It is the teacher’s responsibility to see that the lessons get taught in such a manner that the child-related goals are met. To do this, the teacher must understand the requirements of the program and be able to teach using those skills and techniques.

Initial placement testing and grouping for the different subject areas is the responsibility of the teacher and will be covered during the preservice and inservice training session. The teacher is also responsible for scheduling the required amount of time for each instructional group in the different subject areas as well as setting up a schedule for other classroom programs not covered by direct instruction programs. These schedules should allow for time in which the teacher can monitor, assist and communicate with the classroom aide. A schedule should be posted in the classroom. During training, the importance of adhering to the schedule and teaching every group every day should be stressed. A lesson progress chart should also be posted and data recorded daily.

Preservice and inservice training will give the teacher guidelines about the organizational procedures that should accompany the program. Routines should be established for collecting, marking, recording error-data, and returning student work. Seatwork materials should be out and ready for the students before the small group instruction begins. Previous seatwork materials should be marked, errors corrected by the students, and in the students’ work folders. A reinforcement system should be set up for the classroom to regulate conduct (talking, hand raising, pencil sharpening, etc) and reinforce academic performance. All personnel in the classroom must deal with students under a set of basic rules.

During the preservice and inservice training sessions, the teacher will be taught the necessary skills for quality control teaching–teaching students to mastery. During small group instruction all of the children must be able to see the board or the teacher materials and the lowest performing children should be seated closest to the teacher. Also, the teacher will be expected to first secure the attention of the children. The teacher will then teach the indicated tasks for the day’s lesson. It will be necessary for the teacher to have a good familiarity with what specifically is being taught and what type of student responses are expected. It is not possible to teach effectively when attending primarily to the materials and not to the students. The teacher is expected to use consistent, clear signals whenever group responses are called for. All children must be responding to these signals as a group. Whenever mistakes are made, the children must be corrected, exercises repeated until mastery and then individual tests given. Pacing throughout the task should be brisk without rushing the students while still giving them thinking time on hard items. On the average, ten student responses will be made every minute. The time between different tasks will be kept to a minimum. Reinforcement for correct responses and for working hard should be given. Reinforcing praise should be specifically related to the behaviors being praised.

Some parts of the program may be taught in large groups, usually whole classrooms. The preservice and inservice training will show the teacher how to adapt small group teacher’s techniques to larger groups. Large group instruction will also require the assistance of at least one aide to monitor and check the students while the teacher is teaching.
The teacher should carefully administer and check over all mastery tests, then record data. Independent worksheet data should also be recorded. This information will indicate which students need review, which students need to cover lessons more rapidly and which students can skip lessons and advance. To act on this information, the teacher must know how to pick parts of lessons for review, how to pick out and skip parts of lessons that are repetitive, in order to cover more lessons, and how to decide which lessons fast moving children can skip. The teacher must also know when it is necessary and beneficial to regroup certain children into faster or slower moving groups. Any problems that the teacher notices with student performance should be discussed with the teacher supervisor. Similarly, when the teacher supervisor notices problems in student performance or in teacher performance, the teacher supervisor will discuss possible remedies with the teacher. The teacher is expected to follow all teacher supervisor suggestions both regarding remedies for students and improvement of teaching skills.

Instructional Assistant
In a program that intensifies instruction, additional teacher personnel may be required. The instructional assistants do not have to be credentialed teachers, however, they must be proficient at all basic skills. Since the selection of these paraprofessionals should be made from the general community served by the program, some type of competency skill test should be used as a screening criterion.

Instructional assistants have the same teaching responsibilities as regular teachers. They are responsible for quality teaching in small group instruction. Consequently, they must attend all preservice and inservice training sessions and work with the teacher supervisor and classroom teacher on developing their teaching skills. In addition to small group instruction, instructional assistants will probably have additional responsibilities such as monitoring during large group sessions, supervising seatwork activities and grading papers. The aides may be responsible for assisting in placing students and regrouping the students as well as doing remedial tutoring and student practice supervision. In all but small group instruction, the paraprofessionals work under the direction and supervision of the classroom teacher and the teacher supervisor. In some school districts, there may be restrictions upon which students the aides may work with. This must be delineated and negotiated in a contract prior to the beginning of school.


Who is Qualified to Supervise?
Anyone who has a commitment to academic excellence can perform some of the supervisory functions necessary for successful direct instruction implementation; however, experience in teaching direct instruction programs is necessary to perform a training role. Qualified consultants are available to provide assistance to school districts implementing direct instruction programs.

