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Differentiating Instruction and Using the Response to Intervention (RTI) System to Meet the Needs of 21st Century Students – Four (4) Day Course

Students in the 21st century come to our classrooms with a myriad of background knowledge and experiences. As educators, how can we best meet the needs of ALL our students, ensuring that they are receiving a high quality education that will prepare them for future success? Our students deserve a differentiated approach that utilizes research-based strategies. During this four day academy, educators will learn to plan instruction using an RTI approach. Participants will determine essential standards at their grade level, learn effective strategies to teach the essential standards, understand the importance of monitoring student progress to ensure student learning, and adjust student instruction based on formative assessments. They will have the opportunity to reflect upon previous lessons and learn how to design and implement research-validated interventions based on individual student needs. Meaningful integration of Discovery Education media will be emphasized as a way to enhance literacy instruction.


  • Teachers
  • Facilitators
  • Reading Specialists
  • Instructional Coaches


  • 4 Days

Maximum Participants

  • 25

System Requirements

  • Lab setting with one computer for each participant
  • Internet access
  • Presentation station with computer for presenter
  • Chart tablets, markers, and easels
  • Appropriate teachers’ guides to facilitate planning
  • Copies of State Standards for the represented curricular areas
  • OPTIONAL: Microphones


  • None

Recommended Companion Courses

  • n/a

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Define RTI and understand the 3 Tier System in relation to the students in their classroom.
  • Determine essential standards: What is crucial to teach?
  • Utilize the RTI approach to develop lessons using the state standards at Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3.
  • Design lessons that incorporate Robert Marzano’s effective teaching strategies and Discovery Education media in order to enhance and differentiate instruction for students at all levels.
  • Determine effectiveness of instruction based on formative assessments.
  • Understand the importance of progress monitoring in order to provide targeted interventions and facilitate fluid grouping.
  • Share model lessons using the 3 tier approach in a collaborative effort during RTI Lesson Showcase.

Sample Agenda

Day 1

  1. Introduction to RTI and DI
  2. How does the RTI pyramid relate to your students?
  3. Teacher Reflection: What makes a successful lesson and how do you determine it was a success?
  4. Hands On: Digging into the standards…What is MOST IMPORTANT?
  5. Review of select Discovery Education streaming resources and search engines (curriculum standards search)
  6. Hands On: Teacher exploration and collection of resources based on essential standards
  7. Group sharing
  8. Debrief and evaluation

Day 2

  1. Introduction to Tier 1
  2. Teacher Reflection: Digging into the core curriculum
  3. Core curriculum with differentiation
  4. Model lessons
  5. Review of select Discovery Education streaming resources and search engines (subject area drill down)
  6. Hands On: Cognitive planning of differentiated lesson(s) using the core curriculum
  7. Group sharing
  8. Debrief and evaluation

Day 3

  1. Introduction to Tier 2
  2. Teacher Reflection: Identifying standards that have historically been difficult for some students
  3. Research validated interventions to meet individual learner needs
  4. Model lessons
  5. Review of select Discovery Education streaming resources and search engines (key word search)
  6. Hands On: Designing lessons for strategic learners using supplemental materials
  7. Group sharing
  8. Debrief and evaluation

Day 4

  1. Introduction to Tier 3
  2. Teacher Reflection: How do you monitor student progress for students with the most intensive needs?
  3. Options for formative assessment
  4. Intensive interventions and comprehensive evaluation
  5. Model lessons
  6. Hands On: Designing lessons for intensive learners
  7. RTI lesson showcase
  8. Debrief and evaluation

They are always thinking about what are your needs first. It's not about trying to push any agenda on the district at all. It's really about what are the district's needs.

Neva Moga

Instructional Technology Specialist, Milwaukee Public Schools