Blog Post: A Teacher Asks… A Solution to Overkill A teacher asks for a little help

I see how simply wonderful the concepts in the book (The Fundamental 5) are, but our district set out to use your book as a beat all, end all way to “fix” our schools. Now our schools have been turned upside down and everything revolves around, “Are you doing the F5?”

Please help me!!!!!

SC Response First, take a deep breath… 

Now let’s take a step back and look at the Fundamental 5.  The Fundamental 5 are the five high-yield instructional practices that set up all the other high-yield instructional practices. As we use them more, our students’ performance increases.

But even if I want to, it would be impossible to use four of the five practices 100% of the time.  You could and should Frame the Lesson every time, but because we realize that stuff happens, for Lesson Framing anything above 95% is optimal.

Everything else is based on your planned delivery of the lesson and changing your current instructional habits and routines. Just note that the longer you have taught, the more entrenched are your current instructional habits. 

Say someone walks in your classroom while you are teaching and students are working, yet at that time, none of the four delivery driven elements of the Fundamental 5 are being used.  What was the class really “caught” doing? You were “caught” teaching and students were “caught” working. And how is that bad? It isn’t.

Now let’s extrapolate that same observation over 15 to 20 visits.  Then there would be a consistent pattern of the teacher not using high-yield practices at high frequency.  What does mean? It means that the teacher’s effort will not be commensurate with student performance.  In other words the teacher is sweating more that the students. What could be more stressful?

So here is my advice.  Work to increase the frequency that you use the Fundamental 5 practices in your classroom.  By doing so, you will be incrementally replacing less effective practice with more effective practice. Like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. 

If the instructional support staff is visiting your class on a regular basis, use the data they collect to gauge your progress.  Similar to stepping on the scales once a week.

If instructional support staff are not visiting your classroom on a regular basis, then you have to decide for yourself if their opinion is valid or not.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
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