This Bright Spot comes from Fred Santoli, Coordinator of Curriculum & Assessment at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES.  Fred has been supporting teachers in the Fox Meadow program in using Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) strategies to increase high school students’ ability to ask higher order questions.

What student outcome was achieved?
Students in the 11th grade US History class are asking and answering higher-order analysis and evaluation questions related to quotes about the Cold War.

What instructional practice or systemic change supported this student success?
Teachers incorporated the following EDI strategies into daily instruction:
⇒ Providing a “bullet-proof” definition of the word “question”;
⇒ Providing clear definitions of “open” and “closed” types of questions;
⇒ Checking for understanding by frequently questioning students and calling on non-volunteers;
⇒ Asking students who have mastered the concepts to provide support to students who have not yet mastered them; and
⇒ Providing explicit, timely and specific feedback to student responses

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

  • Students can learn complex skills when teachers incorporate simple but specific practices consistently during instruction that ensure students
    1) have a clear understanding of objectives, and
    2) receive frequent opportunities to practice while receiving corrective feedback!