Response to Intervention: Reading Strategies That Work

Response to Intervention: Reading Strategies That Work

Discover reading strategies that work without the need for special pull-outs or extra attention. This course will introduce you to some creative tools that will help your struggling readers make steady progress throughout the school year.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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  • Syllabus
  • Requirements
  • Instructor
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Whether you're working with struggling readers in kindergarten or 12th grade, you will find that these strategies work with a full 80% of students, without the need for special pull-outs or extra IEP intervention. Why? Because RTI gets to the root of the problem—quickly. If you're eager to learn the right ways to help your struggling readers make steady progress throughout the year, you will find that this course gives you the power to teach flexibly and creatively, without the need for extra training in literacy or fluency. As an added bonus, there's nothing quite like helping students discover the pleasures of reading.

You will discover tools like Elkonin Boxes, alphabetic arcs, Bloom's Taxonomy, and new and exciting graphic organizers. Whether you're working with struggling readers in kindergarten or 12th grade, you will find that these strategies work with a full 80% of students, without the need for special pull-outs or extra IEP intervention. Why? Because RTI gets to the root of the problem—quickly.

If you're eager to learn the right ways to help your struggling readers make steady progress throughout the year, you will find that this course gives you the power to teach flexibly and creatively, without the need for extra training in literacy or fluency. As an added bonus, there's nothing quite like helping students discover the pleasures of reading.


Have you been searching for ways to help your struggling readers? Well, wonder no more. Response to intervention is here to help. Your first lesson explores how response to intervention uses research-based and tiered strategies to help students overcome roadblocks to literacy. You will discover how these strategies will help you meet your adequate yearly progress goals.

Response to intervention is based on a problem-solving model, which means that you get to be a scientist while you're teaching reading. You will begin by giving students a universal screening, deciding which intervention tier will be most helpful, trying several strategies, and then tweaking as necessary. Of course, you're also constantly evaluating how well your plan is working and whether students could benefit from more or less support.

Did you know that most adults aren't sure just what phonemic awareness is? You definitely won't be one of them after this fun lesson on the smallest units of sound a word can be divided into. First, you will learn about how to identify phonemes (/c/a/t/), and then take a look at how Elkonin Boxes and alphabetic arcs help students build phonemic awareness for simple and complex words.

Phonemic awareness is the key to phonics instruction, so this lesson continues your journey by building a bridge between the two. When you teach students phonics, you're helping them understand the relationship between the word's sounds and the letters that represent them. Soon you will be able to teach your students to parse words into their individual sounds and letters and then put them back together to spell new words.

When many readers read, they don't need to pause to decode what they are seeing on the page. While you might take this for granted, it's an experience that's completely foreign to most struggling readers. So, in this lesson, you will explore the ways you can help struggling readers build fluency with direct and indirect approaches. This will help them learn to read with more automaticity.

Have you ever sat down to read a thermodynamics text just for fun? Probably not. Many readers prefer to read text with words they know. But for many of your students, that means only a handful of texts will fit the bill. What's the solution? Helping students build three tiers of vocabulary, from the common sight words on up to complicated words with prefixes and suffixes. You will learn how to do that in this lesson.

This lesson tackles comprehension by engaging students where they are so they can build a bridge to where they're going. You will learn about several powerful comprehension strategies, like Making Connections and Bloom's Taxonomy. With a little practice and a lot of coaching, your struggling readers will be making meaning in no time.

Get ready to meet a powerful strategy to help students who are struggling with content area reading. Have you heard of SQ3R? With such a complicated name, it looks like it belongs in science fiction, but it can actually help students decode ordinary math, science, social studies, and language arts text. In this lesson, you will discover how to survey, question, read, recite, and review.

Do any of your students suffer from Blank Page Syndrome when it's time to write? In this lesson, you will learn how to counter this difficult problem with some creative and fun ways to take the monotony out of putting ideas on paper. Get ready for Doodles to Details, brainstorming, quick writes, and more.

Perhaps you have already found a strategy you love, but you want to tweak it a little bit to better meet your students' needs. Well, that's what differentiation is all about—adding some extra spice to the classroom. This lesson covers how to tailor powerful response to intervention strategies to different students' learning styles, multiplying the choices you can offer your students.

Are you eager to turn your school into a professional learning community? Great. This lesson delves into effective collaborate by exploring how you can use teamwork to build a more cohesive classroom and create more meaningful learning experiences. If you've been wondering just what goes into a strong team and how to get one started at your school, don't worry—you will soon have all the answers.

