Are you starting RTI at your building and not sure where to start? Are you trying to address all the needs of your students, but not sure what they need? Is your TPEP evaluation coming up and you need to address all the subgroups in your room? Are you sick of the alphabet soup of acronyms in education? I have a new idea for you that does NOT have an acronym.
I offer you the pile protocol
Pile protocol is called such because in the olden days (before the wonders of electronic reports), you could place kid’s books/tests/score sheets into actual piles.
Before you begin the Pile Protocol, you will need to administer some screener that will give you both an accuracy and fluency score. This can be either a reading or math probe.
You will also need to have some sense of a cut score/benchmark score/or end of grade level goal.
- Enter your grade level’s cut score for the time of the year in all the blank Rate Scores (below, 55 in bold). For example, this is what it would look like for 2nd grade (I’m using AIMS fall cut scores here):
Rate score > 55 WCPM
Accuracy score > 97%
|Slow Rate ReadersRate score < 55 WCPM
Accuracy score > 97%
|Readers w/ Mild Decoding IssuesRate score > 55 WCPM
Accuracy score 90- 96%
|Readers w/ Moderate Decoding IssuesRate score < 55 WCPM
Accuracy score of 90-96%
Readers w/ Significant Decoding Issues
Rate score < 55 WCPM
Accuracy score < 90%
Let’s look at some children’s data:
Student #1: Fall: 61 (100% accuracy)
For example, this student has a Oral Reading Rate score of 61, and an accuracy rate of 100%, placing them in the Strong Reader category. I would then write their name, rate, and accuracy on the Pile Protocol form.
Let’s look at another student:
Student #2: Fall: 34 (84% accuracy)
This student has a score of 34 with an accuracy rate of 83%, placing them in the Significant Decoding Issues category. I would then write their name, rate, and accuracy on the Pile Protocol form.
- Write each child’s name, rate, and accuracy rate in the appropriate column.
- Continue until all students are placed in a column.
- Make instructional decisions based on what you know now about students now.
Here’s some reasons why this Pile Protocol can be so useful:
- If I’m creating TPEP goals, this Pile Protocol will help me find the subgroups of students who might need extra help or attention. I can easily write goals and more easily decide on instructional moves.
- If I’m doing the workshop model during reading or math time, this Pile Protocol will help me decide how to group students for instruction. I know students who are Strong Readers could benefit from additional Read to Self time. But other students who have significant decoding issues could benefit from additional instruction in Word Work.
- If you are doing any sort of Walk To Math/Reading/RTI, this will help your team group students. Students who are Strong Readers have different needs than Readers with Significant Decoding Issues. Students who need a little fluency bump won’t need intense instruction in decoding skills, because you know they’re already accurate.
- If you are wanting to do additional diagnostic testing, but are daunted by the time commitment, this quick protocol will help you determine which students need further investigation. So Strong Readers and Slow Rate Readers are not a mystery. They are accurate. Students who have decoding issues need a further look. You might consider using the DRA, the DDS, CORE Diagnostic, or other diagnostic assessment.