Using the RTI Model for Behavior Intervention

By Keren Perles

Think that the RTI model is only useful for academic underachievers? Think again. The RTI model can also be used to correct behavioral issues. Read on for information about how to use RtI for behavior intervention.

Tiers for Behavioral Intervention

The concept of RTI is built around the idea of tiers. In order to use RTI for behavioral intervention, it is necessary to reevaluate the manifestation of the “tier." Instead of a student who needs Tier 2 interventions leaving the Tier 1 classroom entirely, the Tier 2 interventions need to take place within the Tier 1 classroom. Because of this, the interventions at each tier including the following:

  • Tier 1 (these interventions apply equally to all students) – school-wide discipline plan, instruction in proper social skills and conflict resolution, consistent school-wide behavioral expectations
  • Tier 2 – communication between parent and teacher, behavioral motivational charts, positive and negative reinforcement as needed
  • Tier 3 – referral to school psychologist, discussion with rest of RTI team, support from paraeducator, possibility of finding an alternative placement for the student

Of course, during the second and third tiers, teachers should record data as to which behavioral modification strategies were used, their effects, and any changes that the student has undergone. This data should be used to determine which behavioral strategies are working and which should be reconsidered in order to improve them.

Intervention Strategies to Improve Behavior

Any of the following intervention strategies can be used to improve a student’s behavior. These strategies should be tried at each tier of the RTI process, as needed. The teacher should take data as to the effectiveness of each intervention strategy and should share the results with the RTI team involved with the student.

  • Motivational charts
  • Removal from peer support
  • Negative consequences
  • Active listening
  • I-centered statements
  • Praising, rather than simply criticizing
  • Giving the student a way to save face
  • Cooling off period
  • Using self-calming strategies with student
  • Use of humor to diffuse the situation
  • Offering choices

These techniques can help you use RTI for behavior intervention. This breakthrough method can truly make a difference in the behavior of your students.