Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Reader Shares... The Power of The Fundamental 5

A LYS Principal shares the following:

LYS (and the LYS Nation),

I wanted you to know that recently I was asked to write about one program that I implemented from curriculum and instruction that made a significant impact at my school. Consider this my personal endorsement.

The one curriculum and instruction initiative that I have implemented that has been most effective with student success is from the book, The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction, by Cain & Laird. The majority of the training provided to my campus addressing Fundamental 5 implementation was provided by the Lead Your School (LYS). I am now a firm believer in LYS staff development. After twenty-three years of education, this is the best staff development I have ever attended.

The Fundamental 5 is an easy to read and simple to understand program that focuses on best practices in instructional delivery. The genesis of The Fundamental 5 occurred when Cain was tasked by TEA to identify what successful schools and classrooms were doing as a resource for struggling schools. This work led Cain and his team to identify some fundamental “secrets” of great instruction.

Sometimes as a principal I am fortunate to see great instruction in the classroom. Most of the time I see good instruction in the classroom. And occasionally I witness poor instruction. The problem is trying to identify exactly what makes the great instruction great and to duplicate this in other classrooms. What exactly do I say to coach the low and average teacher to improve the quality of instruction?

The Fundamental 5 looks at five areas to address and help any educator to develop great techniques and systems for improving instruction. By better executing the fundamentals, teachers can improve their focus and efficiency at lesson delivery. Students are more engaged in the lesson, which lowers discipline issues and increases retention.

Principals are not exempt in this pursuit to improve instruction.  They are expected to monitor and support teachers as they work to improve. To assist in this, LYS has a great classroom observation tool, called “PowerWalks,” that allows frequent and specific snapshots of instruction with data feedback for teachers. In just four weeks of school I have now conducted over two hundred classroom visits.

Our elementary school was failing state standards two years in a row, making it a priority campus. That is no longer the case! Focus should always be on student success, but sometimes we get sidetracked. LYS ensures that sidetracking becomes a thing of the past. 

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! 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Multiple Presentations); American Association of School Administrators Conference; National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

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