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Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI)

Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI)
The Power of the Well-Crafted, Well-Taught Lesson

Second Edition

September 2017 | 248 pages | Corwin
A proven approach to better teaching and learning.

Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI), an approach based on the premise that all children can learn, helps teachers deliver well-designed, well-taught lessons that significantly improve achievement for all learners. Authors Hollingsworth and Ybarra have refined and extended their highly successful methods in this second edition of their bestselling book.

Written in an easy-to-read, entertaining style, this resource provides K-12 teachers with concrete strategies, detailed sample lessons, and scenarios that illustrate what EDI techniques look like in inclusive and diverse classrooms. With chapters covering the individual components of EDI, such as checking for understanding and activating prior knowledge, this updated edition refines the methods so that they are even more effective and easier to implement. Readers will find:  

Strategies for continuous, systematized student engagement 
Expanded corrective feedback strategies
Clear alignment to the latest content standards
A new, field-tested strategy for skill development and guided practice
Expanded information about differentiation and scaffolding 

Combining educational theory, brain research, and data analysis, this is a fine-tuned, step-by-step guide to a highly effective teaching method.

"Before EDI, our school was a ship adrift at sea with everyone rowing in different directions. EDI has provided us with a framework for instruction and a common language that allowed us to all row in the same direction. 
Benjamin Luis, Principal
Liberty Middle School, Lemoore, CA

“EDI makes students accountable. They see now that school is a place to work and learn and play, and they love it. Because even though it is hard, they are doing well.”
Trudy Cox, School Instructional Coach
St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic School, Carnarvon, Western Australia



Preface to the Second Edition: What’s New in EDI
About the Authors
Chapter 1. Students Say, “I Can Do It!”
The Day I Saw the Breakthrough in Classroom Instruction

Where Our Research Began: Student Achievement

Where Our Research Led: Classroom Instruction

Chapter 2. Are Some Approaches Better Than Others? What Is Effective Instruction?
Why Are Children Sent to School? Talent Discovery Versus Talent Development

The Teaching/Learning Dilemma: Speed Up or Slow Down

Criteria for an Instructional Approach

Two Philosophies About Education

High-Stakes Testing

What to Do?

EDI Is Not Lecturing

EDI Is Not Scripted

Research Supports Direct Instruction

When to Use Group Work

Chapter 3. Good Instruction Is Always Good Instruction: An Explicit Direct Instruction Overview
What Is Explicit Direct Instruction?

Explicit Direct Instruction Lesson Design

Explicit Direct Instruction Lesson Delivery

How to Use EDI in Your Classroom

Chapter 4. Creating Engaged Students: Use Engagement Norms!
Student Engagement Is Created When You Ask Your Students to Do Something

History of Student Engagement Norms

Student Engagement Norm 1: Pronounce With Me

Student Engagement Norm 2: Track With Me

Student Engagement Norm 3: Read With Me

Student Engagement Norm 4: Gesture With Me

Student Engagement Norm 5: Pair-Share

Student Engagement Norm 6: Attention Signal

Student Engagement Norm 7: Whiteboards

Student Engagement Norm 8: Use Complete Sentences (Public Voice, Academic Vocabulary)

Training Students in the Engagement Norms


Chapter 5. Is Everyone Learning? Checking for Understanding
What Is Checking for Understanding?

TAPPLE—Checking for Understanding the EDI Way!

Teach First

Ask a Specific Question


Pick a Non-Volunteer

Listen Carefully to the Response

Effective Feedback


Chapter 6. Everyone Learns: Corrective Feedback and Whiteboards
Listen Carefully to the Response

Effective Feedback

Whiteboards, the Best Way to CFU!


Chapter 7. Establishing What Is Going to Be Taught: Learning Objective
Part I: Well-Designed Learning Objectives

Part II: Writing Standards-Based Learning Objectives

Part III: The Learning Objective Must Be Presented to the Students


Chapter 8. Connecting to What Students Already Know: Activating Prior Knowledge
Part I: What Does It Mean to Activate Prior Knowledge?