Major Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of a direct instruction supervisor fall into two categories: pre-instruction responsibilities and on-going responsibilities.

Pre-instruction responsibilities include helping teachers with:

  1. the efficient scheduling of instructional sessions and the proper placement and grouping of students
  2. the procurement of all necessary instructional materials
  3. initial, or preservice, training in the specific direct instruction programs they’ll be teaching

Pre-Instruction Responsibilities
Supervisors should help teachers place students in the appropriate program and lesson as well as into the most appropriate groups. Supervisors should also make sure that teachers’ classroom schedules allow for adequate instructional time (contact time with teacher–30 minutes level I programs, 35-45 minutes level II, 45 minutes level III through VI: per instructional group), and that teachers have all necessary instructional materials.

Providing teachers with adequate preservice training in the direct instruction programs that they will be using is of the greatest importance. If a supervisor has successfully taught a program and has sufficient time to thoroughly prepare, the supervisor should consider the possibility of training teachers to teach that program. Training videos are available for levels 1, 2, and 3 of Reading Mastery. If a supervisor has not taught the programs and the videos are not available, the services of an outside qualified trainer may be required.

Sufficient training is essential to effective teaching. Adequate training insures that teachers will begin teaching with a basic understanding of the programs they will be using. At the end of the preservice training session, they should:

  1. know the general direct instruction rationale as well as the rationale for the program or programs they will be teaching
  2. be able to appropriately place and group their students and to schedule their direct instruction groups
  3. know how to manage time, materials and students
  4. be able to teach a number of major formats, understanding rationale, script, signals and correction procedures
  5. possess some general presentation skills–pacing, praising, and teaching to criterion
  6. know the roles and expectations for themselves and their supervisors/trainers.

On-going responsibilities include the identification and remediation of problems in the classrooms. To accurately and efficiently identify problems, the supervisor will need to:

  1. collect and consider data on students’ mastery levels and progress through the programs
  2. observe instruction on regular basis

To remediate any problems that occur, the supervisor should:

  1. provide in-class assistance
  2. provide group or individual out-of-class inservice

On-going Responsibilities: Remediation of Problems
Once problems have been identified, a supervisor’s next task is to assist teachers to remediate those problems. There are two primary ways to provide assistance. The first way is to give out-of-class inservice training sessions. What follows is a list of typical problems and some suggested remediation procedures:

  1. If a group is consistently failing to progress at an adequate rate because too little instructional time has been scheduled, remediation might involve a discussion of the importance of adequate instructional time, and then the schedule should be reworked in a one-to-one session with the teacher. If, on the other hand, failure to progress at the desired rate is caused by poor pacing during the lesson, an in-class demonstration of appropriate pacing and additional in-class observation and follow-up may be required.
  2. If students are failing to master skills because their teacher is not fluent on formats, signals, or correction procedures, out-of-class inservice practice should be scheduled. If several teachers are weak in the same area, an out-of-class group inservice session can be conducted with all of those teachers.
  3. If students show skill or progress deficits because of poor classroom management, out-of-class inservice sessions followed by in-class demonstration and assistance are often appropriate.

There are no reliable rules for remediation of problems. Every problem is different and, consequently, demands a different solution. However, these guidelines should prove useful:

  1. The supervisor should let the teacher know clearly what the problem is and what remediation procedures are proposed, whether they involve in-class supervisor demonstration and supervised teacher practice or out-of-class inservice.
  2. When the supervisor has identified a problem and has an idea about how to remedy it, the teacher should be told immediately. If a supervisor is using an observation form, this information should be entered on the form.
  3. The supervisor should emphasize that remediation will be a joint effort made in order to improveinstruction for students.
  4. After attempting a remediation, the supervisor should check back at a predetermined date to see if the problem has been remedied. (“I’ll be back on Monday to see if Jason is better at blending” or “Let’s see if the group is averaging one lesson per day by this time next month.”)

Attending a training session in the supervision of direct instruction programs will maximize the help a supervisor is able to provide.


Occurs after instruction time, preferably after the children have gone home.
Can involve role-playing discussion.
Can be 1:1 or with groups of teachers.


  1. Similar to preservice: For rationale, signals, new or difficult formats, pacing, role-playing of new reinforcement techniques, i.e., a race.
  2. To discuss remediation strategies following testing.
  3. For idea sharing with groups of teachers: remediation, reinforcement ideas
  4. For discussion of details of assignment with a teacher after an observation. The supervisor did not interrupt the teaching during teaching time.
  5. For reinforcement of teachers.

