Introduction to Explicit Direct Instruction

A table of contents to a powerful and proven teaching method called Explicit Direct Instruction, or EDI.


IAT_CL1_PX00768Explicit Direct Instruction is a teaching method created by Data Works that uses proven scientific data to teach kids. It is a part of my dynamite lesson plan for teaching every day. This method has been used at my
school in teacher training with student achievement as a result.  Here is just one of a few examples of good edi lessons (Word format) you’ll find in this series.  Above is the table of contents to my posts describing the lesson plan steps in detail. Each step was created with the learning processes of kids in mind.  The goal of it was to foster student achievement in public school.  My hope is that this method will help you as it has helped me to create and teach dynamite lesson plans. You can access information on each step through the links above. I think you will find each component has a powerful place in student achievement.

Problem of the Day as Routine

teaching kidsI was so glad to hear that Common Core had less standards that the 1997 set in California. When you look at the pages of standards you have to teach in a year, it can produce anxiety. A reasonable response to that anxiety can be to schedule too much each day. It’s been said it’s better to aim at something and miss than to aim at nothing and hit your target. A problem of the day for math and language arts can seem miniscule but if done every day, you can get a lot done over a year. 185 standards covered in both ELA and math, that sounds good to me! I can feel anxiety lifting as I type it. If you go through them as a class, you have a different approach that isn’t possible all day long. Plus, the mind likes routines and chunks of information. All these things are the pros of doing a problem of the day. Continue reading “Problem of the Day as Routine”

Sports as Incentive in the Elementary Classroom

Classroom management and academics are the cornerstone of the elementary school classroom. For this reason, knowing ways to encourage and provide incentives is crucial. One way is to have a day in the week when you play a game with the kids who earn it.

We are currently trying something like this we call “Fun Friday.” Basically, all three homeroom classes have the opportunity play a game with me outside at the end of the week. To be part of it, they must have good behavior. This means they have not had any warnings or consequences the entire week It is working very well so far. The usual offenders are even coming to the fence and bragging when they are allowed to participate.

I have done three games so far: soccer, basketball, and dodgeball. So far, dodgeball is the most popular sport. The students always have an inside option to make a craft with another teacher. So far it’s been about 50/50. Not since I started teaching and leading them in dodgeball though. Continue reading “Sports as Incentive in the Elementary Classroom”

Team Tables Configuration

IMG_2544.JPGI’ve made a few significant changes to the way I run my classroom teams. I’ve added an element that is quite innovative, shared with me by teacher and Adelanto board candidate Carlos Mendoza. We had a great visit sipping Starbucks and telling teacher war stories when he suggested something unique with the help of a pencil and napkin. I started implementing it today. My classroom runs on the concept of competition. I have the kids seated at u shaped tables instead of desks. This is in hopes they will be more collaborative.

Continue reading “Team Tables Configuration”

Advice for Making an Edublog

dlpI started writing this blog in 2007. I’d been a personal blogger for a couple years but I knew very little about edublogs and what goes into them.

I did my best to scour the web and find samples through blogrolls, which are now all but extinct, and I found a few edubloggers I copied and branched ideas from. Blogrolls once made it very easy to hone in on a “niche” of blogs. If you happen to find one now, don’t get too excited until you’ve checked the links for which have gone dead. It’s likely to be many. In 2007, blogrolls and the blogger movement was beginning to die out itself. Well, I take that back, you still can connect with a lot of people on Twitter. Edublogging on social media is alive and well.

I insist there must be pockets of edubloggers out there doing what I do, which is primarily blogging, but the searches don’t yield them quite as easily as back then. If you are an edublogger, I implore and beg you to connect with me via comments and twitter. I am @cre8nnov8

I started this blog with a blogroll axis. That is, I read and commented on as many “cool” blogs I could find in education and hoped they would visit and comment on mine as well. It worked well at first. You might try a Twitter access? Just a suggestion. Hashtags are powerful as are searches for keywords.

When I check back through my early years of posting, I see many reciprocal comments as compared to now. So that leads up to my suggestions for you about starting a blog: network.  That got my edublog off the ground. If you want to stick around and get paid for your ads, you’ll HAVE TO study and use social media. It’s the table at which networking bloggers 2017 eat. Continue reading “Advice for Making an Edublog”

President Obama Signs Education Law, Leaving ‘No Child’ Behind : The Two-Way : NPR

Was given this link from a co-teacher. I had to post for those interested.

