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District Instructional Model is a “Playbook” for Teaching and Learning

From the Superintendent's Standpoint


By Travis Miller


District Instructional Model is a “Playbook” for Teaching and Learning


At Bayard Public Schools our students are blessed to be taught by highly qualified and dedicated teachers.The teachers at Bayard Public Schools work very hard as a team to provide our students with a great education and with opportunities to be successful on a daily basis.Like all teams, we have the most success when we work together toward a common goal.


Just as a great sports team has a playbook that is used to inform performance on the field, at Bayard Public Schools we have been working on a “playbook” that helps us to provide a high quality education in our classrooms.Over the past year Bayard Public Schools has been working to adopt and implement a district instructional model (our “playbook”) known as Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI).This instructional model is based upon decades of research on teaching and learning.This instructional model has goals of increasing both the effectiveness and efficiency of the teaching and learning process.


There are several reasons for implementing an instructional model.First, the implementation of a common instructional model increases the use of common instructional language by the teaching and support staff in a school.This common instructional language is useful to the educational professionals as they work together in planning instruction, reflecting upon instruction, and sharing results of instructional approaches with one another.Likewise, the use of a common instructional language provides a framework for support of teachers who are new to the school or to the profession.


In addition to developing a common instructional language, the implementation of a district instructional model provides a method by which a school can increase instructional consistency.When districts successfully implement an instructional model with fidelity there is increased instructional equity for students.It is helpful for learning when all teachers utilize research-based instructional strategies.Implementation of a common research-based approach helps to ensure that all students are exposed to excellent learning opportunities.


In order to help parents and community members to develop a deeper understanding of the district’s ongoing initiative to implement our “playbook,” several components of the EDI process are detailed below:

EDI Lesson Design Components

  • Learning Objective: A statement describing what students will be able to do by the end of the lesson. It must match the Independent Practice.
  • Activate Prior Knowledge: Purposefully moving something connected to the new lesson from students' long-term memories into their working memories so they can build upon existing knowledge.
  • Concept Development: Teaching students the concepts contained in the Learning Objective.
  • Skill Development: Teaching students the steps or processes used to execute the skills in the Learning Objective.
  • Lesson Importance: Teaching students why the content in the lesson is important for them to learn.
  • Guided Practice: Working problems with students at the same time, step-by-step, while checking that they execute each step correctly
  • Lesson Closure: Having students work problems or answer questions to demonstrate that they have learned the concepts and skills in the Learning Objective before they are released to work on their own.
  • Independent Practice: Having students successfully practice what they were just taught.


In addition to the lesson design components, the EDI model involves a process of checking for understanding to ensure that as many students as possible are learning the material.This process is described below:


TAPPLE:Checking for Understanding

Continuous checking for understanding, implemented properly, is the backbone of effective instruction. Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI), is a very explicit method of checking for understanding that teachers use to monitor student learning in real time. The mnemonic, TAPPLE, is helpful for remembering the steps.


Teach First (provide students with instruction)

Ask a Question

Pause and Pair-Share (give students time to think and share with one another)

Pick a Non-Volunteer (so that all students are accountable for learning)

Listen to the Response

Effective Feedback (respond to student answers to enhance learning)


The teachers at Bayard Public Schools have been working hard to implement the EDI instructional model within our classrooms.As with any profession, the development of new approaches and procedures takes time, hard work, and practice.I would like to commend our teachers for their ongoing work in developing new habits of instruction that are aligned to the district’s instructional model.


Parents or community members who are interested in learning more about Explicit Direct Instruction are encouraged to read the Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI):The Power of the Well-Crafted, Well-Taught Lesson by John Hollingsworth and Silvia Ybarra.Of course parents and community members are always welcome to visit the school to learn more about this initiative from members of our school team, too.


As always, if you would like to share success stories about Bayard Public Schools or if you have ideas about how we can work together to make our school even better, please call the school or send me an email.