Part II: How to Activate Prior Knowledge


Chapter 9. These Are the Big Ideas: Concept Development
Part I: Concept Development Design

Part II: Concept Development Delivery


Chapter 10. I’ll Work a Problem First: Rule of Two— Skill Development and Guided Practice
Skill Development (Teacher)

Guided Practice (Students)

How to Design Skill Development and Guided Practice

How to Teach Skill Development/Guided Practice


Chapter 11. This Is Important to Learn: Relevance

When Do You Teach Lesson Relevance?

How Do You Provide Lesson Relevance?

How to Design Lesson Relevance

How to Teach Lesson Relevance


Chapter 12. Making One Final Check: Closing the Lesson
Closing the Lesson

How to Provide Lesson Closure

When Closure Is Complete, Initiate Independent Practice

Chapter 13. Planning for Success: Differentiation and Scaffolding
Differentiating and Scaffolding to Increase Student Success

In-Class Interventions and Out-of-Class Interventions

Response to Intervention (RTI) and EDI


Chapter 14. Having Students Work by Themselves: Independent Practice and Periodic Review
Starting With the End in Mind: The Independent Practice Must Match the Lesson

Periodic Review


Chapter 15. Creating Well-Crafted Lessons: Putting It All Together
Creating EDI Lessons From a Textbook

Creating Your Own EDI Lessons

DataWORKS Enters the Classroom to Teach

Chapter 16. Looking at All the Components: Analyzing a Sample Lesson
Use for EDI Lessons

EDI Lesson Layout


Resources: What the Research Says

“One of our specialties is research on instruction and training.  In both K-12 education and in higher education, we find that the features of the DataWORKS program fit all of the research that we think is the best evidence right now.  You owe it to yourself and to your students to at least give it a try.”

Dr. Richard Clark, Director of the Center for Cognitive Technology
University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, Los Angeles, CA

"I would like all teachers in our district to be exposed to DataWORKS. Only then will there be systemic change for our students."

Gloria Evosevich, Principal
Nichols Elementary School, Lodi, CA

“Students in an EDI classroom share the teaching responsibilities.  They eagerly participate during Pair-Share and remind the teacher if s/he  has forgotten  "their time."  It is a very non-threatening environment and students are prepared for success.”

Katey Hoehn, Retired K-8 Administrator

“EDI totally transformed my teaching of both children and adults.  It is research-based, easy to use, and rewarding for both the teacher and the students.  Most importantly, it works!"

Dr. Christopher J. Quinn, Associate Professor Emeritus, School of Education
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

“EDI is a difference maker for all students. High achievers are given the opportunity to explore the curriculum in depth and at the highest level. Challenged students are provided scaffolds and support so they can access what is being taught.”

Allan Waterman, Retired Principal
Nicolas Junior High School, Fullerton, California

“EDI and the DataWORKS model of school improvement made a dramatic impact on classroom instruction in the schools of South Carolina. The delivery of instruction using this program provided clarity and a focus in addressing state standards and the learning environment in classrooms.”

Danny Shaw, Past President
South Carolina Association of School Administrators, Columbia, SC

“What is the best way to teach students?  The answer is Explicit Direct Instruction.  I am a retired principal, director, and adjunct professor in California.  I have been using the model of EDI published by DataWORKS for the past 10 years.  I have taught it to teachers and future administrators.  I have also used it in teaching my own adult students.”

Alice Rodriguez, Ed.D.
Key features
  • Step-by-step implementation of the highly successful Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) teaching method from DataWORKS
  • EDI is data-driven, field-tested, and supported by DataWORKS training events and workshops
  • Written in an entertaining, teacher friendly, easy to read style with classroom examples and samples of complete lessons at the elementary and secondary level
  • Individual chapters cover checking for understanding, lesson objectives, activating prior knowledge, concept and skills development, guided practice, and much more
  • Appropriate for ALL learners in inclusive and diverse classrooms


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