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MTSS Monday: Documentation

Happy MTSS Monday!

This is my last MTSS Monday post before spring break!  In an effort to keep your expectations low when it comes to me posting on a regular basis, I will be taking spring break off ;)

Cheryl of Primary Graffiti decided to jump on my MTSS Monday train! It's nice to see her inspired by another one of my ideas!

Maybe MTSS Monday will become a "thing" and I will be the creator.  Kind of like that time Dr. Seuss created the word 'nerd'!

MTSS is basically RTI, if you're familiar with that term, but with a different name.  We used to call it RTI but then the 'man' changed the name (probably just to confuse me) so now it's MTSS or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support....fancy.

MTSS happens everyday from 9:15-9:45 in our school.  EVERY student works on individualized activities. (Don't stop reading's possible and can even become easy if you can find a way that works for you!)  Some grade levels exchange students across the whole grade's a circus.  I can't deal.

My first grade team and I decided we wanted to do MTSS in our own rooms.  With our own students.  This opens up our collaboration time to share resources....see last weeks opposed to catch up on our own students progress in another teachers MTSS group.

Tier 1 instruction is the general education program.  This means that ALL students are receiving core instruction with flexible grouping and differentiation.  Screening and progress monitoring are utilized to determine instructional needs and measure student progress.

For students who are not making adequate progress, teachers combine their core instruction with additional interventions depending on the needs of the individual students.  This additional support is considered Tier 2.  In this tier you will see targeted, supplemental interventions aligned with the core curriculum.  Tier 2 supports can be provided by the teacher or school support faculty (a reading or math coach) 3 times a week for 30 minutes.  These interventions should be delivered through a small group format.  Progress monitoring data is used to adjust instruction and intervention.

There will be a small percentage of students who still may show learning difficulties with Tier 2 intervention.  These students will need more intensive interventions.  Tier 3 interventions are designed for students who do not respond to Tier 1 or 2 interventions.  This is the highest level of support and is much more individualized.  Students will meet one-on-one or in very small groups (2-3 people) 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes.

At our school they almost always need 6-8 weeks of intervention data to move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 and beyond that to testing.  Tier 2 documentation should show assessment results bi-weekly.  Tier 3 assessments should happen weekly.

In a couple of my previous posts I shared with you how I structure and organize MTSS in my classroom so I won't do that again here.  I know this is starting to get a little long.  I will share with you how I'm monitoring my students progress and keeping track of the extra practice and enrichment activities I provide my Tier 1 students.

I posted an early version of these in my first MTSS Monday post.  Since then I've fine-tuned each tier and added some very basic graphs that could be used to graph either Tier 2 or Tier 3 progress.  I print the Tier 3 progress monitoring page and graphing page back to back.  You will need a Tier 3 page for each Tier 3 student but you will be able to use it for the whole course of your intervention.  You can download these Progress Monitoring sheets for FREE from my TpT Store!


  1. Hi Jessica,

    Thank you so much for sharing how you help your little readers in your room. I am always interested in what happens in other classrooms. I am a first grade teacher in California. We started RTI about 7 years ago and I went into it kicking and screaming because our children did end up leaving our room to go into about 5 other rooms based on levels. By this time I have gotten use to it and see the benefit of it. Next year, however, we will be back to having all levels in our own room because of budget cuts and no reading help. Your post will really help. At this time our below grade level kids are working with a teacher using a research based program called Sidewalks. We encouraged her to add leveled reading books to her 45 min. session so that the children would get a little balance. The rest of the kids do leveled reading groups with word work/comprehension/fluency lessons built in. My assess by doing running records, both formal and informal, frequently so the groups are fluid. What I was wondering is...what do you use to assess all of your children for reading? Our administrator is looking for more. Thanks for your input. Julie

  2. Thanks a million!! Cheryl sent me and I'm glad she did! I'm your newest follower. :)
    Growing Firsties

  3. Lisa, thanks so much for following along!

    Julie, I know how you feel. They threw RTI at us 3 years ago. We kicked and screamed and really struggled through the first year. Some of us did it in our own rooms and some split across the grade level. Last year we were FORCED to split across the grade level and it was a complete circus, not to mention really ineffective. This year we convinced our Principal to let us do it with our own kids in our classrooms....I'm not sure she's completely "sold" on it.

    We also operate in a district with lots of ideas and no money to fund them. There were certainly no research based materials, resources, or programs provided for us to use during MTSS.

    When it comes to assessments I start with our benchmark tests. In Florida we administer the FAIR test 3 times a year to monitor student growth. Using the test results along with DRA reading levels I create literacy groups for both literacy centers and MTSS. Having MTSS in your own room gives you the opportunity to create much more fluid groupings. For example, if I have one student who performs on grade level but struggles with word building, I can move them into a Tier 2 group when I'm focusing on word building with them to provide her with the remediation she needs.

    I've found a few like the PAST test and Easy CBM . They have both been really effective assessments to help me monitor progress between benchmark tests. I hope these are helpful and thanks for inspiring a new MTSS Monday post all about assessments. Do you use anything other than running records to assess? It'd be really interesting to find a way for everyone to share the formal and/or informal assessments they use for MTSS/RTI. I know I could definitely use more options!

  4. Where did you get the Cat in the Hat nerd shirt? I am obsessed with it!


  5. We provide interventions in our own classroom with our own kids..I'm so glad I found these MTSS posts..they are full of great information! Thanks! :)

  6. Hey Polished Teacher! It was actually a shirt one of my students wore to a Dr. Seuss play we went to last week :) She said her Mom picked it up at Walmart. I need to get one for myself ASAP!

    Gladys, thanks for stopping by! I like doing it in my room WAY better than splitting up. You should join us for one of these MTSS Monday posts!


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