Insights from Direct Instruction: part 4

TomNeedham

This is the fourth post looking at how ideas from Engelmann’s DI can be applied to the everyday classroom. The first three can be found here: one; two; threeDI book coverElements of well-designed programs for teaching to mastery (p.35)

1) They teach everything students will need for later applications

In DI programmes, the meticulous track system of planning means many activities happen each lesson, the intention being that these strands of knowledge weave together to help students succeed at a more complex skill like extended writing. Engelmann says ‘conceive of the program as being like a stairway that transports students to increasingly complex performance.’ p.13. For example, Expressive Writing lessons have activities that focus on comma splicing, run-on sentences, punctuating speech, writing complex sentences and avoiding pronoun ambiguity. The ‘later application’ in this scheme is writing a mini-story and each of the aforementioned areas of knowledge are crucial if…

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