Tier 3 is usually delivered to individual students who are still receiving the core instruction augmented with specific programs commonly provided in special education classrooms. The teaching is narrowly targeted to specific student needs.
For example, a small group receives targeted teaching to help with the skill of inference that helps all but one student. When it becomes apparent that student is having difficulty understanding the words being read, he/she receives "one to one" support to improve fluency, possibly each day.
The monitoring of this support will be targeted and short on almost a daily basis. If the student does not improve, he/she enters the referral process required for special education services.
Schools doing well implementing RTI focus on providing professionals with time in the school day to work as collaborative teams. An individual professional, teaching in isolation behind a closed classroom door, will not be able to fully implement RTI. These teams undertake difficult discussions about how to use their observations, professional knowledge, student work and data to plan appropriate learning opportunities for students.
These schools understand that RTI implementation is not simply about testing and paperwork and it is not always about having more money. At its core, it is about professional collaboration informed by student data and aligning professional strengths and school resources with student needs.