Don Marlett

Don has been an educator for 20 years. Before joining Learning-Focused, he taught High School and Middle School Science and worked as a school administrator. Don has participated in school evaluations focused on the implementation of High Yield Strategies. Don leads product development, provides leadership training, and coaches educators in the implementation of the Learning-Focused Instructional Framework. @MarlettDon

Facilitating Learning With a Graphic Organizer Instructional Strategy

By Don Marlett

A lesson without a graphic organizer is never as effective as a lesson with one. Strong statement? Yes. True? Also yes. When we teach, we want students to understand new concepts and skills and remember what they have learned for a long time.  Learning is a combination of the storage of information and the ability…

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effective writing instruction - classroom writing example

Effective Writing Instruction: Focus on the Right Mindset

By Don Marlett

The topic of Mindset, either growth or fixed, is one of the most discussed topics in classrooms, PLCs, and meetings over the last few years. The phrase “I can’t yet” is synonymous with our goal to improve students’ outlook of themselves and their learning.  Before we go any further, I believe that conversations on and…

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school improvement failure quote

Why Do School Improvement Plans, Initiatives, and Implementations Fail?

By Don Marlett

Educators believe in the importance of learning from our mistakes and failures, and it isn’t uncommon to hear conversations about how we should support and maybe even celebrate failures. Students should understand that mistakes and failures are an integral part of learning and growing. But as educators, do we really embrace the same mindset for…

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How does School Culture Extend to PLC and Faculty Meetings?

By Don Marlett

In the book, the culture code, by Daniel Coyle, he describes a contest that was created by Peter Skillman. Each team’s mission, if they chose to accept it, was to build the tallest structure possible with the following materials: Twenty pieces of uncooked spaghetti 1 yard of transparent tape 1 yard of string One standard…

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Learning Loss Recovery: 2 Case Studies of Successful Schools

By Don Marlett

There has been an ongoing discussion of COVID learning loss: how much learning did students forget from March of 2020 to the school’s return and how effective hybrid or complete remote learning has been since then. In a recent survey, teachers from eight different countries, including the US, reported “that students were on average two…

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catching up at kids and at-risk students

Catching Up At-Risk Students: How Do You Move Them Forward Quickly and Effectively?

By Don Marlett

Schools and school districts know the importance of communicating a shared vision of success for their students, staff, and community. This vision often focuses on the idea of preparing students for their future. But what happens to that future when students struggle, year after year, and fall continuously behind? How do we teach “at-risk” learners…

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language for high student expectations

Effective Teaching Strategies Start With Teacher Mindset

By Don Marlett

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…

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kids learning - prediction reading strategy

Prediction Reading Strategy – Examples for Effective Comprehension

By Don Marlett

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…

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10 benefits of an instructional framework

10 Benefits of an Instructional Framework

By Don Marlett

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…

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7 Assessment Strategies That Put Aside Paper and Pencil

By Don Marlett

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…

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