RTI Interventions For Kindergarten

Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by Editorial Team

Response to Intervention, or RTI, is an approach that implies early detection and aid before failure. RTI’s earliest footprints trace back to IDEA, which only highlighted its importance in the education of a special needs child. However, the term has been expanded to include all types of learners and challenge any problems resulting from the teacher’s instructional method.

For kindergartners, RTI interventions are more visual and motor-oriented. Teachers aim to provide children with better access to themselves and sensory stimulation. Through comprehensive learning via all senses, RTI interventions can solve many issues in early childhood. 

The article below talks about critical RTI interventions for kindergarteners that can help them learn basics better, using creative help and sensory stimulation. 

Important RTI interventions for kindergarteners

RTI Interventions can be quickly delivered at a younger age if problem areas are identified. And the advantages of implementing them are immense. 

1. Language

For a kindergartener, language is the most crucial subject. It becomes a medium through which they can communicate and make the educator understand their concern and vice versa.

  • Visual Learning

Children have benefited from the approach of visual learning immensely. Using blackboard or interactive and picture-filled books to help them visually attach meaning to the words being taught will be better retained and recalled.

Students under RTI intervention may not benefit from regular teaching practices of memorizing the alphabet. Hence, visual learning can involve some sensory stimulation to help the child. While an A would always be A, however, through pictures, children will learn to discriminate between similar-looking items. 

  •  Categorization

Teaching the alphabet is the first thing when it comes to teaching language. A for apple, B for ball and C for a cat are read out in class, so children learn through repetition. However, for children under RTI interventions, replay with different forms of sensory aid is needed.

Employing daily life objects and getting them to interact with the students or using visually interactive content to teach classification of things, such as C for a cat is an animal, A for an apple is a fruit, and B for a ball is an object. This classification is best learned through small group interactions or one-on-one teaching. 

  • Phonemic Recognition

Apart from visual recognition and discrimination, phonemic distinction is needed. After all, language has two forms, spoken and written. Learning the auditory aspect of every alphabet is essential for the child to learn how to speak. A teacher can prolong the pronunciation during RTI interventions and repeat this prolonged pronunciation so that the child can identify the critical auditory features of the alphabet how a teacher opens her mouth while speaking a word or letter can also provide more guidance toward the aural production of the letter.

Another thing to keep in mind is to not teach similar-sounding letters together, for instance, J and G. Even though their pronunciation of words might differ, a child might have difficulty understanding both of them together. 

2. Maths

Mathematics is the next most important subject during kindergarten. For kindergartners, an excellent mathematical foundation means the easy acquisition of mathematical concepts.

  • Counting With Cues

Parents start teaching their younger ones counting as soon as they start speaking. Taking calendars, clocks, or any other printed material that has numbers, counting has to be the most easily learned. However, children sometimes struggle with remembering the seriation in which numbers come one after the other.

Hence, for such cases, counting with cues can help; a teacher can use one object to make the child associate one thing with one, two objects with the number two, and so on. Books that help the child count objects while associating them with the numbers can be helpful to kindergartners in understanding numbers and their relationships. At the same time, a few apps can help kids develop number sense. 

  • Sorting

Sorting is another mathematical concept teachers find essential. It can be simply sorting objects based on their color, shape, or quantity. For kindergarteners, learning to differentiate and sort is necessary. Teachers can use colorful balls to help children sort different colors, and they count how many are there for each color. 

  • Practice

For a kindergartner seeking RTI intervention, the emphasis must be on practice. One aspect of training is learning to speak numbers and differentiating through visual recognition. Numbers need to be practiced in a written form too. RTI interventionists can opt for rigorous learning approaches and then use dictation for written tests, such as what comes after eight or before 3. 

3. Writing

Reading and writing overlap with every subject, and teachers emphasize written speech clarity. However, kindergarten is the right time to begin the practice of writing and understanding the written aspect of speech. 

  • Alphabet Cards or figures

Alphabet cards or figures provide visual and tactile stimulation to the child to better learn the curves and shapes of the written alphabet. The tactile and visual memory makes it easier for the child to reproduce the alphabet in written form. Teachers can also pair alphabet cards and solid figures together to make the child understand the physical characteristics of the written alphabet. A few activities can be employed to help kids with tactile discrimination.

  • Use Creative Mediums

Conventional mediums are good enough for children; however, a boost of creativity can only enhance the results of kindergartners under RTI intervention. Creative mediums to produce written alphabets could be gel boards, clay, or wool, which the child can manipulate to create the alphabet. Simply asking the child to look at the pictures and make their understanding of the letter through such mediums will refine their characteristic knowledge of the alphabet. 

  • Repetition

Repeating what has been taught at home and in class is very important. A revision of an hour at home and school can help the child catch up with the natural pace of the course. However, the child will likely start struggling if practice or repetition goes out of the picture. 

  • Evaluation

Evaluating all aspects of intervention is essential to be in sync with the child’s progress. Both oral and written assessments can help the child. Using creative items like visually catchy images of alphabets, sorting exercises, and counting objects in the classroom for evaluation can be an informal assessment. For formal assessments, written tests are used to assess counting and the alphabet. 

Effectiveness of RTI interventions for kindergarten

RTI Interventions started as early as kindergarten can effectively prevent problems in other areas. Academic performance is generally more focused on the visual and motor attunement of the child during early kindergarten areas. Hence, through RTI interventions, educators aim to strengthen those. In a study[1] by Alisha M. Ohl et al., it was found that the tier 1 RTI program for kindergartners resulted in enhanced fine motor and visual motor skills. 

While academic difficulties cause problems in understanding the material, they can also cause a sense of inferiority in the child about their learning capabilities. A study[2] by Jessica Elaine Hite found that RTI interventions were successful in the academic performance and self-perception of a child’s learning abilities. Hence, to ensure the child maintains a good self-perception, educators must realize that the impact of academic difficulty is far-reaching than outside the class and early intervention is a must. 


Response to intervention or RTI came in response to supporting the needs of all kinds of learners. For Kindergarteners, RTI interventions can provide both early detection and prevention. Educators must be better informed about future areas of concern for a child and how to help him or them better. With this early awareness, educators can work on visual and motor skills and children’s self-perception for a better overall outlook on life. 


  1. Ohl, A. M., Graze, H., Weber, K., Kenny, S., Salvatore, C., & Wagreich, S. (2013). Effectiveness of a 10-Week Tier-1 Response to Intervention Program in Improving Fine Motor and Visual–Motor Skills in General Education Kindergarten Students. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(5), 507–514. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2013.008110
  2. Hite, J. (2012). Implementation and Effectiveness of the Response to Intervention (RTI) Program. Georgia School Counselor Association.

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