While you can perform literacy miracles at school if given enough time, ultimately, you need to involve parents if you want your efforts to last. In this final lesson, you will explore some smart strategies for getting parents on board including the best ways to communicate, share, and answer any questions that come up in the process.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

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


Wendell Christensen

Wendell Christensen is a veteran educator with over twenty-five years of experience as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, mentor, and consultant. Wendell has worked with students, teachers, parents, and administrators across the country to combat illiteracy one child at a time. He believes that with the right mix of encouragement, intervention strategies, and support, every child can learn to read.

Wendell is passionate about expanding the understanding around Response to Intervention (RTI) and how their research-based strategies and flexible approaches can benefit all struggling readers without a need for special pull-outs or an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


I have taken 5 courses with ed2go. By far this is the best I have taken. The explanations and format of the lessons were easy to understand and the engagement strategies helped me remain focused. I looked forward to the next lessons to see what different engagement strategy would be used so that I could try it with my own students!

I really enjoyed the course. In fact, it has been one of the more enjoyable courses that I've ever taken in my teaching career!

I have taken several on-line classes now, and this by far was the absolute best! As a matter of fact, this on-line class was better than many graduate level classes I have taken. The expertise and knowledge base of this professor was exceptional. His ability to teach the content was superior. In addition, the instructor made this course highly relevant, extremely interesting, and most interactive. I was quite impressed with how quickly he responded to questions, comments, etc. (even after the loss of his dear father). I firmly believe that I will be a better educator because of this course! I am equipped with numerous strategies and techniques to add to my repertoire, but above all else, I am truly inspired!

I teach Reading Intervention in a rural public K-2 school . This class has been wonderful for me. It has given me many new intervenion ideas to use with my students. I also have a child who struggles with reading comperhension and this class also gave me some ides to use with my 5th grader at home. The teacher did an excellent job of writing the course material. The concepts were explained very well. I will highly recommend this class to teachers at my school. Prior to the class I never realized how much an classroom teacher could actually do to help struggling readers in their room. Thanks so much!

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The instructor, was very encouraging and provided helpful feedback in the discussion area. The lessons provided a variety of reading strategies that were free to prepare, many downloads of articles/templates, and practical ideas to begin using immediately in the classroom. I enjoyed the discussion area where I could share and receive ideas from other teachers. This course helped me to get ready for a new year of teaching reading with my new group of second graders. I would recommend this course to teachers (new or experienced) who would like to learn how RTI can be easily implemented in the classroom, without causing extra stress for the teachers. As a teacher in a private school, who does not have access to reading specialists/special education teachers on

Wendell Christensen has made his voice heard. He has spoken clearly and intelligently explaining the RTI model. He has drawn a picture of a busy, well-planed classroom where learning becomes a shared and reachable goal. He has managed to pass on respect for all learning styles and abilities. He has demonstrated how children can share common goals reaching them comfortably by eliminating the frustration which often shuts students down.

The course was well organized and well-paced. There was time to reflect on a lesson before answering, time to do research and time to gather materials. The supplementary referrals were appropriate and useful. Further, the index was helpful for quick reference.

Your responses were thoughtful and truly appreciated. Your interest in children, your respect for the differentiated learning processes and your knowledge of the classroom were clear in both your lessons and your responses. The people who work with you daily have the gift of a lovely, knowledgeable, listener who responds with patience and authority.

It has been a pleasure for me to fill my head again with thoughts of the classroom. To picture my young students moving around the classroom and hearing the hum of learning. Thank you, Wendell, for reminding me how special teaching is and how magical a classroom can be.

The ending of this course is bittersweet. I am delighted that I have been able to participate in the course in order to complete my recertification but particularly for the opportunity to talk “teacher. “ Sadly, when you retire it all goes away although your interest in education and your love of being in the classroom does not.

The focus of this class has helped me to review my own thirty-five year teaching practice and to re-evaluate those practices which were most effective and fun! Managing a classroom for the benefit of all is truly a daunting task; it requires patience, strong managerial skills, physical endurance and reliable assistance. Following the RTI model endorsed in this program and by Wendell is the most responsible and effective model for monitoring student growth and for driving instruction.

Thank you so much for teaching this course. From one teacher to another, I can honestly say that you have been given a gift for teaching…This was my first online course. I couldn’t have asked for a better one…I am sure your school and the families that you work with know what a gem they have with you...I know we all are grateful for your prompt responses… I learned more from you and your course than I could have imagined... My wheels are spinning on how I would implement these awesome RTI ideas into a classroom. Thank you for teaching me all about RTI, and so much more.

Instructor-Moderated Course Code: 4ri