Having a clear understanding of the theory and design of Direct Instruction (DI), as well as a clear understanding of the Essential Elements needed for a successful implementation, is critical in getting your implementation off to a strong start. If you're interested in learning more about how to bring DI to your school or district and what NIFDI can do to support your implementation, we recommend the following steps:
Learn About Direct Instruction
1. Watch the Introduction to Direct Instruction Video Series. NIFDI offers a free online video series covering a range of topics addressing the fundamentals of Direct Instruction. The content of these videos is designed to provide information relevant to individuals new to DI and are each only about three to five minutes long, providing a succinct introduction to each topic.
2. Take NIFDI's online tutorial. NIFDI has developed an online tutorial that guides users through key foundational information on Direct Instruction and the essential elements necessary for a successful implementation. The tutorial was developed for teachers, administrators and other school officials, but is also beneficial to anyone interested in DI, whether they work in a school or not.
3. View videos on Direct Instruction and NIFDI Schools. NIFDI has several videos available online that portray the success schools experience when using DI in tandem with implementation support from NIFDI. Additionally, there are a number of videos that address important aspects of implementation and the curriculum.
4. Read Clear Teaching by Shepard Barbash. Clear Teaching is commissioned by the Education Consumers Foundation (ECF) and is a great book for anyone new to Direct Instruction or wanting a refresher on the basics of DI methodology. It is available from retailers such as Amazon and as a free download on ECF's website. NIFDI has also created a pdf Facilitator's Guide for group study of the book and a pdf study guide for individual or group use.
5. Find resources on the publisher's website for each program. Most of the DI family of programs is published by McGraw-Hill. Other publishers include Voyager Sopris Learning and Funnix. In addition to product and pricing information, there is a wide variety of support resources for programs available on their websites. Find research, alignments to the pdf Common Core State Standards and more. Not sure who the publisher is? Check out the program pages on this website to learn more!
Review the Essential Elements for Success
1. Review the Direct Instruction Model and Essential Elements. The services offered through an implementation support company such as NIFDI afford schools a strong basis for implementing the DI model successfully with all children. However, the way in which the school utilizes the services provided is a cornerstone in ensuring a strong implementation. Read through our booklet pdf Achieving Success for Every Student with Direct Instruction and review the pdf Essential Elements checklist located at the end of the booklet more information.
2. Complete the School Data Form. In order to determine the scope of your implementation and the support services your site will require, schools need to complete the pdf School Data Form . This information will be used to help assess the school's needs and put together a budget proposal for NIFDI services. If you are a district level administrator interested in contracting for services across several schools, please use our pdf Multi School Data Form . Examples of how to complete the Multi School Data Form can be found here: pdf Elementary Sample | pdf Middle School Sample .
3. Arrange a phone conference with NIFDI. Once you have familiarized yourself with the necessary model components, it is time to discuss with NIFDI how the Full Immersion DI model can be applied in your school or district. During an initial phone call, NIFDI will walk you through the components of a successful implementation and the support NIFDI provides. NIFDI will also help you identify your school or district's readiness for a successful implementation. In preparation for your call, please be sure you have completed the pdf School Data Form (See item 2 above).
Visit a Model DI School
1. Visit a school implementing DI with fidelity. Schools considering implementing Direct Instruction should consider visiting a school implementing DI with fidelity. Seeing DI in action is different than seeing DI implemented in a school that has worked with NIFDI. As such, NIFDI can recommend sites across the United States -- and around the world -- that warrant a visit. NIFDI can help you to locate those schools so that you can see DI as it was intended to be used.
Train Instructional Staff in DI Programs
1. Contract with NIFDI for on-site training and support. NIFDI can provide on-site training for teachers and other instructional staff in programs specific to the skill and performance levels of students, ensuring instructors are equipped with the necessary skills to efficiently and effectively teach students to mastery. This training is provided as part of NIFDI's comprehensive implementation support services.
2. Attend a Direct Instruction Summer Training Conference. NIFDI presents two premier DI training conferences—the National DI Conference and Institutes and the Southwest Direct Instruction Conference and Institutes. These trainings are an option for those wanting training that adheres to the Developer's Guidelines but not necessarily contracting for the full range of NIFDI services. The National Direct Instruction Conference is the longest running DI training event. Held each year in Eugene, Oregon, the conference attracts educators from around the world who are interested in specific program training as well as topics related to DI. The Southwest Conference is held in San Antonio Texas in August and offers program training similar to Eugene. A feature of both events is the specialized weeklong institutes on Trainer Training, Coaching and Administrative development.
3. Participate in outreach events sponsored by NIFDI. NIFDI offers several 2-day trainings around the country during the school year. Currently, NIFDI offers a Leadership Academy and Coaching Academies (1 and 2). These academies offer a portion of the content delivered in the weeklong institutes held in the summer. The Leadership Academy is ideal for the leadership team at a school that has minimal or no experience and training in DI. The Coaching academies are designed for the leadership staff that does have experience and training in teaching the programs and will be responsible for assisting in the professional development and quality control of the implementation.
Implement with NIFDI Support
1. Enjoy on-site visits from experienced Direct Instruction trainers. NIFDI support usually spans an intensive period of three years followed by less-intensive support for two or more years depending on the needs of the site. During the intensive phase, NIFDI consultants come on site once a month for in-class observations, feedback, assessment and demonstrations. The exact number of days depends on the size of the school and the available budget. When on site, NIFDI consultants focus on student performance and factors that affect student achievement.
2. Receive program-specific assessment, preservice and inservice trainings. A common misconception is that DI programs are easy to teach because they are scripted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mastering the instructional skills needed to teach DI programs is difficult, and the trainings NIFDI provides are essential in the learning process for teachers, teaching assistants and administrators in mastering these skills. Trainings are provided on-site by experienced DI teachers and coaches. To learn more, visit the NIFDI Services section of this website.
3. Support instructional staff through NIFDI's in-class coaching model. In-class coaching helps prepare teachers to become master DI teachers. With the intent to improve teachers' mastery of DI techniques, coaching involves non-evaluative observations of instruction by NIFDI staff, along with specific feedback on what was observed and modeling/demonstration of lessons. Virtual visits are also utilized as appropriate to provide additional support to teachers when NIFDI staff isn't on site.
4. Administer Placement Tests to Students. Placement in Direct Instruction programs is driven by program-specific assessments. After receiving assessment training, you will need to administer placement tests to your students. NIFDI will then assist you in grouping students and placing your materials order.
5. Benefit from off-site NIFDI support services year-round. Even when NIFDI staff isn't on site, schools contracting with NIFDI benefit from off-site support, including virtual visits, data analysis and weekly conference calls.
6. Develop internal capacity for supporting the implementation. Support from NIFDI is key to establishing an effective DI implementation, but NIFDI consultants cannot be on site all the time, and they cannot work with schools indefinitely. Through NIFDI's on-site mentoring, coaches' training and Train the Trainer (TOT) Institutes, schools and districts can develop the internal capacity for maximizing student achievement independently through DI for many years to come.