Response to Intervention (RTI) can be a challenge for any classroom. During this time, we are required to provide research-based, tiered instruction based on solid data with ongoing assessment, among other components (MOPI, 2009). In a large, double classroom of kindergartners, this seems simply overwhelming at times.
Generally, people consider the struggling learners when it comes to RTI, but we need to be providing for our gifted learners as well during tier 2, and as appropriate tier 1. Differentiated whole class instruction will be sufficient for most gifted students to meet their potential, but the ability to also use RTI time for small group gifted instruction can further meet these advanced learners’ needs (MOPI, 2009).
During tier 2, rather than remediation, gifted students receive enrichment and learning opportunities based on their strengths (MOPI, 2009). According to MOPI (2009), “they may be doing assignments that are more complex, and involve greater depth and/or breadth than the regular work.” Most students will likely embrace such individualization and freedom, but there will be challenges with students who struggle with self-control and direction. As such, careful consideration must occur to appropriately structure learning for all students.
As with all learners, gifted students must receive ongoing progress monitoring to ensure they are progressing sufficiently (CEC, 2009). If students are not progressing adequately, a problem solving approach must be adopted to identify adjustments that can be made to the students’ programs. Instructors must determine if the problem is chronic, or if students are choosing to neglect work (Coleman, 2010). While this takes a time investment, the information will hopefully guide instruction to be better formed to make progress.
Tier 3 RTI is also appropriate for gifted learners, but these will likely be the highly and exceptionally gifted students (MOPI, 2009). These children don’t just benefit from the individualized education, they need the IEPs, acceleration, and so forth. It may also be students who did not make adequate progress in tier 2, which will then see the significance of problem solving and program adjustment (CEC, 2009).
RTI is not any simpler for gifted students than it is for strugglers. In fact, it adds to the multi-level, differentiated education we are required to provide. Our job is to make sure that every student, no matter where they fall, achieves their full potential.
Coleman, M. R. (2010). RTI for gifted students. Retrieved from http://www.rtinetwork.org/mpdf_print.php?htc=YToxOntzOjEzOiJyZXBvcnRfaWRjaGF0IjtzOjI6IjI0Ijt9
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). (2009). Response to intervention for gifted children. Retrieved from http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/siegle/tag/PositionPapers/CEC-TAG%20Position%20RtI.pdf
Montana Office of Public Instruction (MOPI). (2009). Response to intervention and gifted and talented education. Retrieved from ftp://opi.mt.gov/RTI/Resources/RTI_Gifted_Talented.pdf