Developing Effective Learners

Developing Effective Learners: RTI Strategies for Student Success

Toby J. Karten

Designs, minds, muscles, flowers, ideas, strength, countries, strategies, and plans develop. An artist learns to rework a sketch, a mind is strengthened with engaging instruction, a weak muscle is exercised, a flower is watered, and a country follows rules. Strategies and plans change course over time and circumstances. The same holds true for our learners. Students do not enter kindergarten or graduate from high school with identical literacy, mathematics, and behavioral skills. These acumens vary and develop over time.

Vigilance, screening, multi-tiered instruction, and ongoing assessment determine the responsive intervention plans that develop learners’ proficiencies. Engaging lessons reach and teach students where they are and where they need to be. Humor, games, poetry, stories, multisensory instruction, modeling, and step-by-step collaborative approaches honor learner diversity.

Tiered instruction helps students develop their skills as readers, writers, and mathematicians. Sounds become letters, and words form sentences that compose paragraphs, essays, and novels. Before learners solve complex mathematical equations, they first count simple quantities. Cooperative play is preceded by parallel play.

As they saying goes, “good things come to those who wait,” but we can never have a “wait-and-see attitude” that passively watches students struggle. As educators, we share interventions and strategies that learners continually employ to achieve steady gains. The tortoise and hare are seated in the same classroom, but a lion of a teacher in a group or pride facilitates ongoing growth and develops each learner’s skills. Effective instructional approaches and the responsive interventions honor successful school and life outcomes.

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