner, P. S. (2010). Using the content literacy continuum as a framework for implementing RTI in secondary schools. Theory Into Practice, 49, 315-322.
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Esparza Brown, J., & Sanford, A. (March 2011). RTI for English language learners: Appropriately using screening and progress monitoring tools to improve instructional outcomes. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Response to Intervention.
Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2017). Critique of the national evaluation of Response to Intervention: A case for simpler frameworks. Exceptional Children, 83(3), 255-268.
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Greulich, L., Al Otaiba, S., Schatschneider, C., Wanzek, J., Ortiz, M., & Wagner, R. (2014). Understanding inadequate response to first-grade multi-tier intervention: Nomothetic and ideographic perspectives. Learning Disability Quarterly, 37(4), 204-217.
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Jennings, M., McDowell, K. D., Carroll, J. A., & Bohn-Gettler, C. M. (2015). Applying a teacher-designed response to intervention to improve the reading among struggling third grade students. Open Communication Journal, 9, 23-33.
Johnson, E. S., & Boyd, L. (2012). Designing effective Tier 2 reading instruction in early elementary grades with limited resources. Intervention in School and Clinic, 48(4), 203-209.
Johnson, E. S., Carter, D. R., & Pool, J. L. (2012). Introduction to the special issue: The critical role of a strong tier 2 system. Intervention in School and Clinic, 48(4), 195-197.
Johnson, S. K., Parker, S. L., and Farah, Y. N. (2015). Providing services for students with gifts and talented within a response-to-intervention framework. Teaching Exceptional Children, 47(4), 226-233.
Kame’enui, E. J., Carnine, D. W., Dixon, R. C., Simmons, D. C., & Coyne, M. D. (2002). Effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
Kamphaus, R. W., Reynolds, C. R., Dever, B. V., Kettler, R. J., Glover, T. A., Albers, C. A., & Feeney-Kettler, K. A. (2014). Universal screening in educational settings: Evidence-based decision making for schools. School Psychology Book Series, 249-273. Washington D.C., US: American Psychological Association.
King, K. R., and Reschly, A. L. (2014). A comparison of screening instruments predictive validity of the BESS and BSC. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 32(9), 687-698.
Kovaleski, J. F., Roble, M., & Agne, M. (n.d.) The RTI data analysis teaming process. RTI Action Network. Retrieved from
Kwok, A. P., & Lau, Al. (2015). An exploratory study on using the think-pair-share cooperative learning strategy. Journal of Mathematical Sciences, 2, 22-28.
Larkin, M. J. (2016). Providing support for student independence through scaffolded instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 34(1), 30-34.
Leung, K. C. (2014). Preliminary empirical model of crucial determinants of best practice for peer tutoring on academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106, 5-15.
Margolis, H. (2012). Response to intervention: RTI’s linchpins. Reading Psychology, 33(1-2), 8-10.
National Association of State Directors of Special Education. (2009). Response to Intervention at the intersection of P-16 and Breaking Ranks. In the Pipeline: Coherent Connections for a Lifetime of Learning. Retrieved from
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Otaiba, S. A., Connor, C. M., Folsom, J. S., Wanzek, J., Greulich, L., Schatschneider, C., & Wagner, R. K. (2014). To wait in Tier 1 or intervene immediately: A randomized experiment examining first-grade response to intervention in reading. Exceptional Children, 81(1), 11-27.
Pieretti, R. A., & Roseberry-McKibbin, C. (2015). Assessment and intervention for English language learners with primary language impairment: Research-based best practices. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 37(2), 5-20.
Regan, K. S., Berkeley, S. L., Hughes, M., & Brady, K. K. (2015). Understanding practitioner perceptions of Responsiveness to Intervention. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38(4), 5-15.
Rose, R. (2017). The administrative team’s role in one elementary school in implementing Response to Intervention (Master’s thesis). California State University. Retrieved from https://csusm-dspace.calstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10211.3/194738/RebeccaRose_Summer2017.pdf?sequence=3
Rowe, D. A., Mazzotti, V. L., & Sinclari, J. (2014). Strategies for teaching self-determination skills in conjunction with the common core. Intervention in School and Clinic, 50(3), 131-141.
Rowe, S. S., Witner, S., Cook, E., & daCruz, K. (2014). Teachers’ attitudes about using curriculum-based measurement in reading (CBM-R) for universal screening and progress monitoring. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 30(4), 305-337.
Samuels, C. A. (2011). RTI: An approach on the march. Education Week, 30(22), s2-s5.
Searle, J. (2016). What every school leader needs to know about RTI. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Skelton, S. M. (2012). Culturally responsive Response to Intervention: Considerations and critical questions. North Central RTI Collaborative Learning Community. Retrieved from http://www.niusileadscape.org/docs/pl/culturally_responsive_response_to_intervention/activity1/RTI%20Academy%201%20Part%20Hand%20ver%201.1%20FINAL%20kak.pdf
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VanDerHeyden, A. M. and Burns, M. K. (2010). Essentials of response to intervention. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
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Yssel, N., Adams, C., Clarke, L. S., and Jones, R. (2014). Applying an RTI model for students with learning disabilities who are gifted. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(3), 42-52.
Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.