Key Principle: Use Effective Instructional Procedures  

In teaching Anna literacy skills, we followed the guidelines of the National Reading Panel (2000) and provided:

  • Direct instruction in basic skills and
  • Frequent opportunities to apply these skills in the context of meaningful, motivating reading activities.

Direct instruction in basic skills

We used the following direct instruction procedures to teach Anna basic skills such as sound blending, letter sound correspondences, and decoding.

  • Model
    • First we demonstrated the skill for Anna
  • Guided practice
    • Then we provided scaffolding support to help Anna perform the skill successfully.
    • We gradually faded the scaffolding support as Anna demonstrated learning.
  • Independent practice
    • We provided many opportunities for Anna to perform the skill independently
    • We provided feedback for each of her responses.

If we were introducing a new skill to Anna, we always started by providing models to help Anna understand the expectations. Then we provided guided practice to help her learn the skill; in other words, we provided prompting support to ensure Anna’s success. As Anna started to learn the new skill, we gradually reduced the scaffolding support and we provided her with opportunities for independent practice. At this stage, she practiced the skills without prompts or cues from the instructor.


We provided feedback for each of Anna’s responses.

  • If Anna performed the skill correctly,
    • We provided positive feedback.
  • If Anna was incorrect,
    • We directed her attention to the error
    • We then modeled the correct response
    • Then we repeated the trial and provided guided practice to help ensure Anna’s success
    • Finally we provided additional opportunities for Anna to practice.

Opportunities to apply skills in meaningful, motivating literacy activities

We also provided many opportunities for Anna to apply her skills in the context of meaningful and motivating literacy activities such as reading books and writing stories. We wanted to

  • Increase her motivation for learning to read
    • show Anna that reading is fun
    • demonstrate the importance of learning these skills
  • Enhance her generalization of skills
  • Provide additional opportunities to practice skills and build fluency.

To use effective instructional procedures

  • model task
  • provide guided practice to ensure student success
  • provide feedback on responses
  • promote independent by fading support
  • provide opportunities to apply skills in meaningful literacy activities



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