When to Use:

  1. When it is not efficient to use group teaching time. The teacher needs more practice than a demonstration or cues from the supervisor. For example, a teacher cannot follow a format. Use inservice time to role-play and firm the formats, and then watch the teacher work with the children.
  2. When the teacher is doing a good job of teaching, and the supervisor has minor suggestions. For example, the children are doing a good job of reading. The teacher’s presentation skills are good. You have some suggestions for keeping track of children’s reading errors. Rather than interrupt the teacher in the group, you can reinforce quickly, and set up a meeting with the teacher after class. In the meeting you can specify your reinforcement and go over your suggestions.

Determining Training Needs

  1. Establish the common mistakes of the teachers
  2. Establish the common mistakes of the students
  3. Establish any special needs of the teachers
  4. Establish any special needs of the students

Planning Inservice Session
Use Teacher’s Guide specific to program
(Use training videos if available.)

  1. General Information:
    1. What should the students’ achievement levels be at various stages
      of the program?
    2. Analysis of the diagnostic/in-program tests
    3. Discuss new skills and concepts up-coming in the lesson
    4. Discuss the difficulties, if any, with the most recently taught skills
      and concepts.
    5. What are the materials and/or support materials that the teachers
      should be using at this particular place in the program?
  2. Common Problems and Mistakes
    1. What are the common problems?
    2. What did the teachers use as correction techniques?
    3. What do the outcome behaviors of the students look like?
    4. Go over various correction procedures.
  3. Practice teaching an up-coming lesson, especially a lesson with new skills.
  4. Specific Training Topics
    1. Practice various correction procedures.
    2. Practice evaluating in-program testing.
    3. Practice training a new rule, like spelling, vowels or math, etc.
  5. Action Plan
    1. Agree on expectations
    2. Set goals (time, achievement)
    3. Discuss future in-service training objectives

    HOW-TO INSERVICE—Steps in Training a Format

    Goal: To have each teacher present the format accurately, at a quick rate (at least 1 response every 10 seconds), watching the “children’s” responses, giving individual turns, and correcting errors.

    1. Teach the preskills for the format.
      Have teachers practice a series of signals to get the rhythm.
      Make sure the teachers can give the children’s responses correctly,
      especially for Levels 2 and 3.
    2. Explain the rationale for the format briefly.
      What is important fro the children to know? (goal of the task)
      Especially for Levels 2 and 3, explain the background of the skill and where it is leading.
    3. Supervisor models the format (including individual tests); teachers play children.
    4. Supervisor models and tests one section of the format.
      Supervisor leads and firms as necessary.
      Supervisor determines the length of the section according to the skills of the teachers.
      Supervisor corrects by pointing out the wording in the format, modelling, leading as necessary. Show the teachers that the information is in the format whenever possible.
    5. Supervisor models and tests another section of the format.
    6. Supervisor tests on sections one and two and firms as necessary.
      Continue this chaining process for the rest of the format.
      Include individual tests.
      Teachers should be looking up from the format and watching the “children’s” responses.
      Practice until steps are correct and paced at 1 response every 6 seconds (at least).
    7. Teachers practice the format individually in groups of 2-3 as the supervisor monitors.
    8. Supervisor models and tests correction procedures.
    9. Teachers practice correction procedures while supervisor makes unpredictable errors.
    10. If possible, have teachers teach the format to 2-3 children (pull kids in the afternoon).
    11. Have teachers look over and teach a format without a model.
      Teachers must learn to study formats on their own using the teacher’s guide for directions.
    12. For teachers who are not at criteria by the end of the session:
      Give them an audio tape of the format and have them practice with the tape until they can say the steps correctly, at the pace of the tape.
      Arrange for peer practice or daily check-outs on formats.


    1. For a groups of teachers you may want to use a signal to get them started when they say the formats; i.e., “Ready, go.”
    2. Make sure the teachers are kept at 75% success rate. If they’re having trouble, you may need to break the task into smaller sections. You may need to lead more often.
    3. Model the entire format for the teachers periodically so they can see how all the sections fit together.
    4. It may help to have the teachers verbalize the steps of the format. This may help the teachers to keep the main steps of the format in mind vs. rote memorization.
    5. Make sure you state clearly who is the “teacher” and who is the “child.” Don’t let teachers give teacher AND child responses at the same time.


