This Bright Spot comes from Stacy Fertile, a Special Education self-contained classroom teacher in Mount Vernon where Denise Jaffe, SESIS, provided professional development support in Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI).

What were student able to achieve? 

Ms. Fertile states: “According to the I-Ready diagnostic reading test, 11/12 of my students significantly increased their scores from September to June. The point increase was as high as 53 points, and four students jumped from a Level 1 to a Level 2 in reading! My students were not only successful academically, but made gains behaviorally and socially as well.”

 What practices or systems made this possible?

Using  EDI strategies, I model, explain, repeat, and check for understanding constantly in each lesson I teach. Perhaps most effective is the feedback that I provide them on answers. I do not just say ‘correct’, or ‘sorry, that’s incorrect’, I strive to help my students understand why an answer is correct or incorrect, which informs them while also engaging them in higher level thinking.   I also organize my class for small-group instruction. Working with three or four students at a time allows me to differentiate based on their individual needs. Between the EDI and small-group instruction, my students have been extremely successful in learning, thinking, and increasing their skills this year.


What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

  • Effective feedback is a powerful learning support, just as Hattie found in the study referenced in the lead article.
  • Elements of EDI, including modeling, checking for understanding and flexible grouping, increase the likelihood that students will benefit from instruction.