Sample Programs – Direct Instruction

At Firefly Education we teach the full range of Direct Instruction programs. Each program is built around the core Direct Instruction principles of consistent language, carefully sequenced material, highly individualized delivery, and continuous assessment. The following is a selected sample of Direct Instruction programs that we teach:

Connecting Math Concepts
Connecting Math Concepts provides systematic, intensive instruction to teach students to connect skills and “big idea” concepts in math. The program combines facts, procedures, conceptual understanding, applications, and the development of problem solving to enable students to achieve mastery of core mathematic skills. Explicit strategies that incorporate oral and written responses are taught to build a strong foundation of basic skills, enabling students to master difficult ideas such as ratios, proportions, probability, functions, and data analysis. The mystery is taken out of math by teaching students how to discover and use math patterns. Key concepts are introduced clearly and incrementally and extended into subsequent lessons, providing the time students need to learn, process, and build a deep understanding. Students move forward in small steps, learn many topics in each lesson, and assimilate all concepts through use and continuous review. Detailed explanations and guided practice move students toward independent work, ensuring that students gain success and confidence as capable problem solvers who are able to think and communicate mathematically. Students learn in less time, remember more, and develop a depth of understanding needed for advanced mathematics.

Corrective Reading - Comprehension
Corrective Reading - Comprehension is designed for students who need to develop vocabulary, background information, and reasoning skills that are the foundation of comprehension. Intensive, robust instruction targets comprehension and word learning strategies that students can carry into content-area classes. Extensive practice in following directions is provided to help students read carefully and attend to details. Students develop strategies for retaining information and relating it to new concepts. Writing skills related to sentence structure, grammar, usage, and mechanics are taught to prepare students for the complex syntax in text. The program develops the thinking tactics used by successful readers—applying prior knowledge, making inferences, and analyzing evidence. Students learn literal and inferential skills necessary to read content-area textbooks and learn new information. Higher order thinking skills are expanded to enable students to read critically, identify fallacies in arguments, and resolve possible inconsistencies encountered in reading. Reasoning and analysis strategies are taught in content-rich contexts, enabling students to transfer newly learned skills to many subject areas.

Reading Mastery
Reading Mastery helps students develop into fluent, independent, and highly skilled readers. The program features a highly explicit, systematic instructional design that breaks learning into manageable steps that all students can master, and helps students achieve a high rate of success. Five essential components of reading – phonemic awareness, phonics and word analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension – are addressed, teaching important concepts and efficient strategies thoroughly and effectively. Spelling instruction is introduced to help students make the connection between decoding and spelling patterns. Fast-paced lessons keep instruction focused and students actively engaged. Students are given ample opportunities to practice and apply skills and concepts, and to extend learning. Teacher modeling, guided practice, and cumulative review are central to the program and ensure that all students make significant progress. As the program progresses, the focus shifts from learning to read to reading to learn, as students acquire skills needed to learn from a variety of texts. A strong foundation of decoding, word recognition, and comprehension skills are built that transfer to other subject areas.

Reasoning and Writing
Reasoning and Writing integrates higher-level thinking with writing instruction to help students think logically and analytically, and express ideas efficiently and effectively. Early levels focus on writing sentences and parallel stories about familiar characters to build an awareness of logical connections and narrative structures. Later levels help students develop consistent procedures for writing, editing, and revising their work, and critiquing their work as a reader would to eliminate possible sources of confusion. Relevant practice in mechanics, usage, and grammar is provided to refine editing skills and make students accountable for checking their own compositions. A solid foundation for writing is built by teaching skills such as sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, punctuation, capitalization, subjects and predicates, and writing passages that have a main idea and supporting details. Progressive changes in writing assignments incorporate skills taught throughout the program. Careful teaching of analysis and logic skills—including drawing conclusions from evidence, and identifying misleading claims, inadequate arguments, inconsistencies, and contradictions— improves the way students communicate in all subject areas. Students are equipped with everything they need to write strong sentences and paragraphs that are organized, focused, connected, and polished.

Spelling Mastery
Spelling Mastery teaches dependable spelling skills that students need to become proficient readers and writers by interweaving concentrated instruction in three approaches – phonemic, morphemic, and whole-word strategies – to make learning easier. The phonemic strategy helps beginning spellers to use sound-symbol correspondence as a foundation for spelling, learn and apply relationships between spoken sound and written letters to spelling, and generalize the spelling of many words and word parts that follow in regular patterns. The morphemic strategy teaches advanced spellers how to spell meaningful prefixes, suffixes, and word bases, and combine words and word parts to spell multisyllabic words. The intensive whole-word approach helps students at all levels to spell common, high-frequency words which are irregular in their letter sounds, and commit these potentially troublesome words to memory. Systematic and explicit teaching of reliable rules and their applications reduces the number of words students must memorize, providing the skills needed to spell thousands of words. Ample practice and ongoing, cumulative review of every skill, pattern, and rule ensures long-term retention and a solid understanding of how words are spelled.

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