    The supervisor should have well defined classroom visit objectives and procedures. They should be communicated to the teaching staff and understood by all concerned.

    A. Purposes

    • To review the teaching behaviors taught at in-service training sessions
    • To prompt critical teaching behaviors in the teacher
    • To assist teachers in learning to observe and evaluate their own teaching behaviors
    • To assist teacher in learning to change their teaching behavior
    • To assist administrative personnel in evaluating and helping the teacher
    • To provide information about which skills need to be practiced during in-service
    • To direct and organize the needed in-service
    • To evaluate in part the effectiveness of training sessions
    • To provide over-all accountability in instruction

    B. Observation Feedback Form

    • Should be agreed upon by the teacher and the observer
    • Should be objective and positive
    • Should be short enough to give necessary data in 30-minute time block
    • Should include all the necessary teaching behaviors, techniques and materials to assure teacher mastery for teaching the basic skills programs

    C. Preparation–Set up for Observation/Supervision

    • During preservice and inservice sessions let teachers and instructional assistants understand purpose and procedures for visits. Tell what you will do–demonstrations, prompting, observations, assignments. State what they need to do during a visit (e.g., when you demonstrate, stay and observe).
    • Initially, you might ask teachers if they would like to watch you teach an entire lesson.
      • establishes your credibility as an “expert,”
      • provides a good overall model, and
      • helps to translate theory into practice.
    • Have with you the following items:
      • blank observation form
      • classroom schedule
      • record of past visits and observations forms (check specifically the past assignments)
      • obtain current data
      • last in-program tests scores of the group
      • lesson progress record
      • independent work and worksheet error-data

    D. Observation/Supervision Guidelines

    • Establish a positive, helpful, professional presence: when you enter a classroom, smile and move quickly and quietly to a position where you can see both teacher’s and students’ eyes, mouths and hands.
    • Decide if an intervention–prompting or demonstration–is appropriate (see details in following sections). Stay positivethroughout intervention.
    • Give feedback or assignment as close to time of teaching as possible (after group as opposed to after school).
    • Provide training, or arrange for a demonstration as soon as possible.
    • Follow up on each assignment.

    E. How to give an assignment

    • After observing (notice and comment on strengths as well as weaknesses), prioritize skills you want to work with the teacher on (what is the most critical to the students success?).
    • Choose one (or two, if they are related) skills to work on with the teacher:
      1. formats and procedures
      2. pacing (if it is so slow that it is causing mistakes)
      3. signals
      4. catching and/or correcting mistakes
      5. criterion teaching
      6. using of individual turns
      7. group management (this should be a priority if it is really interfering with instruction)
    • Translate skill deficits into assignments (phrasing the assignment)
      1. Tell the teacher what the children are doing that lets you know
        that s/he needs to change. (Always try to relate teaching
        behavior to student behavior.)
      2. Tell the teacher (rationale) it is important that the children
        respond in a particular way.
      3. Tell the teacher what it is s/he needs to be doing (or doing
        differently) that will lead to this change.
      4. Tell the teacher exactly what you want done (written
        assignment). Be sure s/he understands the training implications
        of the assignments (studying formats, practicing, etc.)
    • Try to remain flexible and open to new procedures. Procedures should be functional. If teachers are achieving the desired results in a “different” way, don’t automatically ask them to change. Seriously consider the implications of following that procedure instead of the prescribed procedure.

    F. Communications

    • It is essential that you frequently give positive feedback to all staff members (if possible in front of others) on some aspect of their performance, efforts toward improvement, or your confidence in their ability to improve student performance by learning a difficult, but “tried and true procedure”. Although it is necessary to give everyone some positive feedback, it must be honest. (Don’t make up something, just to be positive. Teachers can interpret your feedback to mean they don’t have to change.) Positive feedback has at least three functions:
      • clarifies to staff your criteria,
      • motivates staff to work hard, and
    • builds up positives so that negative comments aren’t so devastating when you use them.
    • Clarify that you are concerned about some aspect of work quality–not the person in general. Assure the person of your confidence in his/her ability for good quality work.
    • Precede any negatives with positive comments.


    Another person provides a teaching model for the teacher.

    When to Use Demonstrations:

    1. To illustrate a teaching concept that involves the children, such as group response, fast pacing, firming up and correction procedures, making teaching fun, challenging the children
    2. Time is critical, and the teacher behavior must be corrected today. You won’t have time to come back and check the teacher within the next day or two.
    3. The teacher is misteaching a critical step on the format and is teaching the children the wrong information, i.e., incorrect sound on first presentation.
    4. The teacher doesn’t know how to correct a crucial step, i.e., the children can’t say the whole thing and this task is repeated throughout the whole lesson.