The new law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, changes much about the federal government’s role in education, largely by scaling back Washington’s influence.

Source: President Obama Signs Education Law, Leaving ‘No Child’ Behind : The Two-Way : NPR

My goodness this is some good news! I did not even know this was on the table. I guess I’m a bit jaded of reading education news from Washington. Maybe I better get back into it if stuff like this is happening! This is huge. My guess is change will be slowwww as always. We’ll still be judged by the Smarter Balanced. But at least it’s a ray of hope, a slant of sunshine that we can soon focus on the needs of the future citizens in our classrooms and not strategize 24/7 on how to hurdle the Common Core. For now though, that’s what 2-12 will have to continue to do until someone tells me otherwise. Thanks!

What Might Have Been and What Can Be

imageIn education, things are contantly changing. Some methods show up as new ones but they’re really just renewed from times past. We have to be comfortable with change. This isn’t just about technology, though it is true with that as well. Rather, it refers to Common Core and Madeline Hunter’s lesson plan and every other trendy style that has come down the pike with mixed results. We need to synthesize old and new based on the needs of the students. This is what makes us valuable. If we couldn’t do this, anybody could step into the classroom and pretend to teach. When things change a lot, there is bound to be a lot of failed attempts. We rely on those failures to learn what works. The key is to not give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. Continue reading “What Might Have Been and What Can Be”

5 Better Ways To Discipline Than Removing Recess

When a child misbehaves in your classroom, is your first response to have him lose recess time? In 2006 a study found that 81.4 percent of schools allowed this as a punishment. Yet in a time when kids are suffering from greater attention problems and poor social skills (not to mention problems with childhood obesity on the rise), taking away recess and the chance to run around simply is not the right option.

Put the Child to Work

Sometimes kids act out because they have pent-up energy or are bored with the classroom instruction. Cutting recess makes these problems worse. So, instead of cutting out the part of the day they really need, give the children a job to do as a disciplinary action.

This can be something simple, like taking a document to the office, or something a bit more involved, like vacuuming the carpet or cleaning the board. Try to find a time, outside of that vital recess period, that the child can perform the job.

Reward Positive Behavior

Sometimes rewarding positive behavior is just as effective as punishing negative behavior. When students see their classmates earning a coveted reward, they will work harder to earn it as well.

Consider a system where your students can earn a sticker on a chart for each day without behavior issues. When they achieve a set number of stickers, they receive a reward. Rewards can be simple things, like:

  • Using the teacher’s desk for the day
  • Switching desks with a friend
  • Picking their favorite weekly job
  • Free time on the computer
  • Lunch with the teacher
  • Choosing a toy from a reward bin

You can create a list that is specific to your classroom and your students. The key is to be consistent in helping children attain a prize, and the positive rewards will help curtail negative behavior.

Involve the Parents

Sometimes, even in spite of your positive reinforcement techniques, you need to impose a negative consequence when children misbehave. For those instances, consider a timeout from a coveted activity that is not recess, like music class or free reading time at the end of the day. The timeout should be short, but long enough to get the child’s attention.

Then, if the behavior does not improve, it’s time to bring in the parents. In many instances, parental involvement is more effective than taking away recess time. A simple note home can bring much better results than days of missed recesses. Having a child who was caught using foul language repeat those words to his mom over the phone may do more good than hours of social isolation. Continue reading “5 Better Ways To Discipline Than Removing Recess”

Back to School Night: Ten Positives

  One tradition of school I really like is Back to School Night. It’s a time for parents to come in and see how the teacher runs things. It’s a time for the families to start a connection with the school and the teacher. With non traditional activities running wild in education, this is one tradition worth keeping. Here are ten positives:

  1. Parents see the classroom as their kids do.
  2. Teachers get to hang out informally with parents and their students’ siblings.
  3. It’s a reminder to teachers that their walls are a gallery to be presented.
  4. Kids get to show their parents their space (desk, table …)
  5. Principals get to address a large set of parents.
  6. Families are made a priority by the school.
  7. Treats.
  8. Extra curricular booths can get exposure.
  9. Teachers get insight into the home life of their students.
  10. Teachers get to address their students’ families.