Thursday, May 3, 2012

Example of a Direct Instruction Lesson

In the post just previous to this one, I mentioned how I taught it via a direct instruction model. Also, I said how it took me 18 minutes to teach that an interjection is a single word followed by an exclamation mark. I think that without any context, that sounds bizarre. So, I'm going to explain how that's possible and why that length of time is reasonable.

A couple days ago, I was prepping myself for a lesson that I had to teach. I wanted to make it super simple. An additional suggestion that one of my supervisors gave me was to use a direct instruction teaching model. To be honest, I was familiar with the name, but not with all that occurs in such a model. So, I looked it up in Google. This was the most helpful result that I found. This is the breakdown of a lesson taught via direct instruction.

1. Express content and language objectives.
2. Connect lesson to students' experience and justify lesson to be taught.
3. Show final product of learning and process behind learning it. Students will merely observe.
4. Guided practice. Students take part of the lesson and the teacher takes a part of the lesson.
5. Independent practice. Students engage with lesson all on their own.
6. Closure. Students are reminded of objective of lesson.

I'll give you an idea of how I utilized these steps. First, I had three students read each the content and language objectives. You can read them in the poster shown below:

Second, I had to spend about two minutes to make sure that everyone understood how to behave in class. Then, I asked students to give me a thumbs up if they've expressed a sentence in a loud or excited way before. Almost everyone gives a thumbs up. I ask the class if anyone wants to share an excited or loud sentence that they've expressed before. Then, I explain that in the lesson, they will learn that sometimes only single words will have exclamation marks after them and those words are interjections.

Third, I showed them some examples of three different interjections. I allowed different students to read them in an expressive way. I pointed out to them that if there is no exclamation mark, the sentence or word is read loudly, but if it has an exclamation mark it is read loudly or with excitement.

Fourth, on the board, I listed three sentences containing blanks. Each of the blanks could have an interjection placed in them. I posted interjections on the board for students to come up and post on to a sentence. I had three different students come up.

Fifth, I gave all of the students a scenario. The scenario was that their parents got them a really awesome birthday gift. They got them a pet dragon or unicorn. I asked the students to think of how they would respond, to write a sentence containing one interjection, share it with a partner after they finish, and show me a thumbs up once they are finished. I set the timer for two minutes to complete this task.

Last, I took two different students work to show under the docucam, had them read it to the class, and I corrected their pronunciation accordingly. Before I ended the lesson, I asked someone to remind the class about what an interjection is. Then, I handed the class back to Mr. Agajan.

I think that should give you a better idea on why it took me 18 minutes to teach this lesson. On top of that, you also need to factor in time for behavior management.

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