Using a Mnemonic Strategy to Match Elements of Response to Intervention Lessons with Performance Assessment Requirements

Brooks R. Vostal, Trinka Messenheimer, David Hampton, Starr E. Keyes


Performance assessments are designed to identify teachers’ strengths and weaknesses and differentiate those who will positively impact students’ outcomes from those who will not.  One prominent performance assessment centers all documentation and analysis on a learning segment, a portion of an instructional unit (Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity, 2013).  For preservice teacher candidates using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model for instruction, there may be a mismatch between the performance assessment and actual practice.  Schools that use RTI require specific interventions that increase students' skill mastery.  Because of this, teacher candidates may not group lessons into instructional units that are typical to many classroom teachers’ settings and performance assessment expectations.  In this article, we share the story of Kyle, a preservice special education teacher who completed a performance assessment while delivering instruction in RTI and explain his use of the DESCRIBE IT strategy (Vostal, Messenheimer, & Hampton, 2013).  The strategy structured his intervention unit so that he could document and analyze his performance during the assessment.  We draw conclusions about the implications of using DECSRIBE IT to alleviate potential mismatch between performance assessment expectations and intervention delivery.


Teacher Preparation, Response to Intervention, Teacher Performance Assessment

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