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Response to intervention: Treatment validity and implementation challenges in the primary and middle grades

Literacy and Learning

ISBN: 978-1-84950-776-9, eISBN: 978-1-84950-777-6

Publication date: 22 February 2010


The primary purpose of this chapter is to describe intensive multicomponent reading interventions for use in Response to Intervention (RTI) implementation within elementary and middle schools. In early elementary grades, RTI has a focus on prevention through effective classroom instruction and increasingly powerful early interventions to meet student needs. By contrast, in middle school, the focus of RTI shifts to remediation and the provision of interventions with the power to help more students to be able to read on grade level. First, we provide an overview of RTI and explain the notion of treatment validity within RTI implementation. Next, we describe a kindergarten study that illustrates how the intensity of delivery may impact expected outcomes at Tier 2 and then summarize research on extensive interventions for the primary grades. Then we summarize remedial interventions for older students and examine the percent of older students whose reading could be normalized by focusing on a newly developed intensive middle school remedial intervention that incorporates code- and meaning-focused instruction in a peer-mediated format. Finally, we will discuss RTI challenges and implementation issues.


Al Otaiba, S., Beth Calhoon, M. and Wanzek, J. (2010), "Response to intervention: Treatment validity and implementation challenges in the primary and middle grades", Scruggs, T.E. and Mastropieri, M.A. (Ed.) Literacy and Learning (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-28.



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