At-Risk and Struggling


 

Response to Intervention (RTI) is widely used for determining appropriate interventions for students who
appear to be struggling with learning fundamental academic skills. RTI requires gathering and analyzing
multiple forms of data, planning and implementing interventions, and assessing whether those interventions
have helped the student.
A special educator must have the ability of using data to make appropriate decisions for students regarding
reading interventions. Additionally, a skilled educator will use a child’s strengths and interests to help increase
student engagement and success.
Review the following case scenario and complete the tasks:

Marius is a third grade student who transferred to Oakwood Elementary School late in the fall. His teacher,
Mrs. Pfirman, has noticed that he seems to struggle with many independent reading assignments. When Mrs.
Pfirman administered the mid-year universal screening measure, she was not surprised to see that Marius’
reading score was below the grade-level benchmark. Consequently, Mrs. Pfirman decided to begin Level 1 RTI
by monitoring Marius’ reading performance once a week for seven weeks using measures to assess his
decoding, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary skills. Marius’ mother indicates that he was on grade level
prior to moving; however, records received from his previous school do not show this. In other subject areas,
Marius excels. His math skills are above the benchmark for his grade level. His speaking skills and verbal
vocabulary are also on or above grade level.
On the initial assessment, the Beginning Phonics Diagnostic Assessment, Marius scored perfectly on all
consonants and uppercase letters. He was able to sound out all short vowel letter sounds, and all vowelconsonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words with beginning and continuous sounds.
However, he was unable to read four of the six words on the measure of CVC words beginning with stop
sounds, and only read one of the words on the consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant (CCVC) words with
beginning blends sub-test. He read no other words on the rest of the assessment correctly.
On the Acadience Reading third grade beginning of the year assessment, Marius scored intensive. His scores
on this assessment for weeks 5, 6, and 7 were 22, 27, and 33. The benchmark that would be expected after
the 7 weeks of interventions is 30 and the expected criteria is 1.6. In addition, Marius’ rate of growth was 1.4.
On a Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, he scored in the 84th percentile, which is well above average.
Marius is extremely interested in dinosaurs, Minecraft, and science. He has two dogs that he is extremely fond
of and shares stories about these dogs in school. He is sometimes off task, pretending to be a dinosaur or a
character from Minecraft. He knows just about every dinosaur by name, geographical region found and era. He
knows what they all eat, how they lived, and when they were killed. He has seen all of the Jurassic Park
movies (according to his self-report anyway) and is eagerly hoping to one day bring the dinosaurs back using
DNA like they do in the movies.
Marius is from a single parent home and appears to move frequently. His mother does have a good job,
though, and he appears to have other strong family ties, including some visitations with his dad. Marius is from
a bi-racial couple who never married and do not live together, although they maintain a good parenting
relationship.
Compose a 500-750 word evaluation of Marius incorporating the following:
Determine whether Marius is responding adequately to Tier 1 instruction, rationalizing your response.
Based on your determination above and additional research, what tier of instruction would you recommend for
Marius?
What do you recommend Marius read, based on his interests and background? List three titles you would
suggest.
Determine what cultural and linguistic factors his teacher must consider when planning an intervention for him,
given the scenario and data. 
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In what learning environments do you think Marius would learn best? Why? Justify your choices with
information from the scenario and your research.
For next steps, would there be any reasons to simply wait and see how Marius does in the next quarter or do
you believe immediate intervention is necessary? Explain your answer.

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