RTI: Fluency on a Shoestring

It seems funny for me to even have to write that title.  But you know how it is…. it doesn’t matter whether the school district is made up of rich folk or poor folk — funding for the school for “new” things is hard to come by.  And yes, I know that RTI should NOT be thought of as “new”.  Nor optional, nor frills — but still — funding is always hard to come by.

So — I was happy when I stumbled upon some very cheap and even FREE interventions that work beautifully in RTI Tier One — and some even in  Tier Two —

This fluency intervention is one of those happy finds.

Its called HELPS Evidence-Based Reading Fluency Program Package.   Yes, that’s a mouthful.  But, since poor reading fluency is a prime source of RTI referrals in most schools — a free fluency intervention is worth my while — even if the name is a bit unwieldy. You can go here http://www.helpsprogram.org to take a look at it.  It seems to have been developed at NCSU (that would be North Carolina State University)  by Dr. John Begeny.  Its targetted to work with an individual student (they’re working on group interventions, but not yet).

Program claims include needing only 10-12 minutes per day and working at all reading levels.  The package includes progress monitoring assessments and teacher guidance.  And the best part — FREE — you need to set up an account and then you can log into the system and access any and all of the materials.

Is anyone using this intervention?? Can you let us know how it really works??

Common Assessments

I worked on a couple of committees this summer and the same theme kept rising over and over again — we need some kind of common assessment.  And it was followed each time by the echo:  something that means something!!

Currently, we have some standardized assessments like the DRP and the SAT and of course we have the good old Connecticut common assessment, the CMT.  But we don’t have assessments that give us real-time information about our kids.  We don’t have information to really know how effective the teaching we’re doing really is.  Who really got it?  Who sorta got it?  Who is sitting there behaving and seeming to get it and doesn’t actually have a single clue what “it” even is?  (I seem to encounter at least one of those every year!)

Common assessments do that.  Good common assessments, anyway.  We surely don’t need another standardized test.  We don’t need to collect another piece of data that no one looks at, no one analyzes, no one even cares about.  We do need information that helps us to teach, helps us to adjust our instruction on a day-to-day basis and makes what we do EASIER

So — I got to looking at the latest new publications from Stenhouse — and whadda-ya-know?  They have a really practical book out on COMMON ASSESSMENTS.  And right now — you can read the whole book online (I do adore Stenhouse for this!!)

So check it out here — and we’ll have something to add to the conversation when it gets going this fall (and I’m betting my bottom dollar, it will get going this fall — hint, hint)