While Direct Instruction (DI) has been around for decades, many haven't heard anything about it. The stories and testimonials here are from real people in real schools working with real students. They learned about DI in a wide variety of ways and want to share their stories and experiences with others interested in DI.
How to Submit Your Story
Do you have a story to share about your experience with DI? Submit it to NIFDI and give others a window into the world of DI. You can submit your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our testimonial phone line at 541-505-5700. In your submission, please provide your name, phone number, location and your story of how DI has affected your life and/or your students.
*Note: By submitting your story, you are giving NIFDI permission to use your story in any media without compensation or prior notice. NIFDI reserves the right to not accept submissions and/or modify submissions as necessary and appropriate. If you wish to remain anonymous, please indicate so in your message.
This past year has been an amazing and enlightening experience for me; I hope for my students as well. Using Reading Mastery, I’ve been able to develop, as well as enhance, my kids’ reading abilities. It’s pretty much the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life. I believe by the end of first grade these guys will be able to read around 100 words per minute, if not more (I’ve got many students up around 180-200 words per minute), with a vocabulary of approximately 1700 words.
I really appreciate the science behind the programs. I like how new bits of information are introduced in small increments, while the major concepts are repeated over and over again. Like in Connecting Math Concepts 1, for instance, we have a similar routine everyday, and I feel like my kids have a solid grasp of the material. Their test scores prove it. I give my students a lot of credit. We have really high standards, and students step up to the plate. With some exceptions, they come everyday ready to learn and work hard. I teach the lessons with energy, enthusiasm and excitement, which I think helps keep the kids engaged. Overall, however, I think the curriculum combined with the DI approach are what a lot of my students' successes can be attributed to.
DI is a huge success. My students are smart and happy, and I’m super proud of them!
~ Billee, 1st Grade Teacher
The training and support we have received from NIFDI has been amazing. We have a great staff, but now they are very effective reading teachers. They are more confident about their skills and more knowledgeable about their students. They are very protective of the students in their groups and feel very responsible for their learning.
It's 2:30pm and you've just looked at tomorrow's lesson plans. Verbs. You think to yourself, "Hmm...ok. Where is that worksheet I had on verbs? In the filing cabinet? On my computer? No, I think it is in the file set in the back room..." You finally locate the master, but you still need copies. You head for the office to make copies, only to end up the last teacher in the line for the copy machine. Not only is this a lot of legwork to get everything prepped for the next day's lesson, it has left the design of instruction up to you to figure out.
Direct Instruction has already done these jobs for you. The lessons are planned, the sequence of tasks have been carefully laid out to ensure students have the foundational skills they need before doing that day's lesson and the teacher isn't spending valuable time trying to track down materials.
With DI, you're not the technician anymore. You're not making up the lessons anymore. You're free to foucs on your students again!
I made the mistake of underestimating how well DI would work with my English Language Learner (ELL) students. I had a student who I didn't think would be able to make it in the program. Just two weeks ago, he was frustrated and slamming his workbook on his desk. We are now in Corrective Reading: Comprehension B and he is surpassing the rest. Same thing with Corrective Reading: Decoding! He can independently answer written questions from the stories we read together, and he is constantly asking what words mean and gets really excited about the stories. His English progress is incredible and he retains and uses what he learns. I've worked with MANY ELL students and have never seen the results I am seeing with him! It is AMAZING to see this DI program work for ELL students.
I just wanted to take a minute and let you know what a great pair of trainers you have in Tamara and Sue. They are kind, compassionate, focused, energetic, and diplomatic. Thanks for assigning them to our site!
~Angie, Elementary Principal