Response to Intervention Newsletter

***January 2016-Mrs. Luscombe RtI Coordinator -3rd Edition**

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Mrs. Luscombe!!

We are back into full swing even though the first full week of school after the two week break isn't quite over yet. Students are a bit rusty but we've reviewed our personal goals and are moving forward. I love the energy level of your children! Please take a look at your child's program for updates.

Several of your students have informed me that they received new tech devices (tablets, Ipads etc..) over the holidays. They were very excited about them. I asked them if they needed the names of any "FREE APPS" that were educational. Many said, "YES!!" I suggested to them that you email me ( for any suggestions or take a look at the ones I've mentioned throughout this newsletter.

One program we have at Northwood is Fast ForWord. It is a very expensive program that works on training the brain to understand language, reading skills, attention issues, etc. through a game-like approach. The APP is downloadable for free for you because Royal Oak Schools pays for the site license. Students typically work on Fast ForWord a minimum of 4 days a week for 30 minutes each session. If you are willing to make the time commitment of having your students participate in this program "at home", please let me know. I would have to enter their personal information and give them the "placement test" before they could access it at home.

There are also some math websites such as FrontRow Math that students can access from home. Students are placed according to a pretest. Then it works on the standards that the student needs help. This is nice as you can see what "holes" are in your student's learning. Parents can sign up for free and even view their student's progress.

Don't forget that your students has home access for FREE to RAZ-Kids. This is an excellent program for all of our students. It practices reading fluency and comprehension. Classroom teachers have given their students their user names and passwords. When in doubt, check your child's teacher's website. Many teachers have informed me that they have wonderful and easily accessible on-line practice games through their websites!

Grade 1 Leveled Literacy Program

Your students bring home a daily book bag from me. Inside are "just right books" they need to practice reading each night. It makes a huge difference the very next day if they have practiced reading. There may be other additional activities which may include letter formation practice, sight word cards, letter books or paper activities.

At this point in the school year, a first grader should know the names and sounds of all the alphabet letters. They should be able to identify and write all the upper and lower case letters. You can see if your child can do this automatically by saying a word and having them write down the first sound they hear. Just make sure that you review all the letters. Also, it's very important that they are not writing letters from the bottom UP. This causes a lot of RE-tracing and slows them down when we are writing.

Students continue to need sight word practice. I've sent home sheets of those words home. If you need another set, please let me know. A fun FREE APP that helps students sound out and blend words is called, First Words Free.

Great FREE letter formation APPs include: ABC Print, Write Animals, and ABC Alphabet, Trace and Glow.

I'm sure there are lots more if you searched for Free Alphabet Formation, Free Sight Words etc..

Read Live Grades 2-3-4

Read Live students continue to work on their reading fluency. The Winter/January "average" target goals for a 1 minute read are as follows:

Grade 1: 36 words per minute

Grade 2: 64 words per minute

Grade 3: 84 words per minute

Grade 4: 101 words per minute

Grade 5: 111 words per minute

You can see why it is important that your child (no matter their grade), practice reading every night. Reading fluency is important so that they will be ready for the demands of the next grade.

Read Live students are also working on writing Retellings. We are using a graphic organizer to help us break down the process into chunks: main idea, details, tell me more, and a conclusion. Each student is at their "just right" reading and comprehension level. We also use the concepts of 5 Star Writing to check for capitalization, spacing, punctuation, spelling and proper use of upper and lower case letters. Students earn certificates for story completion.

Writing A-Z Grades 4-5

Writing A-Z students are working on writing informational texts. They have researched their topics and are following the graphic organizers to help them include all the components of a good informational essay. They are REALLY enjoying this assignment. I love hearing them banter back and forth about the details they've learned and how to better write leads etc..I'm learning lots of cool information right along with them!

We recently took a break to practice our grammar using a FREE APP called Abby Grammar Level 4. The students had a great time identifying nouns, subjects, predicates, etc.. We will continue to work on it once a week. Feel free to share with me any other FREE APPs that deal with grammar and sentence writing that you come across.

Front Row Math Grades 2-3-4-5

Front Row Math students are working hard at their own levels. On Fridays, I let them play Math Magicians. It practices addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. They must master 20 facts in one minute in order to earn a certificate. My walls are getting wallpapered in mastery certificates. Students are realizing how not knowing their basic facts really make "doing math" much harder. Especially those working on long division, area, perimeter etc...

There is a math fact practice section available on Front Row and you can access it from home. If you would like them to access Xtra Math, go to Their user name is their first name using a capital letter and the class code W98NVE. Five to ten mins a day of fact practice really improves students fact knowledge. Automatic fact knowledge helps to make students more confident!

SuccessMaker Reading

Success Maker Reading students have been delighted by this year's upgraded program. The variety of activities to help comprehension, fluency and spelling are FUN!! It takes good listening and focus on the part of the student but they seem to be doing very well with it.

Fast ForWord

Fast ForWord students are really focusing on their reading programs. They play 3 games a day, 10 minutes each game for a total of 30 minutes. The skills vary depending on how the child placed into the program. It's a brain training program too! Though it seems very repetitive at times, the research shows it's impact on student learning.


Prize day is a BIG deal in RtI. The students KNOW that I don't GIVE prizes, they earn them for making an EFFORT each day of the week. My treasure chest is starting to dwindle of prizes. We would welcome any and all small donations of prizes, candy (non-nuts), school type supplies etc..Most of the prizes are small items/toys that families don't use any longer. It's amazing how recycling toys helps to entice students to do their best every day. If you feel inclined to donate, just send the bag to school with "Mrs. Luscombe" written on the bag. All donations are appreciated. THANK YOU!!
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