Monday, October 12, 2015

Accelerated Learning Tiers of Intervention Graphic #EdBlogNZ

EdBlogNZ Challenge Week 2 

The Challenge: 

'Find an example of a resource you have made for your students, embed it in your blog and discuss how it has helped them with their learning.  Reflect also on how you might further adapt/redesign the resource to take student learning to another level.' 

The following resource is the 'target' graphic that sits at the front our our Curriculum Achievement Plan.  I created this graphic to assist teachers in understanding the Tiers of Intervention.  In the context of this blog challenge, the 'learners' are the teaching staff at my place.

Targeting for Accelerated Learning 

Any New Zealand school that has been involved in ALL or ALiM (Accelerated Literacy Learning and Accelerated Learning in Mathematics) will be familiar with the requirement for their inquiry team to develop and CAP (Curriculum Achievement Plan).  

In essence, the CAP is a plan designed to outline the expected outcomes for literacy and numeracy (including the curriculum signposts), what progress from year to year looks like, what it would look like if a student is 'at risk' of falling below in a particular year, and the indicators of a student that was below or well below the expected level of achievement for their year group.  

In addition to these indicators and 'signposts', at our place we have outlined explicitly what the Three Tiers of Intervention look like, and teachers are able to use our CAP to outline their plan (under the three tiers) for accelerating the learning of our priority 'at risk' student's.  

I created the following resource to act as the 'cover graphic' of the CAP form.  It was designed to be a visual reminder of the three tiers, and a 'quick glance' resource to remind teachers of what resources might be available at any of the three tiers.

Tiers of Intervention 

Tiers of Intervention Graphic BHPS

To explain the resource:

Tier One:
This tier is about effective teaching for every student in the classroom.  It is saying the most effective intervention in a teachers toolkit is excellent teaching.  The strategies for ensuring effective teaching in each of our classrooms at our place include teachers participating in the following; Teacher as Inquiry, Educational Coaching, Learning Talk Framework (PLN) meetings, teacher/teacher transitions and working with parents/Whanau.  In order to be an effective teacher, teachers need to be responsive and adaptive to the learners needs in their class.  This is the most important tier.  In theory, there would be little to no need for the Tier Two or Three if Tier One was in place.  

Tier Two:
This is like 'double dosing' learning for at risk students.  In Tier Two, teachers are looking at what short term programmes can be used to support students.  For the most part these are 1-1 or small group support processes that are accessed from within our school.  Where possible they occur inside the classroom, where the teacher runs the intervention.  A teacher aide may support the rest of the class when the teacher is working with the group.  In some cases there may be a specialist support teacher assisting the class teacher/group.  At our place we have a support teacher of literacy and a support teacher for math.  Teachers may have an individual or group education plan to support students and where appropriate an application to the Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour may be applicable.  We consider the social and emotional wellbeing of our students is also critical, so some students may receive support from our counsellors (we are fortunate to have two) or through our pastoral care programme (that is a different post again).  

Tier Three:
Tier Three caters for students with long term social, emotional, behavioural or academic needs.  For the most part, this support is accessed by around 2-5% of the student population.  These students often have significant special needs, and are supported by outside agencies and support programmes.  Tier Three is when teachers need to access specialist support, expertise and funding.  

You may notice the arrow with Ka Hikitia and the Pacifika Education Plan.  When teachers plan for these students they need to consider where these two important strategies fit within the interventions and how they might be incorporated.  

Further Adaptions:

One of the things I have been pondering in relation to the above resource is the where to next.  This resource is merely the graphic of what is a much more comprehensive document for teachers, but what I think is missing is the leadership version.  By that, I mean what it is that we as a leadership team need to do to support our teachers and to make sure they have the appropriate time, resources, and professional development to sufficiently implement the CAP.  We have the system but an explicit graphic resource that spells out what this looks like might be useful.  

Some self review questions that might assist in the development of this resource could include:  

- How well understood is the CAP across the school?  How do we know? 
- What specific professional development do we need to utilise to support teachers?  (what are the strengths and needs of our teachers?)
- What impact has the interventions used had on accelerating progress - what does the data show?
- How does engagement with the community impact on the effectiveness of interventions and how do we know?
- How well does the teacher as inquiry process and learning talk framework support teachers and learners?  What does the evidence show?
- How robust is our evidence?  
- How can leaders support teachers in understanding and using their data and evidence?

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of questions but a starting point.  I have posted on the self review process before, which would assist this - you can read that here

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