    How To Use:

    1. Let the teacher know what you’ll be doing. (“We’re going to observe another teacher.” or “I’ll come and teach your low group.”)
    2. Point out what the teacher will be seeing, or preferably make these points while the demonstration is going on. (“Now I’m going to check out individual children to see if they’re firm.” or “The reason I started the task over is to show the children the entire sequence.”)
    3. Whenever possible, have the teacher teach the same or similar task immediately after the demonstration.


    1. Demonstrate one concept at a session, i.e., fast pacing or reinforcement or firming. If too many concepts are demonstrated, the teacher will be overwhelmed and won’t be able to spot all the skills involved.
    2. Demonstrate for a short segment when possible, i.e., one or two tasks, and then have the teacher teach the same task. This gives the teacher a chance to teach correctly; it also give you immediate feedback on whether demonstration was effective or not.
    3. When to demonstrate entire lesson: not very often; to show how to pace a lesson to get through the entire lesson; or if the children are seriously weak in skills and the teacher doesn’t have the skills to correct them.


    Teacher is teaching sounds exercise too slowly. Children are not responding,
    children are misbehaving.

    (The supervisor should be sitting next to or very near the teacher.) “If it’s all right with you, I’d like to work with your kids today.”

    “Do you mind if I try this page with the group?” (Have the teacher stay within the group.) I’m going to teach fast to keep the children working hard. I’m a tricky teacher, so you guys better watch, I’m going to go fast.” (Teach one row of sounds at a fast pace.)

    (Whisper to teacher) “Do you want to try that now? The fast pace will keep the children’s attention.” (to students) “Now your teacher is going to be tricky and fast–watch out, here she goes.” (Have the teacher teach the next row of sounds or the same one you just taught.)
    — So the teacher gets success doing it the right way.
    — So you can see if your demonstration was adequate to change
    the teacher’s behavior.

    If the teacher’s behavior did not change after your demonstration, you will need to set up an inservice session. If you were demonstrating child behaviors, i.e., group response, crisp responses, you may need to work through the teacher with prompts. (See Prompting next.)


    The supervisor sits near the teacher and gives suggestions or cues to the teacher. The teacher does the actual teaching. The supervisor does not teach the children or take over the group (as in a demonstration).

    When to Use:

    When the teacher understands the teaching technique or concept,
    but is not yet able to use the technique.
    The teacher needs to have attention focused on key child behaviors.
    The teacher needs to be cued to implement a technique; perhaps
    following a demonstration

    How to Use:

    1. Let the teacher know what you’ll be doing. (“I’ll sit behind the group and cue you to praise students who are answering appropriately.”)
    2. The strongest prompting intervention is simply acting as another teacher and talking directly to the group (“Wow, Barbett was really talking big that time.”) This kind of prompting is like a mini-demonstration. Another strong prompt is using gestures to cue the teacher to use the technique, for example, pointing to a child who should be praised or some pre-agreed to motion to speed up and going on to the next task. To have the teacher make the judgment about the children’s performance rather than having the teacher rely you, you prompt by asking key questions. This kind of prompting focuses the teacher’s attention on critical children’s behaviors. You want teachers to see the reasons behind the teaching procedures and have their actions to be based on the children’s performance, not on the supervisor’s intervention.
    3. Role-play the kind of prompts you will be using, what the questions you will be asking and what responses the teacher will be making. (“I’ll ask you, ‘Who’s answering?’ Then you can praise the children who were. ‘Jose and Maria were answering right on signal.’ “)
    4. Sit close to the group and prompt as soon as the teacher fails to implement the technique you are working on.
    5. When the teacher does implement the technique correctly, reinforce quickly by smiling and giving fast, whispered feedback: “Good specific praising.”
    If the teacher incorrectly answers a question , e.g.,”Who was answering?” the supervisor should quietly correct the teacher and tell why. “No, Phil and Blake were playing with their books. Did you see how hard Jan was working? Let’s keep working on that.
    6. When the teacher is able to implement the technique without any type of prompting, the you should ease away from the group. You should still watch and occasionally encourage the teacher, but you should let the teacher assume full responsibility for the group.

    7. If the teacher isn’t able to praise or correct the group independent of your prompting meet with the teacher after school. Hold an inservice session to role-play answers to the questions as described in step 3.


