RTI2 Overview



The core curriculum (Tier 1) addresses the needs of all students. All students will receive instruction with grade-level standards in small and whole group settings. Tier 1 is the first layer of prevention, and it should be the focus of instruction, providing a strong foundation and striving to meet the needs of all students. Classroom teachers use flexible small groups and target specific skills in reading, writing, and mathematics while teaching grade level standards. 


Tier 2 addresses the needs of struggling students.  Tier 2 is in addition to Tier 1. Students who score in the 11th - 25th percentile on the universal screening will  receive additional intensive small group instruction daily in their specific area of need.  The teacher will work directly with the student to provide specific instructional strategies for the identified reading, math, or writing skills deficits to ensure the success of the student in Tier 1. The skill deficit areas served in Tier 2 and 3 are: basic reading, reading fluency, reading comprehension, math calculation, math problem solving, and/or written expression.    


Tier 3 is in addition to Tier 1. Students who are in Tier 2, but continue to show marked difficulty in acquiring necessary skills will move to Tier 3. Student who score at or below the 10th percentile on the universal screening and with other supporting data will be placed immediately in Tier 3. Students in Tier 3 receive daily, intensive, small group, or individual intervention targeting specific area(s) of deficit, which are more intense than interventions received in Tier 2.

Basic Reading Skills


Basic reading skills include the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in language; to identify printed letters and their associated sounds; to decode written language. Phonics is a set of rules that specify the relationship between letters in the spelling of words and the sounds of spoken language. Phonics refers to a systematic approach of teaching letters (and combinations of letters) and their corresponding speech sounds. Phonics begins with the alphabetic principle: language is comprised of words made up of letters that represent sounds. Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) is a standardized measure of a student’s ability to segment three and four phoneme words into individual phonemes fluently, for example the examiner says “bat” and the student says /b/ /a/ /t/. PSF is usually measured mid- kindergarten through the spring of first grade. Phonological Awareness is a broad skill that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language – parts such as words, syllables, and onsets and rimes. Children who have phonological awareness are able to identify and make oral rhymes, can clap out the number of syllables in a word, and can recognize words with the same initial sounds like “money” and “mother.” Phonemic awareness is commonly defined as the understanding that spoken words are made up of separate units of sound that are blended together when words are pronounced. The ability to hear, think about, identify and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. 

  • Phonemic Awareness
    • Involves isolating sounds, segmenting, and blending sounds in words and non-words, ability to notice, think about, or manipulate the individual sounds in words.
    • Difficulty with the following: Letter Sounds, Phoneme Blending, Phoneme Segmentation, Rhyming, Syllable Segmenting, Phoneme Deletion
    • Intervention Characteristics - focus on systematic development of letter sound correspondence, word analysis skills, and sight word recognition.

  • Phonics Word Recognition
    • Involves matching sounds to symbols, reading words by sight or by applying phonics to decode; focus is on word production, not meaning.
    • Difficulty with the following: Letter-sound associations, Sound blending, Segmenting, Manipulating letter-sound, correspondences, reading nonsense words, Word identification
    • Intervention Characteristics - focus on systematic development of letter sound correspondence, word analysis skills, sight word recognition, consonant blends/diagraphs, syllable division/types, affixes, word attack skills. etc.

Basic Reading Interventions:

Reading Fluency

Reading fluency is recognizing the words in a text rapidly and accurately and using phrasing and emphasis in a way that makes what is read sound like spoken language. A standardized reading measure of accuracy and fluency with connected text or passages, usually measured beginning mid-first grade through sixth grade. 

Difficulty with: Accuracy of Fluency, Reading Rate, Word reading Efficiency, Sentence fluency

Intervention Characteristics- Intervention focus on guided oral reading, repeated readings, echo read, shadow read, paired reading, and direct explicit instruction in chunking and phrasing.

Fluency Interventions:

Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension involves constructing meaning that is reasonable and accurate by connecting what has been read to what the reader already knows and thinking about all of this information until it is understood.

