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Effective Instruction Across the Three Tiers

Effective instruction is the hallmark of PBIS and RTI.  Across all tiers, effective instruction involves the curriculum being taught, clearly delineated expectations, thoughtful routines and physical arrangements to promote success, authentic teaching examples, teacher-facilitated student engagement, prompts and reminders, time (length and timing), and feedback.  While these practices are necessary at the primary tier, they will not be sufficient at this level to promote successes across all students.  However, these same practices are the hallmark of both secondary and tertiary tiers-albeit with more intensity, complexity, and individualization.

  • Structure and Consistency - The teacher develops routines and physical arrangements that are applied and implemented in the same way on a regular basis. This helps students predict what will happen next and increases the probability of their success.
  • Communicating High Expectations - The teacher clearly communicates to students with regard to what they will be expected to do during a particular activity, providing a positive statement about their ability to perform at that level. This both helps the students to be aware of the expectations and to have confidence in their ability.
  • Modeling - The teacher engages students by showing them how to perform a skill while describing each step with a rationale. This provides students with both a visual and verbal example of what they will be expected to do.
  • Pre-correction/Prompting - The teacher reminds students of expectations prior to activities or contexts under which there is a history of high risk of failure. These gestures or statements are best delivered immediately preceding the context in which the behavior is expected and provide students with a reminder to increase the probability of success.
  • Opportunities to Respond - The teacher provides students with opportunities to be engaged with the instruction by asking for regular student response to questions or statements. Students may respond with gestures, actions, or verbally and may do so either chorally or individually. This helps students to maintain engagement with the content and increases success.
  • Practice - The teacher allows students opportunities to engage with the content through hands-on efforts based on teacher demonstrations. Practice should be supervised by the teacher with consistent feedback faded out as success increases. This helps the student to develop independent mastery and maintenance.
  • Specific Praise - The teacher delivers specific feedback regarding observed student success, informing the student exactly what was done correctly and praising success. Specific praise should be faded as student success maintains. This helps the student to discriminate correct versus incorrect responses and understand how to continue with success.
  • Correction - The teacher stops a student when an incorrect response has been made, discusses and demonstrates how the response needs to be made, and facilitates student practice to success. This minimizes the negative effects of failure and allows the student to end the trial with success.
  • Formative Assessment - The teacher regularly assesses student performance related to expectations. The key is to assess throughout instruction, either in the form of a formal test or informal observation of student performance during practice, as a means of planning for future instruction. This ensures that instruction is delivered at a level that is appropriate for facilitating success.
  • Active Supervision - The teacher moves about the room to keep proximity with students and scans the room to assess where instruction or feedback is most necessary. This provides students with immediate opportunities for feedback and, when applied in concert with other instructional strategies, increases the probability of success.

Where can I find some examples of these effective instructional practices?

The Academic and Behavioral Response to Intervention (ABRI) project has created a series of training video vignettes demonstrating each of these 10 effective instructional strategies in a variety of K-12 classroom contexts in order to provide guidance to educators and administrators.

Use the Instructional Videos below to locate specific video vignettes of interest.

Instructional Videos

The Effective Instructional Practices videos show examples of of the 10 instructional strategies described above.

Instructional Focus

The Reading videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices in the context of reading instruction. The videos represent a cross section of student ages, abilities, and group sizes. The Math videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices in the context of math instruction. The videos represent a cross section of student ages, abilities, and group sizes. The Behavior videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices in the context of teaching expected behavior. The videos represent a cross section of student ages, abilities, and group sizes.

Instructional Strategy Structure and Consistency Communicating High Expectations Pre-Correction/ Prompting Modeling Opportunities to Respond Practice Specific Praise Correction Formative Assessment Active Supervision
Behavior Watch
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Reading Watch
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Classroom Context

The Group Instruction videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices to multiple students in a small group or class-wide context. The videos represent a cross section of instructional focus, student ages, and student abilities. The Individual Instruction videos include both group and 1:1 instructional settings, but the focus is on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices with individual students. The videos represent a cross section of instructional focus, student ages, and student abilities.

Instructional Strategy Structure and Consistency Communicating High Expectations Pre-Correction/ Prompting Modeling Opportunities to Respond Practice Specific Praise Correction Formative Assessment Active Supervision
Group Instruction Watch
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Individual Instruction Watch
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Grade Level Context

The Elementary School videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices to students in Elementary classroom settings. The videos represent a cross section of student abilities, instructional focus, and group sizes. The Secondary School videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices to students in Middle and High school classroom settings. The videos represent a cross section of student abilities, instructional focus, and group sizes.

Instructional Strategy Structure and Consistency Communicating High Expectations Pre-Correction/ Prompting Modeling Opportunities to Respond Practice Specific Praise Correction Formative Assessment Active Supervision
Elementary Watch
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Student Context

The General Education and LBD videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices to typical students and/or those with mild Learning and Behavior Disorders. The videos represent a cross section of student ages, group sizes, and instructional focus. The Autism and MSD videos focus on the application of the entire range of effective instructional practices to students with behaviors and needs typical of Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or Moderate and Severe Disabilities. The videos represent a cross section of student ages, group sizes, and instructional focus.

Key: * Gen. Ed. = General Education, ** LBD = Learning and Behavior Disorders, *** MSD = Moderate and Severe Disabilities

Instructional Strategy Structure and Consistency Communicating High Expectations Pre-Correction/ Prompting Modeling Opportunities to Respond Practice Specific Praise Correction Formative Assessment Active Supervision
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Autism / MSD*** Watch
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