Instruction and Effective First Teaching

  • Effective first teaching refers to the practice of ensuring that students learn through effective classroom instruction the first time. Students are more successful when they keep pace with classroom instruction on grade level standards and do not fall behind. Although we provide intervention classes, we want to diminish the need for these, by providing effective first teaching in every classroom. By using research-based best practices, we know that all students can be successful.

Brain Research

  • To understand how students learn, we look to the latest research on how the brain learns.  Although a number of authors have written excellent books on the topic, John Medina has identified "Rules" that can help us ensure that students remember what we teach them in the classroom!  A few of these are:

    • Every brain is wired differently so we each learn differently
    • Humans don't pay attention to boring things
    • Remember to repeat and repeat to remember
    • If you sleep well, you'll think well
    • Stressed brains don't learn the same way
    • Stimulate more of the senses for better learning
    • Vision trumps all other senses for remembering
    • Humans are naturally curious--build on this!

Gradual Release of Responsibility

  • Teachers are using the Gradual Release of Responsibility lesson plan by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey to ensure that their lessons are structured for student learning.  The key lesson components are:

    • Focus Lesson
    • Guided Interaction
    • Productive Group Work
    • Independent Work & Assessment

Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI)

  • To ensure effective first teaching, meaning that our students learn the first time we teach, so that there is no need to intervention support or remediation, our schools are implementing explicit direct instruction.  EDI is a collection of best practices combined to help teachers design and deliver well-crafted lessons to all students.