News from NIFDI

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Newsweek Magazine has just published an excellent opinion piece written by Baker A. Mitchell Jr., founder of The Roger Bacon Academy (RBA) in Leland, NC.

When COVID closed the regular public schools in the area, the four charter schools that RBA manages remained open and were faced with an overwhelming number of transfer requests. They were able to accommodate just under 500 of the requests, boosting enrollment by 25%, up to over 2,500. Almost half of the new first and second-grade students could not pass the basic assessment for entering a beginning reading program. Through careful teaching utilizing DI programs, many of these students realized “two and in some cases three to four years of growth in reading from the time they stepped through our doors.”

Click here to read the full article.

We are pleased to announce that Raymond Minney, a student at the David Douglas Arthur Academy (DDAA) in Portland, Oregon, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Wayne Carnine Student Improvement Award.

Ray has just completed 5th grade and is moving on to middle school. Ray’s Kindergarten, 2nd, and 4th-5th grade teachers, as well as the Intervention Specialist at DDAA wrote letters of support, detailing Ray’s struggle to learn to read beginning in Kindergarten. The staff at DDAA worked to support Ray and continued to work with him one-on-one via Google Meet throughout the almost 2-year COVID

interruption. Throughout this time, Ray worked hard and began 5th grade and joined his grade-level reading class. He is now reading 110 correct words per minute without any errors and he is now earning A’s (95% or above) in all subjects.

Intervention Specialist Elissa McIntosh wrote, “In my ten plus years of being an educator, I have never seen this much tremendous growth in a student... Not only has Ray exhibited remarkable academic success with the Direct Instruction curriculum, but he has also demonstrated a true love for learning, regardless of how difficult it may have been for him. I am confident Ray is going to go on and do amazing things and become an integral part of our society."

Ray will be presented with his award during the opening of the National Direct Instruction Conference in Eugene on Tuesday, July 26th. We hope you can be with us then to congratulate Ray.

TeachYourChild 2022Almost 40 years after its initial publication, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons has been fully revised and updated and is now available through NIFDI! This book has sold more than 1 million copies to teach beginning reading. Amazon customers have given it a 4.5-star rating, and it is the number one seller in the Language Experience Approach to Teaching.

Changes include a revised “Practice Guide” to make learning what and how to teach easier. According to the overview, changes to the lessons put a greater emphasis on the prereading skill of blending as well as reading with expression. There are also strategies to use once the student is finished with Lesson 100.

Along with the release of the new edition, Co-Author Phyllis Haddox has updated her additional resource website, startreading.com. To celebrate the release of “version 2.0,” Phyllis will do a book signing at the National Direct Instruction Conference on Thursday, July 28 from 11:45-1 pm. You can purchase your discounted copy at the conference, or buy a copy from the NIFDI store by clicking here.

The journal Teaching and Teacher Education has just published Attitudes toward Direct Instruction in Western Australian primary and secondary schools. The research was conducted by Lorraine Hammond, Edith Cowan University, Australia. According to the abstract “A validated and reliable survey was administered to 89 teachers and school administrators across 27 schools in Western Australia to determine their attitudes towards Direct Instruction (DI).”

Among the research findings are:

  • Teachers who use scripted Direct Instruction programs conveyed positive attitudes.
  • Teachers chose to use Direct Instruction because they did not feel adequately prepared to address low literacy.
  • Teachers and administrators disagreed that Direct Instruction programs are harmful for students' psychological development.
  • Teachers and administrators believed that Direct Instruction programs could be taught alongside inquiry learning.
To read the entire abstract and obtain a copy of the article click here. Note that the article is available free through ResearchGate. Otherwise, there is a fee for the pdf.

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