A LYS Teacher ask the following:


I am having trouble finding information about the use of the Fundamental 5 in electives.  Is there any information to help non-core classes use the same processes?  Is the Fundamental 5 intended to be used in nontraditional classes?

SC Response Great question!

The Fundamental 5 are the five high-yield instruction practices that set-up and leverage every other high-yield instructional practice.  Each of the practices is powerful in isolation, but when executed cohesively in a lesson creates a learning effect greater than the sum of any individual component.  As such, the practices are about instructional delivery decisions and actions, not about grade level, content, or student ability.  

There are settings, content, students or a particular lesson where one of the five fundamental practices is not appropriate at that time.  In those cases you overemphasize the remaining practices.  For example, if Writing Critically doesn’t fit in my automotive technician class today, I will ensure that I embed focused Small Group Purposeful Talk in the lesson.

Sometimes the issue in elective and performance classes is that the class stays in the Application level of cognition.  That is the power of electives, where content classes have to stretch to get to Application, the elective class starts there.  But still, Application isn’t on powerful side of critical thinking.  That side is represented by Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. And the vehicles for students operating at that level of cognition are a well designed Lesson Frame, Purposeful Talk and Critical Writing.  As an elective teacher you may have to pick you spot, but the effort, in terms of student performance and cognition is well worth it.

If you still have questions about your specific content area, just send me another note.

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