Understanding Tiers I, II, and III Interventions

Parental Understanding of Tiers I, II, and III Interventions Assignment

RDG/502 – Diagnosis and Remediation

University of Phoenix – Mary M., Instructor


Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Parent Introduction to RTI

RTI is a comprehensive approach to teaching and student learning designed to address challenges for all students through differentiated and intensified instruction in the classroom.  RTI is often perceived as a special education service, however RTI is available to any students needing interventions.  RTI uses three ‘Tiers’ or levels of intervention or support.  For RTI to be successful, all Instruction must be appropriate for all students’ learning needs and must be lead by well-prepared teachers who keep up-to-date on new methods to teach language and literacy.  It also requires responsive teaching and differentiation to find a way to teach students differently so that they can be successful.  Appropriate assessment of students that will lead to better instruction must be conducted.  Lastly teachers and staff must work together to address reading challenges with students.

Tier 1 – Core Instructional Interventions in Reading

Teachers use evidence-based curriculum aligned with state standards/Common Core. About 80% of students will satisfactorily access this curriculum without intervention. Teachers reward positive behavior and label behaviors, not students, so that they can identify needs accurately without stigmatization.  Teachers understand the disadvantages of having students out of class and work to keep them in class as much as possible.  If your son or daughter is having reading challenges in any/all of his or her classes, the classroom teacher(s) will try the following for 9 weeks while monitoring the progress of all students via research-based methods:


  • Modify amount of work
  • Change work difficulty
  • Provide extra assistance
  • Increase opportunities to respond
  • Change response form
  • Others as needed and appropriate


Interventions will involve reflection and assessment of effectiveness before enhancing Tiers 2 and 3.



Tier 2 – Targeted Group Interventions in Reading

About 10% of students will need further interventions.  If your son or daughter is still having trouble with reading at this point, he or she may need to move to a Tier 2 intervention.  This decision will be made in collaboration with you, the literacy team and the classroom teachers.  The following may be carried out as appropriate:

  • Conduct a beginning assessment to find out where students are.
  • Determine appropriate reading class placement
  • Provide student with 1 class period of reading instruction  per day with a class size of 12 – 16 students.
  • As needed, cover phonological skills in the class.
  • Use books at the appropriate level of difficulty
  • Use word-analysis and comprehension strategies
  • Provide students with as many opportunities as possible to read one on one with the teacher, or trained tutor.
  • Have students read independently as much as possible, both in and out of school.
  • Include a writing component
  • Involve parents. listening to them as they read their books and segmented sentences.
  • Provide ongoing monitoring.
  • Keep the program structured; Students feel more secure when they have a routine to follow.
  • Closely coordinate the intervention program with the core program; teachers will continue with Tier 1 interventions.
  • All Tier 1 interventions apply

Tier 2 support is ongoing, and dependent on student progress but generally lasts for at least one semester.  Students are placed in different leveled groups or exited according to results of assessments and collaboration.


Tier 3 – Intensive, Individual Interventions in Reading

Students who have not responded adequately to interventions in Tiers 1 and 2 and are performing  significantly below grade level will move to Tier 3 and receive intensified, comprehensive intervention in addition to their grade-level instruction. Tier 3 typically addresses the needs of approximately 1-2% of all students by:

  • use of individualized reading plan based on individualized assessment and collaboration.
  • use of rewards to change reading behavior; (Reading problems are not to be ‘punished’)
  • individual after school tutoring
  • more individualized attention within the reading classes for Tier 3 students
  • All prior interventions apply


Tier 3 intervention is designed to be 6-12 weeks, but like Tier 2, Tier 3 interventions are ongoing, and dependent on student progress.  It is critical that students receiving Tier 3 interventions be allowed to access the curriculum.



“My Child is having problems with reading in class.”


Step 1

The classroom teacher automatically begins or continues Tier 1 interventions.  The teacher may or may not call you right away, but will call you during the 9-week intervention period to involve you in the process and discuss ways that you can help your child at home to become a better reader.by having your child read books at his or her level and ask them comprehension question

Step 2

If after the 9-week period has ended, and your child is still having trouble with reading (based on observation and assessment), the teacher or literacy specialist will call you to discuss reading classes or other interventions.  

Step 3

If after at least one semester has ended, and your child is still having significant trouble with reading (based on observation and assessment),  the teacher or literacy specialist will call you to discuss more individual interventions in addition to his or her reading class.

Return to Step 1

Students who require Tier 3 interventions will likely have ongoing reading challenges in school.  Classroom teachers, as they get to know your child better, will be better able to apply appropriate interventions as they continue to receive Tier 2 and 3 interventions.  At home, you can help by having your child read books at his or her level and ask them comprehension questions.  While all of this is going on, teachers will make sure that your child is able to access the curriculum.


Opitz, M., Rubin, D., & Erekson, J. (2011 ). Reading Diagnosis and Improvement: Assessment and Instruction [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, RDG/502 website.


Gunning, T. G. (2009). Assessing and Correcting Reading and Writing Difficulties 4th edition [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, RDG/502 website.


Kelly, C. (2011). Reading Intervention Programs: A Comparative Chart. Retrieved from



RTI Action Network. (2014). Learn About RTI. Retrieved from http://www.rtinetwork.org/essential/tieredinstruction/tier1


International Reading Association . (2010). RTI: GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR EDUCATORS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL READING ASSOCIATION. Retrieved from http://www.reading.org/Libraries/resources/RTI_brochure_web.pdf

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