Using the Famous 5 For Easy Gains in the Classroom
The Famous 5
I was encouraged by a story on Staffrm to share the little things we do in our classrooms that are easy to implement and have immediate impact. Thus I shared a little known strategy I use called ‘The Famous 5‘. It’s been surprisingly popular with teachers.
I used The Famous 5 as a tool to reduce wasted time at the start of the lesson through lateness, student lethargy and general faff “miss, miss, I don’t have a pen / can’t find my book / forgot my brain”. It also gave me a reason to record names on the whiteboard for positive reasons, rather than those recorded for sanctions. I used it in every lesson, every day.
It goes like this. When students enter the room they are immediately presented with a task. This could be to demonstrate readiness for learning or a starter task. The 5 students that begin / finish / engage well with said task are written on the whiteboard. Their reward? To leave the classroom first at the end of the lesson. I’m not talking early, just first. Seconds before the rest of the class. The outcome? They love it! The smug looks on students’ faces as they leave before their peers is quite something. Which means that being in The Famous 5 becomes quite a prize, one that is fought for (leading to tense negotiations at the start of some lessons and occasionally having a Famous 4, 6, 7,…) and treasured. And for me, a smooth and prompt start to lessons.
Tips: don’t forget to let the Famous 5 leave first – they get quite upset when you forget. And be alert! There’s always one student masquerading as one of The Famous 5 and trying to sneak out first when they’re not on the list.
Love to hear how you get on if you try it in your classrooms or if you have any little things to share – it’s been wonderful to hear from those who used The Famous 5 and have found it has transformed the start of their lessons. You can find me on Staffrm and Twitter
Emma is a lecturer in teacher education and co-founder of Numeracy Ready, the Numeracy Skills Test Revision website