In a couple of weeks, our school will begin RTI – Response To Intervention. This will be instruction targeting the specific needs of individual children and will include homogeneous groups of children across the kindergarten grade level. The Kindergartens are planning to focus on Literacy, as that is the most important academic skill area children need at this time.
With this in mind, I tried the process out with just our class. The literacy screenings we just completed pinpointed the individuals struggling with rhyming, initial sounds, and letter identification.
Those children were grouped together to work on letter ID or rhyming. (Our Work Board rotation is heterogeneously grouped with high and low students working together.)
Almost half of the class knew most of their letters, heard initial sounds, and recognized rhymes without difficulty. Those students worked on other things. This time it was puzzles with social studies topics, and another group worked with opposites then a memory game for discrimination and memory work.
Our next step will be to take a look at the screening results across kindergarten and make up new groups. The students with the lowest phonemic skills will be learning together under the direction of a teacher. Those who are ready for enrichment, will receive targeted instruction as well. This will include guided reading instruction for those who are most ready.
RTI is a new-to-us process and the educators will be learning right alongside the kids. This will make us better teachers and allow us to provide the small group work we have been lacking. Our block of time for this is scheduled for 1:30-1:55, right before recess. How convenient it is, having a block of active play right after this concentrated work block!