An Instructional Approach to Behavior Utilizing Rti

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An Instructional Approach To Behavior Utilizing The RtI Framework A Reaction Paper

Academic achievement is how we measure the effectiveness of our instructional programs. Students’ behavior impacts the classroom climate and plays a significant role in active engagement of instruction. Teachers identify appropriate behavior as a high priority for student success (Carpenter & McKee-Higgins, 1996). In response to a 2004 survey, 75% of teachers identified behavior problems as the main reason they spend less time teaching and cannot teach as effectively (Guardino & Fullerton, 2010). Smith &Rivera (as cited in Carpenter & McKee-Higgins, 1996) note that the misbehavior of one or a small group of students can spread to others even in classrooms that have rules and expectations established and communicated to students. This causes time to be taken away from instruction. “You have to have practices and structures that enable students to learn” (Zehr, 2011, para. 8). Sayeski and Brown (2011) describe how you can apply the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework to classroom management. RtI has been referred to as the new buzz word in education today. This practice is relatively new to some but has been around for several years (Phillips, n.d.). RtI is a multi-tiered approach that uses research-based interventions and progress monitoring. The goal is for the majority of students to respond to a classroom-wide (or school-wide) practice that focuses on prevention. If students do not respond positively to preventive practices in Tier 1, more intensive interventions are put into place (Tier 2). A small number of students need individualized, intense interventions and that is found in Tier 3 (Sayeksi & Brown, 2011). Carpenter & McKee-Higgins (1996) state that effective behavior management programs are responsive to individual and group behaviors and are proactive in nature. Teachers are challenged to find proactive and preventative strategies that are relatively easy to implement and minimally disruptive (Guardino & Fullerton, 2010; Musti-Rao, Hawkins & Tan, 2011). Smith and Rivera (as cited in Carpenter & McKee, 1996) suggest, when problem behaviors continue in spite of proactive procedures being in place, teachers should respond by using a continuum of behavior management techniques that correspond to the severity and importance of the behavior. Guardino and Fullerton (2010) suggest a “three-stage process” of observation, modification and follow-up (p. 9). School-Wide Positive Behavioral Supports (SWPBS) also referred to as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) or Positive Behavior Support (PBS) parallel RtI. All use a tiered approach with interventions increasing in intensity for a smaller number of students as the tiers increase (Sayeksi & Brown, 2011). It is a multitiered framework educators use to screen students to identify areas of strength and weakness and then use increasingly intensive interventions to decrease the weaknesses (Zehr, 2011). Zehr refers to PBIS as a schoolwide tool for managing student behavior that when used will increase the time students spend focusing on learning.

Sayeski and Brown’s (2011) article provides a “Comprehensive Classroom Management Plan: Three-Tiered Model of Support Checklist” that includes the guiding questions for each tier and strategies that are in place or could be put in place (p. 11). The goal of the teachers was to shift their focus “from nagging to bragging” which is a common theme in PBIS practices (p. 10).

Tier 1 requires a core curriculum of behavior which is simply establishing behavioral expectations in the classroom or school (Phillips, n.d.; Sayeski &Brown, 2011; Zehr, 2011). Teachers need to be extremely consistent and clear about their expectations for behavior. Sayeski and Brown (2011) listed six specific strategies that are successful to promote desired behavior including...
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