Simple, Effective Skills Instruction

Skills instructions

Teaching a skill of any kind incorporates four components: (a) purpose statement, (b) direct instruction and modeling, (c) guided practice, and (d) independent practice. (Johnson, 2017). 

1. Purpose Statement.  This is a one sentence statement that identifies the skill that you want students to learn about or be able to do.

2. Input.  The Input for teaching a skill is used to tell students exactly what they need to know in order to perform the skill.  Here, you provide explicit instruction related to how the skill might be used and the specific steps.  You should also demonstrate and model it by thinking aloud while going through each step. 

3. Guided practice.  Guided practice, sometimes referred to as scaffolded instruction, is at the heart of teaching a skill of any kind (Johnson & Graves, 1997; Rosenshine & Meister, 1992).  The goal for this is to provide the support necessary for students to use the skill independently.  Here, you take the whole class through each step of the skill several times.  Each time, you provide less scaffolding.

4. Activity.  This is an activity designed to enable students to independently practice or reinforce the skill they have just learned.  This may include an in-class activity or homework.  If the skills lesson has been taught effectively, students should be able to complete this with 95% -100% success ratio (Brophy, 1986). 

• Regular Practice, Review, and Integration.  This element is not part of the skills lesson plan; however, it should be understood that mastery of any skill never occurs with a single lesson or exposure.  With any skill, students need to re-visit and review it many times for it to become part of their cognitive repertoire.  Regular practice allows for efficiency and automaticity. 

            These elements are applied in instruction related to word identification and comprehension

Class 3: Word Identification - 15 Clock Hours

About This Course: This course is designed to provide an overview of strategies and instruction related to word recognition and word identification.

Class 4: Comprehension - 20 Clock Hours

About this course: This course is designed to provide an overview of strategies and instruction related to comprehension.