Step 1: Introduction to Direct Instruction
DI was the main subject in "Project Follow Through" which is a federally funded research program. Project Follow Through began in 1967 with a goal of improving academic acheivement in low-performing students. It's purpose was to bridge the gap between low- and high-performing students. According to Engelmann (2007), "Our primary bias was simply that we believed the children were capable of learning if we were capable of figuring out time-efficient practices that would accelerate the rate at which they learn new material" (p.56). Research was conducted on over 20,000 students, using more than $1 billion in federal funds. To this day Project Follow Through is the largest and most expensive educational research-based program funded by the U.S federal government.
Project Follow Through contains three overarching models: Basic Skills (behavior reinforcement, Direct Instruction, and language development), Cognitive/Conceptual Models (parent education and self-directed literature), and Effective Skills Model (learning center, open education, and self-esteem).
Step 2: Implementing Direct Instruction-Step 1
Teacher then places students in homogeneous groups (same-ability peers) based on placement test scores
-Students begin in the same instructional sequence and will therefore succeed at the same rate
According to Engelmann (2007), "If they are in a well-designed program and are placed beyond their skill level, they can't learn nearly as fast as they can if they are placed in the proper lesson range" (p. 91).
Step 3: Step 2
-The script specifies both student responses and correction precedures for common mistakes
-It gives precise wording for teachers to use throughout instruction
-It is important for teachers to review the script so they are aware of what to do and so that there are no breaks or pauses in the instruction period (breaks/pauses may allow students to engage in off-task behaviors)
Step 4: Step 3
-Use language familiar to children
-Be sure to state the examples of each concept being taught (found in the script)
-Scripted lessons teach one concept at a time
-Students must master a concept before moving on
-Lessons are designed to review previously taught material and teach minimal new material for each lesson
Engelmann (2007) states "Always provide overkill in the scripted sequence. If it seems that something can be taught in two five-minute segments over two days, provide three five-minute segments over three days" (p. 19).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3zK19Jq5iA (Graduate student teaching reading lesson 1 using DI script)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSAxB3U0xno (Graduate student teaching reading lesson 2 using DI script)
Step 5: Step 4
-Provide corrective feedback to students so they understand the mistake they made
-Give students plenty of reinforcements for correct responses
-Using data collection forms to track progress of students
-Allow multiple opportunities to respond to check for student understanding
Step 6: Step 5
-It is expected that there is enough time in a school day for students to do everything they need to
-If homework is assigned it should be something the student can do without error (parents should not be teaching students at home)