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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

Every child, every opportunity

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Direct Instruction

Direct instruction is a systematic, teacher-directed approach to teaching. It involves the teacher delivering a daily lesson which is short and highly prescriptive. It also involves the teacher using a manual and following a script to deliver clear and concise explanations about a concept that develops student knowledge and understanding.

A direct instruction lesson includes time for students to work independently. After the teacher’s presentation, and under the teacher’s guidance, students practice the concept that has been introduced. During independent practice, the teacher provides individual students with immediate feedback including confirming mastery of the concept.

Direct instruction can be conducted one-to-one, with a small group, or a whole class. Here is an example of a lesson that uses direct instruction. Using a script, the teacher:

1) Begins the lesson by stating the learning intention.

2) Briefly reviews the previous lesson.

3) Presents the new concept in small steps with practice after each step.

4) Gives clear and detailed instructions and explanations.

5)  Provides active practice for all children to strengthen understanding of the concept.

6) Asks specific questions to check for understanding.

7) Obtains responses from all students and corrects misconceptions.

8)  Guides students when they commence independent practice.

9) Provides individual feedback to correct mistakes and confirm mastery.

10) Supports continued practice until all students have achieved mastery.

At Ashfield Public School, direct instruction is used as a strategy to teach reading and writing to our students in the early years (K-2), and EALD students (English as an Additional Language or Dialect). Direct instruction is used because learning to read and write is a very systematic process:

An essential part of learning to read and write is the understanding that letters and combinations of letters make up particular sounds and words. This involves students developing phonemic awareness and learning phonics. Phonemes are the letter-sound relationships and visual knowledge used to recognise words. There are 44 phonemes in Standard Australian English, represented by the 26 letters of the alphabet in multiple combinations. Phonics instruction must be explicit and sequential.

To teach phonics, the school uses InitiaLit which is a whole class beginning reading program. InitiaLit includes a prescriptive and scripted synthetic (synthesising and blending sounds) phonics program. It involves a daily phonics lesson with the teacher following a script to teach students about letter-sound relationships and how to apply this knowledge to reading and spelling.

Direct instruction is one strategy used at Ashfield Public School to deliver an effective literacy program for students who are developing foundational skills for reading and writing. Our investment in IntiaLit provides the school with the means to be highly accountable to consistent and successful teaching practices that support the expected, or higher than-expect progress of all students in reading and writing as measured by assessment data.

What is direct instruction (2014) K. Wheldall, J. Stephenson, M. Carter directinstruction.pdf provides%20explicit%20instruction%20for,independent%20 mastery%20has%20been%20achieved guide_phonics.pdf