Florida rethinks RTI

Florida educators have announced a statewide plan for “response to intervention” and will be targeting individual instruction for students with the help of Pearson, an education and technology company. Pearson has developed a comprehensive suite of K-12 math instruction that aligns directly to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for math.

The suite provides teachers with the tools for Response to Intervention (RtI) and differentiated instruction. Under the direction of Florida Commisioner of Education Eric J. Smith, RtI is a high priority for state classrooms. Florida has already been praised for student participation in Advanced Placement courses and gains in National Assessment of Education Progress results.

The elementary, middle and high school programs that Pearson developed specifically for Florida focus on interactive problem-solving and building a conceptual understanding of mathematics. Each program includes targeted resources for teaching English Language Learners and special needs students.

At the elementary level (grades K-5), districts are using an RtI model to help students get back on track. The tools for their multi-tiered approach are part of enVisionMATH Florida, a research-based curriculum customized to the new state standards. For the middle school math program, schools will use Florida Mathematics 1, 2, 3, which features embedded support for differentiated instruction and includes multiple assessments to help inform students, teachers and parents of student progress. Grades 9-12 will use Prentice Hall Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 © 2011 Florida Edition, which features assessments throughout each unit to help teachers ensure that students understand concepts as they move forward. Teachers also have access to resources for remediation and suggestions for instructional strategies as they teach each concept. High school students taking Algebra IA and IB can also use MathXL® for School, a Web-based curriculum where students learn at their own pace.

Teachers interested in the programs can visit www.floridamathcrosswalk.com, an interactive Web site that offers activities for teaching to the current standards and transitioning to the new standards. The site includes videos, animations, printables, games and more.