Don't Overlook Core Instruction. It's an Essential Component of the MTSS Framework.
In our rush to develop and track interventions for Tiers 2 and 3, what often gets overlooked in our classroom is quality core instruction. I once heard an administrator rave about small group instruction as an effective structure to provide interventions for student growth. The administrator stated, “if teachers do nothing but lead small groups all day, they will see tremendous student growth.” I beg to differ. While small group instruction is an effective grouping structure that can significantly improve student achievement for students who need extra or more interventions, it should never replacenstruction.
Why?Instruction is critical to the MTSS framework because it provides preventive skills and strategies for Tier 1. If done well, core can close the achievement gap for a significant number of students within the general education setting. Core does not replace small group instruction. Both structures work together in a balanced instructional classroom where students have various opportunities to receive support from the teacher.
Core Instruction can engage students in meaningful learning that includes a coherent and clear structure that allows students to take on new learning through scaffolded instruction. One example of scaffolded instruction is the gradual release of responsibility model that allows students to develop an understanding of a concept with explicit teaching and support from the teacher. The teacher is able to shift from assuming all of the responsibility to students assuming the responsibility through independent practice. Core instruction is at the heart of a Multi-Tiered System of Support because it includes high-quality, standards-based instruction that is responsive to the academic needs of every child within the classroom.
Are you thinking about how to develop an effective MTSS Framework within your district or school? Don't hesitate to contact the MTSS-Collaborative at firstname.lastname@example.org.