At the beginning of 2020, Cassia Primary Staff received professional development from Joe Ybarra, a lead trainer from DataWORKS, California. DataWORKS is a US company that has developed a comprehensive EDI program for teachers based on extensive research.
The Explicit Direct Instruction approach is built on the principle that all students can learn. The model was developed by John Hollingsworth and Dr. Sylvia Yabarra and is based on educational theory, brain research, data analysis and direct instruction. EDI is the delivery of strategically planned lessons that explicitly teach new concepts to master. The teachers at Cassia Primary use EDI to teach new concepts in Mathematics and English
EDI lesson design contains eight main components for success:
1. Learning Objective – teacher tells students what they are going to learn.
2. Activating Prior Knowledge – teachers activate or provide prior knowledge of the concept or skill being taught.
3. Concept Development – Teachers teach the concept, rule or content using written definitions. They use labelled examples and non-examples to explain the concept or skill.
4. Skill Development – Teachers model problems for students to watch.
5. Guided Practice – Teachers guide students to solve matching problems. This is a highly structured step-by-step process where teachers are able to check for understanding at each step.
6. Relevance – Teachers show students the importance of learning new information by providing personal, academic or real life examples for students to understand the relevance of the content being taught.
7. Closure – This gives students the opportunity to prove that they are ready to successfully complete independent practice (students practice what they have just been taught and the teacher works with students who require additional support).
8. Periodic reviews – Review of the concept happens at different intervals (day 1, 2, 7, 30) to ensure the learning is committed to long term memory.
During EDI lessons teachers utilise ‘engagement norms” (TAPPLE) to deliver lessons that motivate students and hold them accountable for their learning. Engagement Norms ensure children are doing something every minute, whether it be discussion with a partner, reading text aloud, showing responses on a whiteboard or gesturing. These norms are designed to keep students actively engaged in their learning.
Examples of engagement norms include:
• Series of higher order questions posed throughout the lesson;
• Students ‘pair-sharing’ their responses to organise ideas and allowing all students to actively participate;
• Calling on non-volunteers to check for understanding;
• Use of individual mini-whiteboards for immediate teacher feedback;
• Students justifying their responses using academic language;
• Teachers correcting responses at point of need;
• Re-teaching concepts if 80% mastery has not been achieved;
• Reading and tracking the text with the teacher;
• Adding actions or gestures to assist with retention of definitions.