This fall, Legacy teachers have been engaged in a campus wide book study of The Fundamental Five by Sean Cain & Mike Laird.
The five fundamentals described in the book are not new ideas to education. Actually, the five fundamentals are practices that good teachers engage in on a regular basis. But, as with all skilled jobs, workers need an occasional reminder of the “fundamental” or foundation practices they engage in that ensure that they are producing a high quality product. In our case, the product we produce is great-aligned-high quality instruction that leads to higher retention of knowledge for students.
The Fundamental Five is not a magic, silver bullet for teaching and learning. Every concept this book introduces is “teaching 101”. These are ideas we ALL already know and believe.
Just reading the book alone does not guarantee that high quality instruction will produce 100% student success. It does , however, provide educators with a set of fundamental skills that they can utilize in almost any classroom situation to produce positive results – student success.
The book’s authors are both educators. Sean Cain is an English teacher. Mike Laird is a former teacher/campus administrator/assistant superintendent with years of educational experience. Unlike other educational books, this book includes references to the Texas education system, our TEKS and our current changes to the state accountability system and standards.
My hope is that by reading this book as a team, we can build a common vocabulary between the entire staff regarding instruction.
Our shared goal is to shift our instruction from a 20th century model of “sit & get”, old school lecture format where the teacher does all the talking & students sit and “ingest” knowledge to a 21st century model of a small group-student discussion format in which students utilize technology, such as the iPad to access information.
We want students to OWN the learning!
Our 21st century learners will soon be 21st century workers who will need to be able to work in diverse groups, collaborate on shared work projects and communicate results effectively.
The five fundamentals are:
(1) Framing the Lesson daily – Posting the objective/TEKS for the day on the board each day for students to know what they will be learning.
(2) Work in the Power Zone – Teachers are up, moving around the classroom to monitor learning
(3) Frequent, Small Group, Purposeful Talk about the learning – Students are organized in small groups or pairs to complete a task. The task must involve purposeful talk about the learning, not just a random discussion and/or talking.
(4) Recognize and Reinforce – Teachers are encouraged to recognize students for academic achievements.
(5) Write Critically – A 21st century skill that all workers of the future must possess is the ability to communicate effectively through writing. All teachers – in all subject areas- are encouraged to incorporate writing in their lessons.
View the pictures below from our classrooms showing that we’ve implemented these five fundamentals.