    The teacher is not satisfied with how the students are responding–some are not responding at all, some are drony. The teacher’s implementation of formats and signals is adequate.

    Let’s work on setting up the group to respond the way you want. What do you want them to sound like? What kind of responding would you be happy with? (Decide on specific behaviors with the teacher, i.e., all the kids are answering crisply.) First you state those specific behaviors as expectations at the beginning of the lesson. Let’s practice that….As soon as students do the behavior, you should praise them specifically. Let’s practice that…. At first if you need it, I’ll help when you’re working with your children today and cue you who and when to praise by pointing to students or I’ll just do some praising myself. As you start to get the hang of it , I’ll ask you: “Did they answer the way you wanted?” If your answer is yes, let the group know. You can say, “Everyone answered right on signal and crisply,” and smile. If your answer is no, you can praise the children who are working, say “I heard Shane and Len answering right on signal in grownup voices, I want to heard everyone answer like that.” and start the task again. What will you say if they’re behaving the way you want? What will you say if they’re not answering? Immediately before lesson, remind teacher how you will work together.

    (Try to let the teacher make the judgments on the group’s response. Your goal is for the teacher to be able to perform independently. The supervisor will stop the teacher when the group responds appropriately and the teacher does not reinforce or hesitates.)
    Supervisor (S): (At the end of a series of steps, ask the teacher ) “Is this the way you want the group to respond?
    Teacher (T): Yes.
    S (whisper): Tell them.
    T: Everyone answered as soon as I touched the sounds.
    S (whisper): Nice spotting that and praising specifically.
    (The supervisor will stop the teacher each time the group fails to answer and the teacher does not correct.)
    S: Is this the way you want the group to respond?
    T: No.
    S (whisper): Who was answering?
    T: Jerald and Marcy.
    S (whisper): Tell them and correct the group.
    T: Jerald and Marcy are answering. I have to hear everyone answer. (Teacher starts task over again.)
    S (whisper): Good correcting.”
    T (at end of task): Great answering everyone. I heard you all as soon as
    I touched those sounds.
    S: Good specific feedback–they’re with you now!

    1. When ever possible use questions as your prompting intervention to have the teacher use techniques based on student performance.
    2. Make your intervention as quickly as possible. Don’t have long discussions with the teacher during instructional time. Try to stick to your planned prompts and questions as much as possible.
    3. Try not to intervene on other teach problems. This may confuse the teacher. For example, if you are working on praise, try not to prompt or correct slow pacing.


    There are various situations that permit you to make predictions about what the kids will or won’t do. These predictions are important because they tell why certain procedures are used. The procedures are designed to buttress against the problem. For example, the procedure of providing a delayed test buttresses against the problem of kids requiring corrections on the same step or task again, and again, and again.
    To be effective as a supervisor, you should be able to make predictions. The formats are:
    1. Predict the problem (to yourself or whisper to teacher only if s/he is open to this kind of feedback).
    2. Verify by seeing if problem occurs (observe or prompt/demonstrate).
    3. Provide the remedy that will correct the problem–usually a whispered prompt (sometimes a demonstration).
    4. See that the remedy works. Continue to observe or prompt. Leave a written assignment.

    1. SITUATION: The teacher presents an exercise to the group and follows it with another exercise to the group.
    Prediction: You can’t be sure about the performance of the kids in the group. How do you know? Because you haven’t received any information about how they perform on individual tests. You’ve seen them only perform within the group.
    Verification of prediction: Call on a couple of kids and see if they can perform on first exercise: “Could I see some of these guys do it one at a time?”
    Remedy: Tell the kids that you’ll present the next exercise to the group and then call on individual children to see if they can do it by themselves. Reinforce kids who perform on individual turns.

    2. SITUATION: Group is drony, makes errors, ragged group response. Teacher starts to give individual turns.
    Prediction: If you give individual turns to the kids, many of them would not be able to perform because the group response is weak.
    Verification: Call on that kid. See if s/he can do it.
    Remedy: “Challenge the kids. Tell them that they get three points if they perform well on the exercise and repeat it until every single kid is performing on signal with correct answers in grown up voices… Now, test a couple of kids. They’ll probably be firm.”
    See that the remedy works.

    3. SITUATION: Teacher presents individual turns to average performer in the group. Child is not firm.
    Prediction: Some of the other kids are going to make that same mistake; the first kid made it which means that the group was weak.
    Verification: Call on a couple of other kids… Were they firm?
    Remedy: “Challenge the kids. Tell them you’re going to do it one time with the group and that you’ll call on individuals. If the individuals are firms, they earn points.”
    See that the remedy works.

