The classroom is a critical setting for strong academic practices, as students spend the majority of the school day in classrooms learning academic content. When we speak about the MTSS framework in the classroom, we are referring to the instruction and practices that occur for all students, including diverse learners. In the classroom, educators should use evidence-based curricula designed for the student population. If you aren’t sure if the curricula and programs currently in use are evidence-based, there are two resources that can help schools and districts make decisions:
Evidence for ESSA - enabling educators and communities to select effective educational tools to improve student success
EdReports - designed to improve education by providing reviews of K-12 instructional materials
In the classroom, evidence-based classroom management should be utilized to improve student engagement and thus, academic outcomes. Classroom management practices should be aligned with the school-wide expectations and include:
- Minimize crowding and distraction
- Maximize structure and predictability
- State, teach, review and support positively stated behavioral expectations
- Maximize active engagement and varied opportunities to respond
- Active supervision
- Efficient and specific feedback regarding behavior
Intervention practices for students who are receiving Tiers 2 and 3 supports should be integrated into the classroom setting. Additionally, students with IEPs and/or 504 plans as well as multilingual learners should also have access to integrated practices and strategies within the classroom setting.
Use of Data
Data should be used in quick, informal cycles to determine adjustments in teaching and create flexible groups of students. Data should also be analyzed in more formal, regular cycles after screening takes place to make decisions about class-wide curricula and instruction and ensuring access to core instruction for students who demonstrate risk of not meeting academic benchmarks.
Although content is a large focus of academics at the secondary level, it is still critically important to focus on skills and behaviors that help students meet with academic success and become college- and career-ready. Educators should support students needing additional focus on executive functioning (such as homework, organization, and planning skills), as well as address skill deficits that may have grow larger over time. Additionally, motivation and engagement at the secondary level are key factors for student learning and should be addressed accordingly. To this end, connectedness and relationships between students themselves as well as students and educators are critical to success at the secondary level.