Since RTI was originally created to help lower elementary school children with literacy issues, much of the existing material on RTI focuses on vocabulary or linguistic interventions. It is important to understand that these types of interventions can actually be used across the curriculum- in every subject from social students to math- to introduce vocabulary related to new themes and to show connections within themes.
Still, linguistic interventions may not work for every student in every subject. The following are some non-linguistic interventions that can be used across the curriculum:
1. Have your students act out vocabulary words with their bodies. This will give them a visual picture of their words.
2. Have the class clap out the syllables in the names of their classmates or their vocabulary words. This is a great strategy for helping kids remember long and multisyllabic words.
3. Kinesthetic Alphabetizing: Put vocabulary words on individual cards and pass them out to the class. Then have them move around the room and, at a signal from you, form groups (of five or less, depending on grade level and vocabulary) and line up in alphabetical order.
4. Kinesthetic Prepositions: Have students use an object such as a pencil and hold it in, under, over, next to, beside, or above their desk to act out prepositions.
5. Have students finger-spell their vocabulary and spelling words.
6. Form pictures to connect to vocabulary for visual vocabulary review cards, try www.makebeliefscomix.com- This site is a wonderful took for teachers and students alike!
7. Building vocabulary skills at home: Suggest to parents that they turn on the closed captioning on TV.
For more information on differentiation and Response to Intervention, see Susan Fitzell’s book, RTI Strategies for Secondary Teachers.
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