Joseph Rogers Primary School

February 1, 2016

The Fundamental 5...Week 3

Welcome Back!

I hope you enjoyed your snow days and took the time to rest and relax.

As I had stated before, I will be writing for five weeks on the book The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction. These are the 5 critical practices that are the core of highly effective instruction. Before the Big Snow, we talked about framing the lesson and working in the power zone. Both of these are easy concepts to incorporate into what you are already doing and I am happy to say that I see both of these things going on in classrooms at JRP daily.

The Fundamental 5 are as follows

  1. Frame the Lesson
  2. Work in the Power Zone
  3. Frequent, Small-Group, Purposeful Talk about the Learning
  4. Recognize and Reinforce
  5. Write Critically

Frequent, Small-Group, Purposeful Talk about the Learning

FSGPT means “After every 10-15 minutes of teacher- driven discussion, or at the completion of a major instructional concept (whichever comes first), the teacher stops talking and has groups of 2-4 students briefly discuss a seed question related to the instruction or instructional activity.”

This is pausing instruction every 10-15 minutes to provide for student discussion. This does not mean ask a question and then lead whole group discussion of answers. It is giving students a chance to talk to EACH OTHER to help them process the information.

FSGPT helps instruction in two important ways.

Rigor and Relevance and Student Retention.

Rigor and Relevance

FSGPT gives students a chance to bump up the rigor and the relevance of a lesson. When you give students a chance to discuss, you are giving them the opportunity to apply what they are learning to their own lives, instead of you telling them how it applies.

Normally, the teacher, decides how to make the lesson relevant to students. You are coming up with the real world examples. Instead, FSGPT gives the students the opportunity to apply the concept and come up with examples that are meaningful to them. When you allow students to engage in this type of small group discussion, you are extending the lesson and increasing the rigor of the lesson.

Student Retention

Incorporating frequent, small group, purposeful talk makes a SIGNIFICANT positive impact on student retention of material. We tend to remember " that which comes first, and remember second best that which comes last. We tend to remember least that which comes just past the middle of the episode." Any time that we change what we are doing (i.e. small group work), we are refocusing and giving students the opportunity to have multiple starts and finishes, thus increasing student retention of material.

Think about when you go to a great inservice. The ones that you get the most out of are the ones that you are given the opportunity to work in groups and discuss how you will use the information presented and listen to how others will also. We need to give this same opportunity to our students. Each time you start and stop instruction you are keeping a child's memory at a "vibrant stage" and they will retain more of the content than if you just lecture.

There is so much good content in this book and it is a very quick read. A little over 100 pages and the book is small with large print. You could read this book in about an hour. If you are interested in a copy of this book, please let me know and I would be happy to get you one.

Hope your week is full of framing lessons, working in the power zone and learning more about frequent, small group, purposeful talk.


Calendar of Events

fun times at jrp

February 8 - 100th day of school

February 9 - Coffee with the counselor (topic - attendance)

February 9 or 10 - Monitoring in cafeteria

February 11 - Progress Reports

February 12 - popcorn and drink and JRP shirt

February 26 - 4.5 meetings during planning


Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

-M. Mead