Free Direct Instruction Curriculum and Training/Approach Specifications
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Parts of instruction
- A presentation is giving information and a task is a student response to show the information has been learned.
- A lesson is the day's worth of presentation (scripted teaching) that takes anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
- Each lesson has 4 to 10 exercises (topics).
- Each exercise (topic) is from a different track.
- Tracks are sequences of an exercise (topic) that appear throughout lessons.
Overall: Does the program ensure efficacy and high results
- Mastery comes at a good rate because you only introduce about 10% new items but keep 90% as review
- Write so that there are 4 or more exercise or topics per lesson. Each section is designed to be covered in 3-12 minutes
- Teach with multiple exemplars. Ensure examples show "ness" - "pencilness", "cupness".
- Ensure you carefully select your examples so that the skill can be learned in the most efficient manner. Analyze, organize be careful.
Features of DI
Lessons need to:
- Be clear and concise
- Only include necessary vocabulary
- Ensure the lesson includes sub skills you know has been taught earlier
- Information is true and doesn't mislead
- Only include enough examples to get the idea across, no busy work or too many examples but ensure a wide enough range of exemplars
- Use rules when needed
- Ensure rules are simple enough for students to remember after repeating it a few times. Avoid abstract or complicated terms
- When available, use examples without a rule or lots of verbal definition
- Ensure you use enough examples to show "ness" in the universe of examples
- No extraneous prompts in examples (color, specific picture)
- Information given has only one interpretation
- Ensure amount of new information can be mastered within a few minutes
- Information doesn't require student to have great memory (maybe avg or just below avg)
- Don't use a rule and then contradict it later
- Give like examples and then dislike examples: "This is xyz, this is NOT xyz"
- Teach differences use examples that are slightly different and focus on the difference
Ensure students show understanding of information
- Teacher does testing on skill or information presented and taugh (sp) just before the test or present at an earlier time. Do not test information that will be presented in the future in hopes of seeing which students happen to know the information
- Lesson should link sections to previous lessons and sections
- Rules presented in sections within the lesson need to be simple enough to repeat and master within a few trials (each time you ask for the rule is a trial - multiple trials can happen within a lesson)
- The section is efficient and simplified
- The section has no inadvertent prompting (specific picture, color, font, etc.)
- Ask questions or do fill in the blanks with only one correct answer to the group, if more than one correct answer ask individual students.
- Wording of the section and examples used to test understanding and mastery are consistent with previous sections and lessons
- Elicit 9-20 responses per minute with question and fill in the blanks while teaching a section
- If teaching new vocabulary, ensure you use the vocabulary in the section of the lesson and ensure students use the vocabulary in their oral responding
- Only prompt the student if the student can not produce the right answer
- Sections should teach the basic content, not peripheral items to the content
- Examples in a series of sections should be basically the same but with different wording to help generalize
- Give enough examples to provide "ness" of the example within the universe - "cupness", "pencilness"
- Examples also help test student mastery of information or understanding of the rule already presented
- Ensure student apply the rule in the section using careful wording
- Section has new vocabulary or has the students responding with the new vocabulary
- Student responses show the students have understanding or show what they don't understand
- Examples in section don't have a pattern of answers or unintended cues
You know it's DI when...
The lessons go so smoothly and learning takes place so easily that it seems too simple for the student. This is an often voiced concern. The overall goal of DI is to ensure success. If the lessons are too hard then they were not designed correctly (missing steps, not stranded, too much information to memorize at once, etc.).
- Review 1 or 2 lessons. Is the program missing less than 5 areas/features of DI?