Don Marlett

Don has been an educator for 20 years. Before joining Learning-Focused, he spent 6 years as a classroom teacher and 4 years in school administration. Don leads product development, provides leadership training, and coaches educators in the implementation of the Learning-Focused Instructional Framework.
language for high student expectations

High Yield Teaching Strategies Start With Teacher Mindset

By Don Marlett / September 1, 2020

Schools and teachers around the country are discussing the importance of relationships. As a priority among educators, the national conversation has grown to include numerous studies, articles, and speeches, each providing strategies and ideas on how to create positive relationships with our students and our staff. As I reflected on my own experience as a…

Read More
kids learning - prediction reading strategy

Prediction Reading Strategy – Examples for Effective Comprehension

By Don Marlett / June 8, 2020

One of the tenants of Learning-Focused is that it is a process for connecting highly effective research-based learning strategies. As we progress towards the upcoming school year, there is a good chance that students will be asked to learn through a combined modality of the physical classroom and distance learning. It is vital to remember that…

Read More
10 benefits of an instructional framework

10 Benefits of an Instructional Framework

By Don Marlett / May 27, 2020

Exemplary schools understand that teaching effectiveness is the first and foremost factor associated with student achievement. Typical schools usually adopt a framework of practices to guide them toward their goals. Most of the frameworks that schools choose broadly define what to do and often include the targeted artifacts of successful implementation. These frameworks are essential…

Read More

7 Assessment Strategies That Put Aside Paper and Pencil

By Don Marlett / January 19, 2019

Traditional Assessment When you think of assessments, the traditional method is of course paper and pencil. And when you think of paper and pencil “testing,” you may think of the required countless hours of grading that inevitably follows. As a teacher, this is often one of the most challenging barriers to overcome when planning lessons…

Read More

3 Quick and Easy Review Strategies

By Don Marlett / August 19, 2018

Don’t forget that all students need time for strategic review. This might mean for semester or final exams, or it might mean after a series of related lessons. When it’s time for review, don’t revert back to the “old way” of doing things — worksheet packets or a silent study hall. What students have accomplished…

Read More

6 Guided Reading Mistakes You Might be Making

By Don Marlett / July 19, 2018

An important time to support struggling readers is during guided reading. However, just because you are doing guided reading does not necessarily mean that you are supporting your struggling readers. Here are six common guided reading mistakes you might be making. You are using books that are too difficult. If the books that are being used…

Read More

Engage Students With Exemplary Essential Questions

By Don Marlett / June 19, 2018

Why Is A Lesson Essential Question More Effective Than An Objective? Chances are that if you have been in education long enough, you have been asked at least one time or another, to display the standard(s) you are currently teaching on the board for students to see. The rationale behind posting the standard on the…

Read More

A Focus on the Framework

By Don Marlett / May 19, 2018

Why does the Learning-Focused Instructional Framework work so well? The highest achieving schools in the nation all use a proven framework for instruction based learning. An exemplary instructional framework, such as The Learning-Focused Instructional Framework, provides a structure that connects all of the lessons learned from exemplary schools and address major concerns in schools and districts. Connecting…

Read More

Scaffolding Supports Student Success

By Don Marlett / April 19, 2018

How can the use of scaffolding support student achievement? “Start with where you want them to be (the grade level standard) and make it learnable.” (C. Boyles). As educators, we have the very complicated task of ensuring that all students are successful learners, but how exactly do we do that? How do we make sure…

Read More

The #1 Element of Effective Teacher Professional Development

By Don Marlett / October 10, 2017

It takes more than one-and-done professional development to make a true impact. The goal of all effective teacher professional development is for educators to acquire new knowledge and skills, and most importantly, translate their new knowledge and skills into classroom practice. Clearly, without classroom implementation, there is no impact on student learning. Unfortunately, professional development…

Read More