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The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  324 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The Fundamental Five: The Formula for Quality Instruction, shares with teachers and school leaders the five practices that every teacher can, and should, use to dramatically improve instuctional rigor and relevance, and student performance.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published May 8th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  324 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Liz B
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
1. I do not do well with books I am required to read. I am 79% more likely to irrationally dislike them. And yes, this is why I so rarely assign specific books to my students.

2. The actual five things they are talking about ARE good instructional practices. (IF TOTALLY OBVIOUS ONES OMGOMGOMGOMG.)
2.a. I did some coaching this past year and it was eye-opening for me...I have better insight than I used to into what is sometimes happening in other classrooms. So I am willing to concede that what is
Ivonne Rovira
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: elementary and middle-school teachers
Recommended to Ivonne by: Lyn Linton
Shelves: teaching
The goal clarity coach at my new school recommended that I read this book to help me make the adjustment from teaching in a high school (which had been the case for the entirety of my 14-year career) to teaching Spanish in an elementary school. What a goddess she is! I owe her more than I can ever repay.

Co-authors Sean Cain and Mike Laird, one-time teachers and principals in Texas, have turned consultant and produced this slender volume. It contains a five-step prescription — duh! It’s right in
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers
Recommended to Shelly by: Sean Cain
I recommend this for all classroom teachers, new and seasoned. It is another one that I have highlighted up and will be revisiting between now and the beginning of school. Cain and Laird present 5 concepts that are not new to educators, but when used together create a formula that has been proven to increase academic achievement in schools and students.
William Lawrence
Dec 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: education
It is tragic and disrespectful to teachers and students for school districts to spend taxpayer dollars on a self published book of rubish that fabricates new research, plagiarizes valid past research, and spews theories that don't hold up to social science standards. There are no real citations of real studies-- not a single peer reviewed scholarly journal. The authors actually cite themselves and what they call their own unpublished "research"! One of those unpublished research citations claims ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Critical for educators!

Best practices condensed into a perfect, workable, well-explained formula. If you haven't read this book, but you are an educator, you need to read this! Planned questions for frequent, small group, purposeful talk is my biggest take-away, but I'm going to challenge myself to do even more of the other points as well. I wish I'd read this years ago.
Ellen Deckinga
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't actually know when I "finished" this book so I just set the date for today. I keep using it in my instruction! A co-worker asked to borrow it over the weekend and I almost died. Then I remembered - I know where she works ;)
Yes. It's that good. You read it and go "duh, that's just good teaching." Then you start to look around and you go, "I'm sorda' doing that" or "Well, I was asked to do it this way, but it's just not working for me." I am telling you that going back to these basic 5 thi
Sep 04, 2012 added it
I hate I borrowed it. I couldn't put it down, but couldn't write in it....recommended by my academic dean....was a confirmation of my teaching style, but have me a way to tie it down more...worth the read!
Laura G
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Short quick read that outlines 5 instructional practices that lead to student success. 1. Framing the lesson at beginning and end--helps students filter info so they can focus on what is most important. 2. Work in the Power Zone--teacher should be interacting with students while teaching!! 3. Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk About Learning--every 10 minutes, turn and talk (or process somehow). 4. Recognize and Reinforce--as personal and specific as possible. 5. Write Critically--to force stu ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a school-mandated read from the end of last school year for this coming year. I checked it out the day it was mentioned and took a while over the summer reading it. I had implemented a number of things it talks about and it definitely has helped in certain circumstances if not in others. all in all it was a semi-helpful and inspiring read before coming into teaching my AP classes this year.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-teaching
This was required reading for teachers in my school. It seemed like common sense for most good teachers. A few good reminders. I struggle with “framing the lesson” and seeing the importance of putting objectives on the board. It helped explain the reasoning and studies behind it, but I still seem to resent being told to do it... hmmm.
Kimberly Brooks
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast read, mainly because it was short. Not a ton of new knowledge gained, since I already do some of these things. Definitely could do more though, and it gave pretty clear examples of implementing the fundamental five.
Michael Cotignola
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good handbook to have, especially for an early-career teacher. While it doesn't present anything new or groundbreaking, the way it is collected, presented, and reinforced makes it a valuable resource for teachers who want to step up their game (read: all teachers).
Michelle Mendez
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very informative and likely to recommend to other professionals. The book has a great deal of ideas to implement in the classroom.
Thomas Strawn
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent focus on the foundational practices of education. It's always good to refresh and dive more in depth with fundamental practices.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My district is implementing The Fundamental 5 this year. After reading the book, I am excited to see it action. We even had the chance to hear from Sean Cain himself.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Having just finished my master's degree in adolescent literacy, I feel that this is a ridiculously compressed attempt to increase literacy across contents with five basic steps. Literacy instruction is so much more complex and nuanced than this book leads the reader to believe. Finally, the evidence presented is outdated.

I know firsthand literacy instruction is powerful, but it is not an easy, quick transition from the more traditional methods of instruction to student-centered classrooms. I ho
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this for work, and it was a quick and easy read. The strategies recommended by the authors are basically things we already do or know we should do as teachers, but in a more intentional manner. None of the strategies would require a major shift in instruction. I do believe implementing the fundamental five will have a positive impact on our students. I am curious about what this would look like with primary students (K-3) as the examples all seem more relevant for fourth grade and up. Howev ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was definitely not a pleasure read. "The Fundamental 5" is an extremely academic book, very dry and packed with information, rather repetitive, and generally not enjoyable to read. However, the information it was packed with was extremely valuable, well researched (if unpublished), and presented as a compelling argument. I would highly recommend this book to any teacher wanting to improve his or her craft. However, it lacked many way to actually implement their techniques, which for a relat ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for all teachers!

Relevant read for improving academic instruction for greater learning through the use of 5 easy to implement steps. Clearly defines the whole picture of a well crafted lesson!! Loved this book-fast read!
Amy Bermudez
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Not exactly riveting or earth-shattering. And I hated that the authors referred to themselves as "the authors" thought the book. Still, I'm looking forward to implementing a few of these ideas in my class. (Proud to say, I've already got a grip on the other aspects if The Fundamental Five!)
Ilene Novy
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book for any teacher. Our new incoming principal asked us to read this. It was short and to the point and a great staff book share! This is carefully written to get to the point of "good teaching."
Navasota ISD
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Available for checkout at NELC.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Easy to understand practices to affect major change in instruction. Everyone can do this but it won't be easy.
Holly Wagner
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great guide to remind educators to post guidelines/frames/closings for daily lessons.
Elizabeth Still
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thus is going to change the way I teach! Looking forward to a new year!
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
We read this as a school faculty. Some really good ideas.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you are a teacher new or old, this book will help you create a workable lesson plan frame that will deliver success for you and your students.
Misty Strong
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Easy read with good practical advice for the classroom.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like the idea that, when used together, these "simple" strategies can have a powerful impact on student learning. I'm looking forward to trying them.
Opal Trelore
Dec 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Read it for work, not for pleasure. It isn't terrible ...
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