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Direct Instruction

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Direct Instruction


Workshop of interest at July 20-24, 2008 National Direct Instrucion Conference, Eugene, OR

34th Annual National Direct Instruction Conference and Institutes at Eugene

July 20-24, 2008

Hilton Eugene Hotel & Conference Center

Eugene, OR


One highlight that might be of particular interest



E3) Fluency and Direct Instruction  Anne Desjardin, Tim Slocum, Cathy Watkinss

Intended Audience: Open

"For many academic skills, accurate performance is not enough. To be most useful in a wide variety of situations, these skills must be fluent. Fluency is the combination of accuracy, speed,

and ease of performance. In this session, participants will learn strategies and tactics to promote fluency of key skills taught in Direct Instruction programs. The session will (a) explore the importance of fluency, (b) teach the use of the Standard Celeration Chart for monitoring fluency, (c) identify skills for which fluency is important, and (d) recommend specific fluency-building procedures that can be used to supplement Direct Instruction programs."


The full brochure and registration form

Association for Direct Instruction website



20/20 News report about reading in schools; John Stossel--2 parts

John Stossel reports on the failure of Whole Reading instruction in schools, the success of Direct Instruction implementations and some of the reasons that the reading program has inexplicably not been widely adopted. Interviews with Zig Engelmann, examples of implementation and student performance.

Part 1/2


Part 2/2



4/23/08 French Language DI website

Direct Instruction 

La 3e voie...

Thanks to Kurt Engelmann for pointing this out.

11/22/08. Links updated



1/28/08 DI videos from the Fairfield/Suisun School District, CA

Thanks to Mary Damer, DI-listserv, for pointing these out!


Direct Instruction: What Parents and Students have to say about DI. 14min.

This video was filmed in May 2007 at various elementary sites (Fairfield/Suisun School District, CA)

that use Direct Instruction as an intervention. It highlights classroom practices, and it contains

interviews with both parents as well individual students.

We asked parents, "How has Direct Instruction worked to benefit your child?"

We ask students, "How has Direct Instruction helped you in schools?"

The responses are worth seeing and hearing.


Best Practices in Direct Instruction. 9min.

We visited three of our elementary schools in October 2006 to show you

this intervention program in action. 9min30sec Dec 2006



Aug. 1, 2007--Opportunity: Online webcast on DI by Cathy Watkins


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

9:00 a.m.-noon



Cathy Watkins

This session will be an overview of Direct Instruction, focusing particularly on the development of reading and language skills using the Reading Mastery and Language for Learning curriculum. Program design and instructional techniques will be emphasized.

Link to full info on this conference




Background on the Engelmann/Becker Direct Instruction (DI) instructional system

"Direct Instruction" as described here, refers to the instructional system and curricula pioneered by Siegfried Engelmann and the late Wesley Becker. (This is different from the generic "direct instruction", which refers to any explicit instruction).


Features of Engelmann's Direct Instruction

paraphrase from: Engelmann's Direct Instruction and Project Follow Through, Athabasca University, Psych 387

  • Learners taught in small ability-level groupings so that all students are starting at the appropriate point in the curriculum. For any ability group, the emphasis is on mastery, and skills are firmed for mastery at each step.
  • Attention is focussed on, and active responding is cued by, the teacher.
  • Scripted presentation of carefully designed instruction to cover concept building, balance of new and review material, and active practice opportunities.
  • Emphasis on high paced, active responding as a group and individually,with frequent feedback and correction.


Direct Instruction materials are currently used by thousands of schools across the nation and internationally; however, specific information is not available on the number or demographics of children or centers using the materials.


See also for a more complete description and glossary of DI: Engelmann Module

Athabasca University, Psych 387; Module Authors: Joseph Parsons and David Polson

Instructional Designer/Technical Advisor:Lyle Grant



About the Direct Instruction Curriculum Packages

Direct Instruction was developed in the 1960s and has been revised and renamed over the years. The Direct Instruction model was first branded as the Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading (DISTAR), which included DISTAR Reading, DISTAR Arithmetic, and DISTAR Language I . While Direct Instruction products have evolved over the years, the Direct Instruction approach remains the same, and the version of Direct Instruction (DISTAR) used in the studies in this report are still available and relevant to today’s consumers. An overview of Direct Instruction programs for preschool and kindergarten children follows. Direct Instruction products are also available for older students.


Programs for Pre-K, K, Elementary-age

DISTAR Reading became Reading Mastery. Reading Mastery includes these programs:




*Reading Mastery Signature Edition- New 2008


DISTAR Arithmetic retained that name and includes these programs:

Prekindergarten (high performing students only)




DISTAR Language I has become Language for Learning. (Student materials only are still available for the original DISTAR Language I.) There are currently two companion programs:


Other Curricular programs include

the home based reading program,


For more discussion on the curriculum packages and supplementary materials, see



An Introduction to Direct Instruction

Special Connections, University of Kansas.

"Connecting teachers to strategies that help students with special needs successfully access the general education curriculum"

See also on the same website

Instructional Tools Related to Direct Instruction




Additional information, and the DI-LISTSERV



Discussion listserv for researchers, teachers, and other implementers and DI enthusiasts.




Direct Instruction Slides, Transparencies and Handouts

Martin A. Kozloff, Watson School of Ed, U.NC. at Wilmington


Stuff from the Computer of Zig Engelmann

Works and thoughts from the originator of the Direct Instruction curriculum (DISTAR, Reading Mastery, etc.)

Excellent site direct from "The Man" who originated DI.


The Association for Direct Instruction

About DI, professional development and conferences, additional materials.


National Institute for Direct Instruction



Organizations that offer training and classroom coaching

Organizations that provide training and in-class coaching in the Direct Instruction methodology include:


  • The National Institute for Direct Instruction

P.O. Box 11248

Eugene, OR 97440

Telephone: (877) 485-1973

Email: info@nifdi.org

Web: http://www.nifdi.org

  • Educational Resources, Inc.

7105 Old Grant Creek Road

Missoula, MT 59808

Telephone: (406) 542-5010

Web: http://www.erigroup.us

  • J/P Associates, Inc.

284 East Chester Street

Valley Stream, NY 11580

Telephone: (516) 561-7803

Web: http://www.jponline.com







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