Common Core State Standards in the Response to Intervention Classroom

Common Core State Standards in the Response to Intervention Classroom

Common Core State Standards in the Response to Intervention Classroom

Linda New Levine & Mary Lou McCloskey

March 21, 2013 TESOL

No Water, No Life, No Blue, No Green

Common Core State Standards, Grade 5
RL.5.2 / Determine a theme of a story, drama or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
RI.5.1 / Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
W.5.4 / Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Scaffolding & Teaching Techniques for Oral Language Development:

  • Question Answer Relationships (QAR) (Raphael & Au, 2011)
  • Right There Questions
  • Think and Search Questions
  • Author and You Questions
  • On My Own Questions
  • Teacher Collaborative Dialogues(Levine McCloskey, 2013)
  • Teacher repeats
  • Teacher recasts a student utterance
  • Teacher reformulates a student utterance
  • Teacher prompts for more information
  • Reciprocal Teaching (Palinscar & Brown, 1984)
  • Summarizing
  • Clarifying
  • Questioning
  • Predicting

RTI Tier 1 Sampler for Oral Language Development:

  • Communicate oral language objectives to students orally and in writing. Ask students to restate the objective to a partner.
  • Use a variety of 10-2 structures such as Think-Pair-Share throughout instruction. Use these structures to help student explain concepts to each other or to answer questions posed orally.
  • Provide time for opportunities for extended discourse. For example, use Paired Verbal Fluency to have student orally summarize content information acquired through lecture, the textbook, or the computer.

RTI Tier 2 Sampler for Oral Language Development:

  • Work with a small group of ELLs to pre-teach academic vocabulary prior to a reading lesson. Require students to use the language orally by defining vocabulary in their own words, stating similarities and differences between words, telling what the words do not mean, giving an example of the word from their own experience, and other oral language tasks.
  • Activate learning by requiring students to make predictions orally to a partner. Provide extra time during class for these predictions.
  • Have students tell what they know about a new topic. Ask them to relate the new topic to prior learning or to prior experiences. Provide extra time for these stories to be told.

Scaffolding & Teaching Techniques for Reading & Writing Development:

  • Read, Retell, Summarize
  • Underline key words in the text
  • Read the text aloud or silently
  • Retell the text using only the key words as a scaffold
  • Summarize the text without the key words
  • Refer back to the text to check comprehension
  • Close to Far Citations
  • Personal Writing
  • Interview
  • Research Text
  • Research Report

RTI Tier 1 Sampler for Reading Development:

  • Help learners find books they can read that are from or about their home cultures. Encourage learners to compare the book to their own experience and share their ideas with the class. Whenever possible, connect learner’s cultures and countries to topics you are studying in social studies, e.g., history, geography, political organization, or culture, and encourage ELLs to share their own knowledge.
  • Help learners create and learn to use a reading journal to track the books they read. Have them make recommendations to classmates.
  • Use graphic organizers to outline/summarize class readings. Keep a list on the wall of the kinds of graphic organizers learners know about. Ask them to use one of them in preparing a report to the class.
  • Use think-aloud to share your thinking processes as you prepare to read a challenging content-area text. Talk about how you skim the text, looking at the pictures and reading the captions. Then you read all the bold print headers. Then you look at the questions at the end. Then you read the text and check your comprehension as you read.

RTI Tier 2 Sampler for Reading Development:

  • Teach small groups of learners how to ask questions about a text: details, clarification, prediction, and summary. Pair learners to do reciprocal reading with an accessible text.
  • Work individually with students. While other students are reading the text assignment, meet with ELLs and read some portions of the text together. Create an instructional conversation to develop background, teach needed skills of concepts, and help them use text, pictures, and reasoning to discuss their ideas about the text.
  • Use a story that the class has dictated and revised and that you have written on chart paper as a text for a shared reading with a small group of ELLs.
  • Incorporate intensive instruction into programs for secondary students who are developing literacy. Ensure that the instruction is systematic and explicit with modeling, multiple examples, and feedback. Require that the reading teacher, ESL teacher, and content teachers are sharing goals and objectives so that all learning is integrated.


Erle, S. (2009). Sylvia Erle’s TED Prize Wish to Protect Our Oceans. TED. L. N. & McCloskey,M. L. (forthcoming). No water, no life, no blue, no green. In M. Gottlieb & G. Ernst-Slavit (Eds.), Academic language in diverse classrooms: Promoting content and language learning. English language arts grades 3-5. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Levine, L. N. & McCloskey, M. L. (2013). Teaching English language and content in mainstream classes: One class, many paths. (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Palinscar A. S. & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension- fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1(2), 117-175.

Raphael, T. & Au, K. (2011).Accessible ComprehensionInstruction Through QAR. In J. Paratore and R. McCormack After Early Intervention, Then What? Newark, DE: International Reading Association. SchoolRise Preprint. L.N. & McCloskey, M. L. CCSS in RTI