Introduction: A Teacher's Guide to Direct Instruction

"Direct Instruction (DI) is a model for teaching that emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teaching tasks. It is based on the theory that clear instruction eliminating misinterpretations can greatly improve and accelerate learning." - The National Institute for Direct Instruction

Siegfried Engelmann created this explicit and scripted form of instruction in the 1960's.  Direct Instruction is evidenced based. Project Follow Through,the largest educational experiment ever conducted, evaluated nine major approaches to educating at-risk students.  Only students taught with the Direct Instruction approach consistently outperformed control students on basic, cognitive, and effective measures.

Siegfried Engelmann and Dr. Wesley Becker, creators of DI, believe that all children can be taught; all children can improve academically; all teachers can succeed if provided with adequate training and materials; low performers and disadvantaged learners must be taught at a faster rate than typically occurs if they are to catch up to their higher-performing peers; and all details of instruction must be controlled to minimize the chance of students' misinterpreting the information being taught and to maximize the reinforcing effect of instruction.

Step 1: Step 1: Opening

The opening of the lesson is intended to engage students' attention and activate prior knowledge.

Step 2: Step 2: Introduction (I Do)

The teacher models the concept at hand as students listen and observe. The teacher asks questions to keep students engaged, monitors responses, and provides praise for on task behavior.

Step 3: Step 3: Guided Practice (We Do)

The teacher and students practice the concept together. The teacher signals the students to answer in unison as they review the concept.

Step 4: Step 4: Part Firming (Little You Do)

The teacher calls on individual students to ensure that they are following the lesson and have learned the concept.

Step 5: Step 5: Independent Work ( You Do)

Students independently complete an activity which reinforces the concept learned.

Step 6: Step 6: Data Collection

The teacher uses a tool to collect data during the lesson. The teacher can collect data by using something such as a checklist or a rubric.

After completing the lesson and looking at collected data, the teacher must decide whether or not the lesson needs to be taught again. The teacher will make this decision based on a predetermined rule, a data decision rule.