Response to Intervention at CB McMurdo School

“ It is a universally acknowledged truth in education that all children do not learn the same way.  Because learning styles and instructional needs vary from student to student, we must provide each student targeted instruction – that is, teaching practices designed to meet the individual learning needs of each student.  We also know that all children do not learn at the same speed.  Toddlers do not learn to walk or talk at the same rate, nor do students learn to read, write, or solve equations at the same time.  We know that some kids will need more time to learn.“ Simplifying Response to Intervention (2012) – Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos & Chris Weber.

With this in mind, CB McMurdo has allocated thirty minutes per day for Response to Intervention (RTI) time.  Each student has been placed in one of three groups according to their individual needs and given specific targeted instruction to aid them in being more successful.  Some students are understanding and achieving in their core classes through the regular instruction of their teachers.  These students are now given extension activities to further engagement, motivate and inspire them in their learning.  The Grade 1 & 2 students have been working to “Create a Secret Club”.  Here they can choose a theme for their club, design t-shirts and secret handshakes, establish rules of order, and create the floor plan for their clubhouse.  Students have excitedly demonstrated true creativity in their endeavors.

The older students, Grades 6-9, were given the task of investigating and presenting a country of their choosing.  They were required to learn some words in the primary language of their country, explain the value and exchange rate of currencies, then describe the points of interest.  Many students also included information about culture – traditional clothing, customs, holidays – and how the physical geography of their country has affected that countries development.

While these students are engaged in deepening their understandings or creating innovative projects, other students now have access to their regular teacher in a smaller class setting that grants them the comfort to ask questions and the ability to properly understand their lessons.  These students may simply need a quieter place to work, or missed part of the core instruction, and are now given the opportunity to work one-on-one with their teacher or in a small group.

After four weeks of this program, staff have unanimously voiced that students are beginning to show the benefits of this additional time.  Students have stated that they like working in smaller groups and have been able to firmly grasp concepts that they may have otherwise missed.

CB McMurdo will be continuing to develop this program to further aid our students on their journey to their personal successes.

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