    4. SITUATION: The group task is presented two times and the kids perform about the same–poorly.
    Prediction: The kids won’t do any better if you repeat the group task again. “How do you know?” Because the kids aren’t trying.
    Verification: The reinforcement is weak.
    Remedy: As above.
    See that the remedy works.

    5. SITUATION: The kids perform well on individual turns of preceding task. A similar task is presented by the teacher, who starts to repeat the task.
    Prediction: The kids can perform on individual turns right now, without additional group work. How do you know? Because their performance on the similar task was very strong.
    Verification: Call on a couple of kids and see.
    Remedy: “Tell the kids that you’ll go faster and that you’ll present tasks only one time. If they can complete more than one lesson during the period, they receive bonus points.”
    See that the remedy works.

    6. SITUATION: The teacher firms the children on a task that is troublesome. The teacher goes to three or four activities and then provides a delayed test.
    Prediction: The children may fail that test. How do you know? Because they had trouble with the task and too much time has passed before the delayed test is presented.
    Verification: Give the test and see.
    Remedy: “Provide a delayed test that occurs sooner, after perhaps one intervening activity. Remind the children that you’ll come back to the problem. Challenge them, and provide bonus points for good performance. Gradually increase the time between tests until children can perform on a test given 7-8 activities later.”
    See that the remedy works.

    7. SITUATION: The teacher presents a task and the children make quite a few mistakes on it. The teacher corrects, goes back to the beginning and repeats it until the children perform on the task from the beginning. The teacher provides individual turns and the children are able to perform.
    Prediction: The children will not necessarily be able to perform at a later time. How do you know? Because they made quite a few mistakes now. They’ll probably make some of the same mistakes later.
    Verification: Present three or four other activities and then test the children on the task.
    Remedy: “Provide a delayed test that occurs sooner, after perhaps one intervening activity. Remind the children that you’ll come back to the problem. Challenge them, and provide bonus points for good performance. Gradually increase the time between tests until children can perform on a test given 7-8 activities later.”
    See that the remedy works.

    8. SITUATION: The children perform poorly on a task that requires them to discriminate between things. The teacher provides a test that requires the children to perform on one.
    Prediction: You don’t know whether the children would be able to perform on the discrimination. How do you know? You haven’t tested the discrimination.
    Verification: Call on several children and present the discrimination task.
    Remedy: “Test the children on the parts of the exercise that give them trouble.”
    See that the remedy works.

    9. SITUATION: The teacher presents a long problem, such as an arithmetic problem. The children have trouble at various steps. The teacher provides a model, and test correction for each part. Then the teacher gives individual turns on that part before going to the next part.
    Prediction: The children won’t be able to perform on the whole problem. How do you know? Because you’ve tested them on only the parts.
    Verification: Call on several students and see if they can do the whole problem.
    Remedy: “Go through the problem with the group until the GROUP can perform on the entire problem. Then present individual turns either on the whole problem or present the problem so that different individual children do different parts of it.”
    See that the remedy works.

    10. SITUATION: Teacher provides individual turns to every kid. Kids are generally firm.
    Prediction: You could get through the lesson a lot faster. How do you know? Because you’re giving too many individual turns.
    Remedy: “Tell kids that you have to go faster. You won’t be able to call on individual children for every task, but if children perform when you call on them, they receive a bonus.”
    Present tasks concentrating mostly on lower performers in group (about half the individual turns go to these kids). Reinforce them.
    See that the remedy works.

    11. SITUATION: The teacher repeatedly works with one kid in group while the others wait. On some corrections, the teacher repeats group tasks, although only one kid has trouble.
    Prediction: You could get through the lesson faster and more efficiently by not trying to firm that child now. How do you know? Because most of the kids don’t need the firming you are providing.
    Remedy: “Work with the individual who has trouble before you work with the group if that is your lowest group. If not, place child in lower group (check mastery test scores and reinforcement procedures).”


    Video tapes can be invaluable in providing feedback to a teacher. Teachers can critique their own performance and/or can discuss problems or specific situations with the supervisor, replaying tape segments as necessary.

    Video tapes can also illustrate good teaching techniques or new formats that may be appearing soon. For example, if a second grade group is about to begin Reading 3 and the teacher is unable to visit a Reading 3 classroom, s/he may want to view a Reading 3 training video tape or tape of another teacher to see a demonstration of the procedure and the various tasks.


