Tiered Support

Multi-leveled support can be viewed as layers or tiers of increasingly intense intervention that respond to student-specific needs. While RtI models are commonly and graphically illustrated as a 3-tiered pyramid, the number of tiers or levels will vary depending upon resources available. Information regarding multi-level support can be filtered by specific tier and/or level.


Provides an overview of the five essential components of an effective reading program and discusses how to integrate each component with variables or practices associated with effective instruction and assessment.

The purpose of this article is to provide guidelines to help educators select interventions/curriculum within Tier 1 of an RtI model. It defines Tier 1 and SBR and relates the findings of the National Reading Panel regarding the five key components of an early literacy instruction with the need for programs that has been supported by scientific evidence. It also discusses the need to use SBR to inform decisions in other curriculum areas besides literacy, although research in other content areas is less developed.

Guidance Documents

Provides a series of guidelines to help educators evaluate key features of a core reading program for students in grades 1-3.

Designing and Delivering Intensive Interventions: A Teacher Toolkit

Murray, C.S., Coleman, M., Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J., Roberts, G. (2012)

A practice guide published by The Center on Instruction. It presents activities and resources to help school personnel construct and implement reading and mathematics interventions for students in grades k-12.


A practice guide written by staff from the Florida Center for Reading Research and published by the Center on Instruction. It offers a wide range of K-5 student-centered activities teachers can ise to differentiate reading activities. The activities are organized according to the five critical elements of the reading process.

Power Point Presentations

Considering the I in RTI

Dr. D. Scanlon (2012)

This presentation was delivered at the 2012 NYS Council of School Superintendent’s winter institute. Dr. Scanlon presents the reasons for prevention versus classification. Much discussion is placed on reading difficulties and understanding how reading is a comprehensive and coherent process.

Core Instruction

IRA Commission on RtI: Lipson, M., Connor, C., Costello, K., & Marinak, B. (2010)

A powerpoint presentation, based on a March 2010 webinar, that highlights key elements of good core instruction. Presentation begins with a general overview of RtI before reviewing guidelines on instruction within and RtI framework. Distinguishes between what is and what is not a strong core literacy program and lists essential instructional decisions to be made relative to long-term goals, instructional outcomes, organization/scheduling, methods, materials, assessment and differentiation.

Differentiating Instruction

IRA Commission on RtI: Valencia, S., Connor, C., Laster, B. (2010)

A powerpoint presentation, based on a March 2010 webinar that begins with a review of RtI and a rationale for differentiation based on existing empirical evidence. Emphasizes the use of multiple assessment measures to group students according to need and the necessity of planning for differentiation. Discusses different ways to differentiate instruction and provides an Adaptation Framework that supports planning for differentiation.


The learning of complex processes occurs incrementally and gradually. The learning builds on a foundation of pre-existing knowledge. In a typical primary grade classroom, children are likely to be at widely disparate places in terms of literacy abilities. They are not really to learn the same things. Instruction needs to take account of this reality. In this keynote, presented at the NYS RtI Summer Institute, Dr. Scanlon discusses ways to differentiate classroom literacy instruction in both whole class a small group contexts.

Within the RtI framework, Tier 1 is considered a critical component of a multi-tiered prevention system designed to accommodate the diverse needs of all students. It is generally thought of as the core literacy instruction students receive in the general education classroom. This workshop is designed to help individual schools evaluate the effectiveness of their core literacy program based on the following indicators: 
1.  How well it is meeting the needs of all students

2.  How well it addresses the essential components of an effective reading program

3.  How well it incorporates scientific research-based instruction that includes explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading fluency and reading comprehension strategies.

Classroom instruction plays a powerful role in literacy development and can be a determining factor in whether a child does, or does not experience literacy difficulties. To optimize outcome for all literacy learners, classroom literacy instruction needs to comprehensively address the multiple knowledge sources and problem solving strategies that effective reader and writers draw upon. In this presentation, Dr. Scanlon will discuss these knowledge sources and strategies and consider how they can be addressed in various components of language arts instruction.

Across New York State, schools are working tirelessly
to implement the ELA Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). At the
same time, schools are required to have established a prevention model
commonly known as Response to Intervention (RtI) to meet the literacy needs
of students in K – 4 who struggle to meet grade level expectations. This
workshop is designed to help school personnel understand how their RtI
framework can support the teaching and learning of CCLS in literacy. This
workshop will present practical approaches for creating a seamless integration
of RtI and CCLS. Attention will be devoted to helping classroom teachers
and reading specialists work collaboratively to meet the needs of children
who require something extra in order to achieve the expectations established
by the CCLS for ELA. A Powerpoint presentation supported by case studies
and interactive activities will be used to help school teams consider new
alternatives for differentiating instruction to most effectively meet the needs of
all students.


Student Center Activities

Florida Center for Reading Research (2005)

Provides access to a wide range of reading activities organized by reading element and grade level for the purposes of helping teachers differentiate reading instruction. Each activity lists specific objective, needed materials, and detailed directions. All materials needed to implement each activity is all provided.


Establishing an Effective Reading Program

Shanahan, T., Lyon, R., & Parker, C. (2005)

Online webcast designed to inform the viewer about choosing reading programs that coincide with state and federal requirements under NCLB. Discusses using SBR to inform educational practices and specific literacy elements that need to be developed in order for reading success.

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