What We Are Reading. . .And Why It’s So Important Right Now!

Author: Tim LaCourt, M.A.

This book is a relevant revision of a 2011 publication. The need for this book—now more than ever–is clearly stated on page 5 by the authors:

“As schools and classrooms transition from pandemic to post-pandemic operations, the high frequency, high quality implementation of better instructional practice is no longer a professional suggestion; it is a requisite of professional duty.”

The Fundamental 5 are strategies that most teachers use some of the time; teachers who use them at a high rate, however, consistently exceed expectations with their students’ performance.  These 5 strategies emerged as the ones that lead to increased engagement, retention, and overall success with school work.  The strategies became evident through 250,000+ classroom observations which objectively noted the behaviors all teachers utilized and highlighted the ones exceptional teachers used at a higher rate.

The book presents the Fundamental 5 strategies and how they are used in conjunction with one another. They may seem simple, but the key is in refining and practicing them.

Frame the Lesson

Post a clear student-friendly Objective with a related Closure

Recognize and Reinforce

This is more than generalized positive praise. It means individualized, specific recognition of progress while students are working, and specific praise for good effort and work.

Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk

Short bursts of purposeful conversation about the work during a lesson or after a lesson.

Critical Writing

Having students complete critical—not polished–pieces of writing during or at the end of a lesson.

Work in the Power Zone

Working in physical proximity of students allows teachers to provide immediate feedback about their work, recognize effort, and reinforce specific behaviors of individuals.

The Fundamental 5 provides clear explanations of the strategies, as well as practical examples for working with students at all grade levels.

This is a book that every new teacher should read, and a teacher-friendly paperback great for a group read!  I wish I would have read it years ago!

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