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    Direct Instruction (long)
    By Em

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    I was a first year teacher last year and used DI for the first time. I have to say that during the training I felt exactly the way you do, I thought my head would explode, also. What I did was to take the materials home and look them over at my leisure. I made sure that I had plenty of copies of the recording forms and made notes for myself as I planned my lessons to make sure that I gave the checkouts and any other tests at the appropriate times. I also found it useful to write each of my student's names on individual index cards and used these to keep notes on students, such as which words errors were made on, how many individual errors were made during oral reading, and if errors were made on word attacks. These notes were helpful as I completed report cards and reviewed progress. I also used the cards to decide the order for reading and word attack. I just used to shuffle them and call on the first student card as selected. That way, I made sure that I called on everyone and no one knew when their turn would come up. My advice is to stick with it and don't be too hard on yourself. You will get into the routine sooner than you think. Try to be as consistent as possible and use it the way it is written and you will have good results. I must also add, that this program makes classroom management a breeze. It moves quickly so there is little opportunity for misbehavior. My VP even commented that she never has office referrals during our dedicated DI time. I have also found some of the techniques such as asking them to place their finger on a certain spot on the page useful during the rest of the day's instruction to increase attention. Good luck and don't let the training overwhelm you, you will do fine with just a little bit of practice.

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