Weakley Teachers Share Intervention Strategies

RTI Collaborative Prompts Launch of YouTube Playlist
Posted on 03/10/2020
This is the image for the news article titled RTI Collaborative Prompts Launch of YouTube PlaylistIn a just released report “Urgency For Literacy: How Tennessee Can Deliver Student Reading Success,” SCORE, the advocacy and research institution focused on academic growth and achievement of Tennessee's students, offers three key recommendations for ending the literacy crisis in the state.

Tennessee must, they say,
• Set a statewide, systemic vision for strong literacy instruction that is based on the science of how students learn to read.
• Support current teachers and leaders to close the gaps in their knowledge of strong literacy instruction.
• Ensure all new teachers are prepared to effectively teach reading on day one in the classroom.

The report comes as the department of education, governor, school administrators and teachers acknowledge the state’s current literacy crisis.

A savvy observer of Weakley County Schools will see the county is taking the initiative with all three recommendations.

Evidence of the vision for strong literacy instruction can be found in the investment of allocating an individual and a team to addressing literacy deficits. Jessica Wade, the District Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI) Coordinator has spent two years working alongside literacy leaders at each school. District supervisors Terri Stephenson and Donald Ray High supervise the work of the literacy-focused team.

In support of current teachers, Wade, along with the literacy team, shared how they are “drilling down to the deficit” with students in a presentation this week to their peers in the Northwest Tennessee Center of Regional Excellence (CORE). The event was hosted by Gleason School.

And, as a means of preparing new teachers, their work is now available on the Weakley County YouTube channel in the form of an RTI playlist which currently includes 23 short videos of classroom interactions spotlighting effective intervention techniques.

In Monday’s presentation to fellow literacy leaders, Katie Ward, the NW CORE interventionist, praised the work done thus far in Weakley County in identifying reading deficits and targeting what students need to succeed.

Wade, using the online video examples, revealed how Weakley County teachers are instructing on phonological awareness (word discrimination, rhyme, syllables, phonemes), phonics (letter identification and sounds, consonants, vowels, diagraphs, blends, suffixes, prefixes, etc.), fluency and comprehension even when an insufficient number of teachers exist to cover all the topics in depth in the designated class times.

“We have to find ways to address the deficits even if it’s using a chant to practice clapping out syllables and using rhymes as the students wait in a restroom line,” she said.
Providing a handy resource listing and connecting teachers to all the available resources was one of Wade’s first accomplishments. Teams at each school, using assessments and classroom observations, then identified the students’ learning gaps that need to be targeted. Periodic meetings allow for the available personnel to determine how they can address those deficits.

In the classroom, students experience the I do/we do/you do process of instruction. First the teacher models, then together the teacher and student practice the learning, and finally, the student completes the task alone.

“Then, if we close that gap, we move on!” underscored Paige Vaughn, a member of the literacy team and Wade’s co-presenter.

Wade hopes to increase the number of instructional videos on the Weakley County channel as she continues to work with her cohort.

Joining Wade in leading the march toward literacy are literacy leaders Jamie Babb, Dresden Middle; Krystle Smith, Martin Middle; Honey Cantrell, Dresden Elementary; Jane Hudgins, Martin Elementary; LeaAnn Crowe, Martin Primary; Beth Davidson, Sharon; Megan Moore, Weakley County Math Coordinator; Paige Vaughn, Gleason; Jamie Doster, Greenfield; and Tori Liggett.

“When I observed the presentation this week, I wanted to shout for joy,” noted Stephenson. “We would not have made the advancements we have if the district had not seen the need for investing in the science of reading and in creating the role of an RTI ‘coach.’ I’m encouraged that if we continue to fill the gaps, we’ll no longer have a need for interventions.”

PHOTO:
Weakley County Literacy Leaders
Literacy leaders from across Weakley County shared their experience at the recent RTI Collaborative of the Northwest Tennessee Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) workshop at Gleason School. Seen here are Jamie Babb, Dresden Middle; Krystle Smith, Martin Middle; Honey Cantrell, Dresden Elementary; Jane Hudgins, Martin Elementary; LeaAnn Crowe, Martin Primary; Beth Davidson, Sharon; Megan Moore, Weakley County Math Coordinator; Paige Vaughn, Gleason; and Jessica Wade, the District RTI Coordinator. Not shown: Jamie Doster, Greenfield; and Tori Liggett.