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ed2go Teacher Professional Development Child Development The Differentiated Instruction and Response to Intervention Connection
Return to Child Development

The Differentiated Instruction and Response to Intervention Connection

Today's teachers are using two powerful approaches—Differentiated Instruction (DI) and Response to Intervention (RTI)—to help every child succeed academically. In this course, you'll learn how to put this "dynamic duo" to work in your own classroom teaching and lesson plans.

You will explore different learning styles and delving into a concept called multiple intelligences. You will examine the factors that motivate students to learn in a child-centered classroom. You will master the basics of both DI and RTI and learn how these two approaches work hand-in-hand to enhance children's learning. You will discover how to perform different types of assessments, monitor your students' progress, select research-based teaching materials, address learners' diverse needs, and move students up or down the RTI tiers so they're getting just the right help they need. Finally, you'll learn how to get parents involved as active partners in the education process. You'll come away armed with powerful and easy-to-implement strategies that will benefit every student you teach!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School


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Starting March 13 | April 17

The Differentiated Instruction and Response to Intervention Connection


Details + Objectives

Course Code: 4di

What You Will Learn
  • Master the basics of both DI and RTI and learn how these two approaches interact to enhance student learning
  • Examine the factors that motivate students to learn and discover how to build and engaging environment
  • Discover how to perform different types of assessments and monitor student progress with the data you collect
  • Learn how to integrate the principles of RTI and DI into lessons for any content area
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Discover effective strategies to foster your students’ comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary
  • Improve your success as a professional educator through assessment and data tools
  • Meet the needs of every student in your classroom by developing DI tools that work for you


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Week 1

Learn how RTI (Response to Intervention) and DI (Differentiated Instruction) came into being, and discover how you can prepare yourself and your students to use them successfully. Then, learn ways to tailor these strategies to meet the needs of each student in your classroom.

Week 2

Examine how the RTI model differs from the traditional IQ Discrepancy Model and look at how you’ll decide which tier is just right for each of your students. Then, learn how to create a DI classroom by adapting three elements of your lessons: content, process, and product. You will discover how flexible groupings and a technique called compacting allow you to teach to every skill level.

Week 3

Discover ways to interweave DI and RTI when you’re assessing students, creating standards-based and child-centered instruction, and finding a way to help every learner succeed. Then, learn the benefits of all the data you will be collecting and examine different types of assessments.

Week 4

Examine three types of tools you’ll use in a DI classroom: pre-assessments, formative assessments, and summative assessments. You will discover that these assessments, in addition to providing you with valuable data, can be fun and effective learning tools. Then, learn all about your school’s RTI intervention team and find out how to refer students.

Week 5

Learn how to evaluate interventions yourself and become aware of resources that will do the work for you. You will explore nine research-based strategies that can benefit all of your students. Then, examine ways to meet your state and district standards as you develop lesson plans that satisfy the needs of every student. You will visit a virtual campus and begin exploring how you’ll implement RTI and DI on a daily basis.

Week 6

Discover how to integrate the principles of RTI and DI into math, science, reading, writing, and literature lessons. Finally, explore some fun and effective ways to foster your students’ comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary skills. You will examine the role of parents in today’s learner-centered classrooms.

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Instructors & Support

Marsha Spears

A veteran educator who has taught every grade but third, Marsha Spears has spent 35 years teaching students and training teachers. Spears earned a bachelor's and master's degree in educational administration with a specialty in curriculum and literacy development, training that would prepare her to take on the toughest of classrooms. And tough classrooms are where she made her mark, helping a wide variety of at-risk learners read with renewed confidence. Over the years, thousands of students and teachers have learned how easily they can incorporate Spears' reading techniques and activities into their daily routines.


Prerequisites / Requirements


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device. A few Windows-specific examples are included. Mac students are welcome, but may not be able to duplicate all examples.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.

How does it work?

Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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