March 2022 Newsletter: Explicit Instruction & Direct Instruction
By: Ginna Fall, SST 1 Consultant
Think back to a time when you were learning something new. You were interested and engaged. You can remember thinking that you wanted to understand and you almost had it but, for whatever reason, the lesson moved on. You did not get it. The teacher might have done a great job in the description and good job on the modeling. You thought you were ready but when you went to do the work yourself, you floundered.
This would not surprise those researchers who study how people learn.
In order to fully support the information processing system of our learning brains, science indicates all the steps of Direct Instruction are needed.would encourage all teachers to be explicit. She urges teachers to model and then construct with the students. “WE do it.” An explicit teacher will continue with “we do it” multiple times before gradually releasing students to work independently.
|Gradual Release of Responsibility Model|
|I Do||We Do||Ya’ll Do It||You Do It|
|Purpose||Interactive Activities||Give feedback|
|Observe and evaluate|
||Active listening||Questioning||Application with small groups||Independent practice|
|Collaborating||Responsible for the outcome|
This method helps to ensure that students get the lesson and are able to accomplish the work on their own. Keep reading for a deeper dive into the benefits of Direct Instruction.
You may reach Ginna with questions via email or by calling 419.720.8999, ext. 133.
– Dr. Anita Archer
Notice how the steps of explicit instruction offer more detail and help to leverage the art of teaching. These additional steps of explicit instruction allow teachers to be guided by the WHY of learning, not curricular tools. They also allow for the use of instructional considerations which can be applicable to individual learner needs, improving student motivation and engagement.
As you review these instructional practices, you can begin to see how it is impossible to be an explicit instructor without an understanding of direct instruction. You can do all of the steps of direct instruction, but it’s important to ensure your students learn, understand, and can apply their new knowledge…that’s where explicit instruction comes into practice. Explicit instruction keeps the students’ needs in mind, and helps the teacher make the content “stick” for them.
|DIRECT INSTRUCTION||EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION|
|Direct instruction is a series of steps that follows how our brains learn new information. It is a teacher-directed method of teaching that utilizes straightforward, well-developed and carefully planned lessons for specific learning goals. Direct instruction should be used as a starting point for introducing new concepts to students.||Explicit instruction is how teachers effectively teach to engage, activate, and motivate the brain to ensure learning. It works for new, fragile learning in every subject and across every grade and supports learning of the foundational skills and concepts students need to stay with them for life.|
|Six Steps of Direct Instruction||16 Steps of Explicit Instruction|
|1. Learning intentions
2. Success criteria
|1. Focus instruction on critical content|
|2. Sequence skills logically|
|3. Break down complex skills and strategies into smaller instructional units|
|4. Design organized and focused lessons|
|5. Begin lessons with a clear statement of the lesson goals and your expectations|
|3. Building commitment and engagement||6. Review prior skills and knowledge before beginning instruction|
|4. Present the lesson||7. Provide step-by-step instructions|
|8. Use clear and concise language|
|9. Provide an adequate range of examples and non-examples|
|5. Guided practice
6. Independent practice
|10. Provide guided support and practice|
|11. Require frequent responses|
|12. Monitor student performance closely|
|13. Provide immediate affirmative and corrective feedback|
|14. Deliver lesson at a brisk pace|
|15. Help students organize knowledge|
|16. Provide distributed and cumulative practice|
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is NOT direct instruction vs. explicit instruction, but rather direct instruction *plus* explicit instruction. Direct instruction and explicit instruction are not mutually exclusive – they should be used in tandem for effective teaching and learning. Explicit instruction is an effective practice as it centers on the art of teaching. It is also critical to note that you cannot be an explicit instructor without an understanding of direct instruction.
“I encourage teachers to teach. Be the expert thinker. Understand that you are guiding novice thinkers.
After all my years of teaching and observing teaching, I know this:
Students are happier and more assured, confident learners led by an Explicit Teacher.”
– Ginna Fall, SST 1 Consultant
Do you have questions about using Direct Instruction and Explicit Instruction and what you should be looking for during walkthroughs? Are you looking for coaching or professional learning for your staff? Help is just a call or email away! Drop us a line with your questions and requests. Our literacy consultants are happy to provide support and help you determine next steps.
In December, Governor DeWine signed emergency legislation changes to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Program, changing its criteria for the 2021-22 school year. The emergency clause affecting retention, parental consultation in promotion decisions, and parental notification of remediation plans takes place immediately. Please review the changes, and contact us if you have any questions.
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a program to identify students from kindergarten through grade 3 who are behind in reading. Schools are to provide support to ensure students are on track for reading success by the end of third grade. Resources are available on the Department’s website to support your work in this area. We suggest setting aside some time to review the Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan (RIMP) Intervention Video Series to help ensure you are meeting these expectations.
PARTNERING WITH FAMILIES
A strong home-school collaboration is important to helping students feel supported and encouraged in their learning. Additionally, the emergency changes to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Program emphasize the need to consult with families in making decisions regarding a student’s promotion or retention, and any remediation plans prepared to improve their academic performance in reading.
The following resources can help you communicate with families to help them understand their child’s learning needs and open the door to a strong partnership.
Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan Letters
Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan letter is a required communication that informs families of the school’s plan to provide the instruction and supports a child needs to improve their reading skills. The Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center offers a letter template that can help you begin to build a solid working relationship with families.
Third Grade Reading Guarantee Family Resources
The Department has prepared a number of fact sheets and road maps to guide parents through their role in helping their child increase their literacy skills. You may choose to share this information with your families.
PARTNERING WITH FAMILIES TO SUPPORT EARLY LITERACY
Open through June 24 | Virtual | Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center
Teachers from grades Pre-K through 3rd grade are invited to build their knowledge and skills for enhancing literacy instruction through family engagement.
Level Up with Literacy is a bi-monthly digital publication that provides information and resources to help you ensure all learners have access to high-quality language and literacy instruction and appropriate interventions from birth through grade 12.