Nav view search



7 Keys to Differentiation within RTI-MTSS

Posted by on in All Means All
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 1275
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

7 Keys to Differentiation within RTI-MTSS


  1. Differentiation is a process through which teachers enhance learning by matching instruction & assessment to student characteristics; it’s not a single strategy, but an approach to instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies. 
  2. Differentiated instruction allows all students to access the same curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, & outcomes that are tailored to needs. 
  3. Learners differ in background knowledge, experience, culture, language, interests, readiness to learn, modes of learning, rate of learning, self-awareness as a learner, confidence as a learner, & independence as a learner.
  4. Differences profoundly impact how students learn & the nature of scaffolding they will need within the learning process. 
  5. We have a responsibility to ensure that all students master essential content, concepts, & skills; designing specific & continually evolving plans to connect each learner with key content will help fulfill this responsibility. 
  6. We must understand the nature of each student, in addition to the nature of the content they teach. 
  7. A flexible approach to teaching creates learning environments that respect & prepare for student variance; teachers continually ask, "What does this student need at this moment in order to be able to progress with this key content, & what do I need to do to make that happen?"


Instruction & Intervention Systems ensure high levels of learning for all students at all readiness levels through the integration of elements from the most important & impactful initiatives within public education: response to intervention (RTI), multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), professional learning communities (PLCs), positive behavior interventions & supports (PBIS), universal design for learning (UDL), special education, gifted education, & differentiated instruction. 

Most directly & significantly, Instruction & Intervention Systems build upon RTI, a proactive, coordinated, & systemic approach to providing academic & behavioral supports for all students. Instruction & Intervention Systems are among the most-research-based initiatives with which educators can engage (Bloom, 1968; 1984; Burns & Symington, 2002; Burns, Appleton, & Stehouwer, 2005; Elbaum, Vaughn, Hughes, & Moody, 2000; Gersten, Compton, Connor, Dimino, Santoro, Linan-Thompson, et al., 2009a; Gersten, Beckmann, Clarke, Foegen, Marsh, Star, et al., 2009b; Hattie, 2012; Swanson & Sachse-Lee, 2000; VanDerHeyden, Witt, & Gilbertson, 2007).


RTI is a verb, as in, “To what extent are students responding to instruction & intervention? To what extent are students RTI’ing.” To extend the metaphor, RTI is not a noun. There are multiple methods & approaches to designing systems of supports based on the principles & practices of RTI for each & every student. Each school has local, contextual needs that require local, contextual solutions. 

© 2016. Chris Weber Education. Design by Cleverbirds.