3 Ways to Make Direct Instruction Great

Sometimes Direct Instruction is the best or only method available to you, and yet it so often feels ineffective. Students zone out, they don’t seem to retain the information, and you end up feeling very far removed from their experience.

3 Tips for Great Direct Instruction

  1. Images Only. Use images on your slide, not text, then support that image with what you say. When students are reading a lot of text and listening to you at the same time, they actually learn and retain less then if they were just listening to you without visual aides. But a single, relevant image helps students remember more.
  2. Cement their Knowledge. Take a pause and let students reflect. Ask a quick formative assessment question, or have them write down their thoughts. When students take time to process what you’ve been saying and put it in their own words, they will stay alert, and remember more later.
  3. Make it Personal. Tell personal stories or directly tie what you are saying to the experiences of your students. This will help students retain the information because it is connected to other memories and context.

Learn more about Direct Instruction, Cognitive Load, and the Redundancy Affect.