Difficulty with: Passage Reading, Sentence Comprehension, Oral Reading, Silent reading, Words in isolation or in Context, Matching Vocabulary

Intervention Characteristics -Intervention focus on specific skill instruction for vocabulary, fact finding, and making inferences as well as explicit strategies in comprehension monitoring and reading for different purposes.

Reading Compression Interventions:

Written Expression

In Tennessee, an area of deficit in writing for RTI2 is defined as written expression. Written Expression involves basic writing skills (transcription) and generational skills (composition). Transcription involves difficulty producing letters, words, and spelling. Composition is difficulty with word and text fluency, sentence construction, genre- specific discourse structures, planning processes, and reviewing and revising processes. 

Difficulty with: Hold/Use Pencil, Trace/ Copy, Letters Written, Words Written, Word Sequence, Spelling, Planning processes, Composition/reviewing and revising

Written Expression Interventions:

After looking at a student's writing sample, choose an area below to begin writing interventions. In general, it's best to start in one area with interventions, and when those are successful, slowly add other intervention areas as needed.

Composition/Organization of Writing

Before deciding on any interventions below, first compare the student's writing to his/her oral language. If they match (i.e. the student is writing the same way he talks) then consult your Speech/Language Pathologist for possible language interventions. It is very rare for a student to be able to write better than he speaks. If, however, his ability to compose thoughts, sentences, and stories orally is much better than his ability to write these thoughts and stories, then try one of the following interventions:


Progress Monitoring Writing/Spelling

Progress monitoring for writing will be very specific to the intervention you've chosen. It's best to progress monitor the student's ability to apply the skill within the context of an actual writing task. Refer to Intervention Central for curriculum based measures for progress monitoring written expression.  Progress monitor every other week. 

Fine Motor

Often a student who has difficulty with writing composition also may have difficulties with forming letters. If you feel this is the case, consult your OT for possible interventions.

Math Skills


Math calculation is the knowledge and retrieval of facts and the application of procedural knowledge in calculation.

Math application refers to math flexibility for applications. Students should have the opportunity to apply math in context. Math problem solving involves using mathematical computation skills, language, reasoning, reading, and visual-spatial skills to solve problems and applying mathematical knowledge at the conceptual level.

Conceptual understanding refers to the conceptual understanding of key concepts, such as place value and ratios. Students should learn concepts from a number of perspectives so that they are able to see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures.

Procedural skill and fluency refers to the speed and accuracy in calculation. Students need time to practice core functions such as single-digit multiplication so that they gain access to more complex concepts and procedures. Math early numeracy includes counting and cardinality, ability to identify numbers, discriminate between quantities, patterns and relationship, formulate mental number lines, number concepts, geometry, and spatial sense.

Cardinality is understanding the one to one correspondence between counting numbers and the number of objects in a set.

Parent Resources

Parents and Guardians,

We believe collaboration is one of the key elements to helping your child overcome reading and math challenges. This site has been created to provide you some quick resources to read and understand as we work together. We are firm believers that ALL students can make reading progress with appropriate, consistent interventions.

We encourage you to remember that reading is a process, and when we use research-based strategies consistently over time our children will reach their goals. Our children are growing every day and their brains are becoming stronger each day. We will work with you to help you use multi-sensory strategies at home as we collaborate and work as a team to help our children enjoy school.


District RTI2 Team

Strategies for Parents

This article will provide strategies to help your child overcome challenges with reading. 


Strategies for Reading at Home

When children share their thoughts about struggling with reading, they also help provide effective strategies to help parents and adults who tutor after school. This article defines ideas from children that turned a challenging night of homework into fun.


Contact Us


Jennifer Yount, District RTI

418 Harrison Street, Sneedville, Tennessee 37869, United States

423-733-4616 Ext 201



08:00 am – 04:00 pm


08:00 am – 04:00 pm


08:00 am – 04:00 pm


08:00 am – 04:00 pm


08:00 am – 04:00 pm