    What happens if students fail the mastery test or have high error rates?

    Here are suggestions to make sure these students are eventually firmed so they won’t continue to fail for the rest of the year. Test and re-test until firm.

    1. If students are below passing criterion, the supervisor checks with teacher on which students were below, which items were missed, date of re-test, and provides firm-up suggestions. Kids should pass the re-test 100%.
    2. If kids fail re-test, the supervisor will now re-test and remediates until firm.

    Goal: Have the teachers firm-up the children the first time, so a re-test is not necessary. Have the supervisors give successful firm-up suggestions the first time so 1) children pass the mastery test and 2) children pass the re-test the first time, so the supervisor doesn’t have to do the re-testing.

    What can you do if teachers have low lesson gains? When should something be done?

    Some suggestions:

    1. Check placements at the beginning of the year. Make sure placement tests were given and children are entered correctly. If possible, give mastery tests for higher placements of entry kids. Make sure last year’s placements are at least tried out for Levels 2 and 3 rather than routinely reviewing 20-30 lessons. It may not be necessary.
    2. Set a deadline for teaching to begin at the beginning of school (within 3-5 days).
    3. Contact each teacher as soon as high and middle groups gain less than a lesson a day
    4. Have teachers make up these lessons by teaching 1 1/2 to 2 lessons per day or by finding time later in the day.
    5. Have teachers make up lessons with all groups when the loss is due to schedule changes, teacher’s pacing, teacher not knowing the format, poor management.
    6. Make sure mastery tests and skipping procedures are being followed, especially in Reading 1 (many teachers forget to give these tests).
    7. Inservice all teachers on how to skip their top groups by teaching 2 lessons a day and eliminating easy, similar tasks.
    8. Place all top entry groups in Fast Cycle.
    9. If top entry kids can count and identify numerals, try teaching addition operations immediately. Many teachers use these techniques with children who enter late in the program, but hesitate to skip with high kids.
    10. If teachers want to review lessons that went badly, check to see if the skills are being reviewed in the next lesson. Most skills have built in review in the program.

    What can be done if children are not progressing in the program (low day in program and low mastery test scores)?

    1. Schedule more teaching time for low groups.
    2. Schedule double lessons for low children.
    3. Use tutors, peer tutoring, parent volunteers.

    If children are not progressing because of weak teaching:
    1. Upgrade the teaching through the remediation techniques discussed.
    2. Have another supervisor observe your remediation techniques to give you feedback
    3. Have another teacher teach the low groups.
    4. Transfer this teacher to a different area, different grade level, if possible.
    5. Adjust teaching procedures: Have teacher teach in smaller groups. Have the teacher do more individual teaching.
    6. Document your work with and assignments to the weak teacher. Provide copies to appropriate administrators for support and further follow up. Follow your District guidelines.


    How can supervisors manage time so that
    1) new and weak teachers get enough consecutive help to change their behaviors and
    2) other teachers get spot-checked and reinforced?

    Some problems:
    Everyone teaches at the same time.
    Schools are far away.

    Some symptoms:
    New and weak people don’t improve.
    Some teachers don’t get observed.
    Test scores are surprisingly weak.
    Procedures are not implemented and not caught immediately.

    Some solutions:
    Keep track of visitations to make sure everyone is seen.
    Keep track of problem areas you want to change, and whether or not you have changed them.
    Spot check other groups:
    Observe key tasks (i.e. story reading, math operations, new formats).
    Have other teachers audio or video tape for you.
    Check out kids individually from groups you couldn’t observe.

    How can you train new teachers who have missed preservice and still see old teachers?

    New teachers: Have them observe while following along with a Teacher Presentation Book.
    Inservice them every afternoon, before school, at lunchtime or breaks.
    Arrange peer practice on formats when you cannot practice with them.
    Inservice them on classroom management: rules, schedules, appropriate seatwork, organization.

    Observe experienced teachers during the mornings. Try to make the most efficient use of time when the children are in the classroom. While groups are being taught, work with teachers on skills that involve the children (firming and testing, management). Demonstrate, work with the teacher in groups, and observe.

    After groups are over:
    1. Check out kids individually from groups you couldn’t observe.
    2. Have conferences.
    3. Have inservice training on presentation skills that don’t involve the children (i.e. formats).
    4. Go over data with teachers.
    5. Go over videotapes with teachers.