The Idea of Rti in Preschool

Published: 2021-09-22 01:45:09
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Many children do not enter school with the foundation of social emotional and academic readiness skills to experience early education successfully. A concern in the preschool setting is the presence of younger children in preschool settings who display challenging behavioral patterns that severely stress the management skills of teachers. In a study by Rimm- Kaufman et al. (2000) teachers reported about half the children in their classes entered kindergarten with problems in one or more areas related to school success (i.e., difficulty following directions, working independently, working as part of a group, problems with social skills, immaturity, and difficulties with language and/or communicating). When young children experience deficits, whether in the social-emotional or academic domains, these deficits escalate over time, resulting in extended adaptation and achievement problems later (McCart, A., PHD, Lee, J., Frey, A. J., Wolf, N., Choi, J. H., & Haynes, H. (2010). Response to Intervention develops in early childhood settings as an approach to address foundational social emotional and academic readiness. RTI is the practice of:

 providing effective instruction and intervention matched to child need,
monitoring progress regularly to inform decision-making about changes in instruction or goals, and
using child response data to guide these decisions (McCart, A., PHD, Lee, J., Frey, A. J., Wolf, N., Choi, J. H., & Haynes, H. (2010).

The idea of RTI in preschool draws its roots in a belief that ‘‘early delays may become learning disabilities if not addressed at the age when a child should be proficient with particular skills’’ (Bayat, M., Mindes, G., & Covitt, S. (2010; need page number with direct quote). So, in preschool RTI could be used to prevent children at risk for academic failure, and to provide prevention and early intervention for those children who are at risk for special needs. For a successful RTI process, conventional testing is not necessarily the best option of assessment in early care and education of young children (Bayat, M., Mindes, G., & Covitt, S. (2010). Instead, an ongoing play based/ curriculum-based authentic assessment, along with parental observation reports, should be used for monitoring progress and data collection as well as to understand every child’s strengths and needs within his every day learning experiences and environment (Beganto 2006; Coleman et al. 2009 ). Response to Intervention in early childhood can be seen as a means of providing high-quality teaching and responsive caregiving through the delivery of differentiated support for all young children. In other words, in early education, RTI frameworks are a means for implementing a hierarchy of support that is differentiated through a data-based decision-making process (Greenwood et al. 2011; National Professional Development Center on Inclusion 2012).There are a couple of ways teachers can use RTI in the preschool setting. One of those ways is the Recognition and Response model. R&R is a three-tier model for public Pre-K, child care, Head Start, and preschool instruction providing differential instruction to 3 to 5 year old children based on assessed need (Greenwood, C. R., Bradfield, T., Kaminski, R., Linas, M., Carta, J. J., & Nylander, D. (May 2011). In order to navigate RTI in the R&R model teachers start to recognize that the children are not
making progress prior to referral, it helps teachers support children’s academic learning as well as their social–emotional development, and linking RTI and early childhood programming prior to kindergarten with existing programming for school-age children. Four RTI components:

screening, assessment, and progress monitoring (recognition),
research-based curriculum and instruction for all children and validated interventions for individual children who need additional supports (response),
an intervention hierarchy, and (d) a collaborative problem solving process that involves teachers, specialists, and parents working together are involved ( Greenwood, C. R., Bradfield, T., Kaminski, R., Linas, M., Carta, J. J., & Nylander, D. (May 2011).

Another model that can be used is the Teaching Pyramid. The Teaching Pyramid describes three tiers of intervention practice: universal promotion for all children, secondary preventions to address the intervention needs of children at risk for social–emotional delays, and tertiary interventions needed for children with persistent challenges ( Greenwood, C. R., Bradfield, T., Kaminski, R., Linas, M., Carta, J. J., & Nylander, D. (May 2011). The pyramid model was initially described as an intervention framework for children 2–5 years old within early childhood settings. In the teaching pyramid there are is a triangle that represents three tiers of teaching.
Tier 1 represents high-quality teaching that should be available to all young children. Tier 1 is purposely depicted as wider than Tiers 2 and 3 to symbolize its function as the foundation for other practices. Tier 1 is proportionally deeper than Tiers 2 and 3 because it indicates that there is more intensive support or instruction are less likely to be necessary if Tier 1 support and instruction are in place. Tier 2 is used to help teachers use targeted outcomes and strategies to help struggling students. Tier 3 is when teachers have to form individual strategies to help the student because tier 1 and 2 did not work and further instruction is needed.
These two models illustrate the translation of RTI in early childhood. They both involve parents in all aspects of its procedures, focus on the outcomes of young children supported by evidence, and coordinate staff working across sectors of the early childhood system. Both models are emerging practices in early childhood; however, with studies underway, relatively little is yet known about their efficacy or effectiveness ( Greenwood, C. R., Bradfield, T., Kaminski, R., Linas, M., Carta, J. J., & Nylander, D. (May 2011).
RTI may be especially useful with challenging behavior at the preschool level. Challenging behavior is an important issue, especially in preschool because preschool may be the child’s first experience in education. Some estimates suggest that about 10% of preschoolers exhibit noticeable problem behaviors, with 4–6% of this population exhibiting serious behavior difficulties (Bayat, M., Mindes, G., & Covitt, S. (2010). Applying an RTI approach to children with challenging behaviors in preschool involves forming and maintaining various relationships. Building positive relationships with families is crucial in promoting social emotional competence in children. Therefore, forming and maintaining positive relationships with children and their families is at the heart of the first Tier of the RTI in preschool (Fox and Hemmeter 2009).

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